Welcome to Audrain County Health Department.  Public Health: Better Health, Better Missouri.
The Audrain County Health Department (ACHD) proudly and diligently serves the Audrain County
Community, and is committed to addressing the public health needs of individuals.  The ACHD exists
under RSMO 205.010-115, County Health and Welfare Programs in order to provide the various and
multi-faceted public health programs for the Audrain County community and its citizens.  The Audrain
County Health Department is here for you.  By taking a proactive approach, rather than a reactive one,
we can hope to positively affect and influence the lives of each and every one of us.  The ACHD hopes you
will find the information contained within this website useful, and looks forward to working with the
community in facing the challenges of the future.  
1130 South Elmwood Drive
P.O. Box 957
Mexico, MO 65265
Phone: (573) 581-1332
Fax: (573) 581-6652
1130 South Elmwood
P.O. Box 957
Mexico, MO 65265
Phone: (573) 581-1332
Fax: (573) 581-6652
Hours: Monday through Friday
8:00AM to 4:00PM.
Audrain County Health Department is a
proud member of  United Way!
Cooling sites in and around Mexico, MO.  

Cooling Sites offer the general public air-conditioned relief and cool water during the hottest part of the day. Sites will
be activated if an Excessive Heat Advisory or Warning is issued by the National Weather Service. Heat Advisory
issued - when the Heat Index (HI) is expected to reach 105 degrees F or air temperature reaches, at least 100
degrees F. Heat Warning issued - when HI is expected to reach, at least 110 degrees for 2 consecutive days with
a minimum HI no lower than 75 degrees at night or if Heat Advisory is expected to last 4 or more days.  
CLICK HERE to view the cooling sites in your area.  
Take the Kitchen Safety Quiz!

Click on the link provided below for an
interactive quiz to see how safe your
kitchen really is!

Food Safety Quiz  
The Symbol of Public Health
Check Out the Impact of Public Health on Communities…
To take advantage of the many services provided by the Audrain County Health Department,
we welcome you to stop by and we’ll give you an overview of our program.  Here at ACHD,
we make a difference!  Go ahead and get started learning about your public health department,
click on the video link below…and thank you for reviewing our website.
Immunizations -  VaxCare

A partnership between the Audrain County Health Department (ACHD) and a leading vaccine facilitator means it’s
easier than ever for Audrain County residents to receive vaccinations. In June, the ACHD contracted with VaxCare,
an immunization provider out of Orlando, Florida.

“Our partnership with VaxCare will expand the marketplace for those residents with private insurance,” ACHD
Administrator Sandra Hewlett said. “Previously, we only had billing arrangements with seven private insurance
companies. With VaxCare, we now offer 24 private insurance billing options.”The partnership between the two
entities means Audrain County residents will have more insurance companies to choose from with the company.

“VaxCare will bring to the table an expanded list of health insurance companies we can bill to,” said ACHD Licensed
Practical Nurse Brandi Myer, who is heading up the vaccine program for ACHD. “This means, with our expanded list,
that residents who have private insurance who may have had to go out of town for immunizations before can now stay
in county for their immunization needs.”

The ACHD immunization program offers a variety of vaccinations to families, local businesses and private
educational institutions in Audrain County. To see if your insurance provider is one of the 24 now offered through
VaxCare, and, to learn more about the ACHD immunization program, contact Meyer at the health department at
Summer Safety
by Sandra Hewlett, MS, APRN, FACHE
Administrator, Audrain County Health Department

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is the body’s response to an excessive loss of the water and salt contained in sweat. Those most prone to heat exhaustion
are the elderly, people with high blood pressure, or those working or exercising in a hot environment.

Warning Signs of Heat Exhaustion Include:
•        Heavy sweating & paleness
•        Muscle cramps, tiredness, and weakness
•        Dizziness or fainting
•        Headache & nausea or vomiting

What to Do
•        Rest in a cool, preferably air-conditioned, area.
•        Loosen clothing & cool down with a shower, bath or sponge bath
•        Drink plenty of non-alcoholic and caffeine-free beverages.
•        Seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or last longer than one hour.

Heat Stroke (Life Threatening)
Heat stroke occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the
sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. Heat stroke can develop within minutes or hours. Heat stroke
can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not given. Treatment includes rapidly lowering the person’s
body temperature followed by intensive supportive care.

Warning Signs of Heat Stroke Vary But May Include:
•        Extremely high body temperature (above 103° F orally)
•        Red, hot and dry skin (no sweating)
•        Rapid pulse  & Throbbing headache
•        Dizziness & Nausea
•        Confusion & Unconsciousness

What to Do
•        Call for immediate medical assistance.
•        Move the victim to a cool or shady area.
•        Cool the victim rapidly using whatever methods you can, such as: placing the victim in a tub of cool water; a cool shower; or
 spraying with cool water from a garden hose, or a sponge with cool water.
•        Monitor body temperature, and cool until the body temperature drops to 101-102° F.
•        Do not give the victim alcohol to drink.

How to Prevent Heat-Related Illness
•        Be aware of the warning signs of heat-related illness, such as light-headedness, mild nausea or confusion, sleepiness or profuse sweating.
•        While outdoors, rest frequently in a shady area so that your body's thermostat can recover.
•        Schedule outdoor activities carefully, preferably before noon or in the evening,
•        If unaccustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly, pick up the pace gradually,limit your exercise or work time.
•        Wear sunscreen to protect skin from the sun's harmful rays. Sunburn affects your body's ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids.
•        Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
•        When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you.  If you are 65 years of
 age or older, have a friend or relative call to check on you twice a day when hot weather health advisories have been issued.
•        Stay indoors and in an air-conditioned environment. If air conditioning is not available, consider a visit to a shopping mall, public
 library, a movie theater, supermarket or other air-conditioned location for a few hours.
•        Increase your fluid intake—regardless of your activity level. Don't wait until you feel thirsty to drink fluids. Ensure infants and
 children drink adequate amounts of liquids.
•        Avoid drinks containing caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar because they will cause you to lose more fluid.  Avoid very
 cold beverages because they can cause stomach cramps.
•        Electric fans may be useful to increase comfort and to draw cool air into your home at night, but do not rely on a fan as your
 primary cooling device during a heat wave. When the temperature is in the upper 90s or higher, a fan will not prevent heat-related illness.
 A cool shower or bath is a more effective way to cool off. (See paragraphs below.
Check regularly on those at greatest risk of heat-related illness:
•        infants and children up to 4 years of age
•        people 65 years of age or older
•        people who are overweight
•        people who overexert during work or exercise
•        people who are ill or on certain medications
•        Avoid hot foods and heavy meals.
•        Ask your doctor whether medications you take affect your body's response to the heat.
•        Do not leave infants, children or pets unattended in a parked car or other hot environment.

Use of Fans for Cooling
In order for a fan to be effective, the skin surface must be moist. When the skin surface is moist, moving air removes heat
from the skin as the moisture evaporates. Unfortunately, when a person begins to develop heat stroke, they stop sweating.
In addition, elderly persons may not sweat due to poor heat regulation messages sent out by their brain centers. If a fan is to
be effective, the skin must be moist either with sweat, or with dampened clothing, or with moisture added by rubbing wet
cloths over the skin surface.
Be Tobacco-Free:

When you quit smoking...the health benefits begin almost immediately.

•        20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
•        12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
•        2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation improves & lung function increases.
•        1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease.  The cilia (tiny hair-like structures
      that move mucus out of the lungs) regain normal function, increasing their ability to handle
      mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
•        1 year after quitting: Your increased risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker's.
•        5 to 15 years after quitting: Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker.
•        10 years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is 50% less than a smoker’s.  The risk of cancer of
       the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decrease.
•        15 years after quitting: Your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker.

Choosing to be tobacco free is one of the most important decisions you ever make. Quitting smoking will help you live a
longer, healthier life & protect the health of your family and friends.  Giving up smoking can be difficult, but a tobacco-
free lifestyle offers benefits that will last a lifetime.

Smoking contributes to many serious diseases, including lung & other cancers, heart disease, stroke and chronic lung
disease. Each year in Missouri, nearly 10,000 die from tobacco-related disease & secondhand smoke causes an average
of 1,150 deaths.

For long-time smokers, quitting now could prevent serious illness & add years to your life. If you’ve tried to quit before
and failed, don’t be discouraged. Try again. Many people try to quit more than once before succeeding.

Secondhand smoke can cause cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses in people who don’t smoke, so those who
breathe your smoke are at risk.  Children exposed to tobacco smoke are more likely to experience sudden infant death
syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, asthma, and other respiratory problems.

The main benefit of quitting smoking is preventing disease & early death, but there are many others:
•        You’ll have fresher breath, whiter teeth and better smelling hair and clothes.
•        Your sense of smell with return to normal, and food will taste better.
•        The discoloration of your fingers and fingernails will disappear.
•        You’ll be able to do normal activities, such as climb stairs, without losing your breath.
•        You’ll enjoy going to restaurants & other public facilities where smoking isn’t permitted.
•        You won’t have to worry about exposing your family & friends to your secondhand smoke.
•        You will no longer spend time and energy worrying about when you’ll get your next nicotine “fix.”

Quitting smoking can improve your family finances. You’ll save thousands of dollars that you would have spent on
cigarettes, you will also save on medical expenses as well. Missouri spends almost $2 billion every year to treat
smoking-related illnesses.

When you quit smoking, you’ll be setting a positive example for your children and grandchildren. And if they don’t
smoke, they won’t have to worry about increasing their risk for lung cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses as they
grow older.  

This fall, the health department will launch the American Cancer Society’s Fresh Start Smoking Cessation program.  
Look for more details in September.  Finally, Audrain County Health Department is firmly committed to fighting chronic
diseases caused by modifiable lifestyle choices, such as smoking, and supports a Smoke-Free Mexico.