The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department provides a wide range of services dealing with disaster and disease, with rabies investigations being one of the most widely known. Around 185 animal encounter investigations were investigated in FY 2008, with many of these samples being submitted for rabies testing.
West Nile Virus (WNV) investigations are also conducted. WNV Encephalitis was first diagnosed in the New York City area in 1999 and has spread to most of the United States. People become infected from the bite of certain kinds of mosquitoes that are infected with the virus. Mosquitoes get it when they bite, or take a blood meal from, birds infected with the virus. The mosquitoes then transmit the virus to people and other animals when biting to take blood. WNV cases occur primarily in the late summer or early autumn. The public should contact the Health Department with sightings of dead birds.
Other areas of this program include Disaster Preparedness/Response, Disease control/Epidemiology, Tattoo/Body Piercing Studio inspections, Vector Control complaints, Radon, Asbestos, Lead, Indoor Air Quality and the enforcement of Kanawha-Charleston Board of Health Clean Indoor Air Regulation and Community Health Promotion.