Public Health Services

Birth and Death Records Vital records
Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening
Communicable Disease Program
Environmental Health Services
Family Planning
Fees and Insurance
H1N1 Flu
Harmful Algae Blooms: A Public Health Concern
Maternal and Child Health Program Other Health Department
Programs and Additional Links:

Public Health Emergency
Preparedness Program

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
Tick Diseases
Tobacco Prevention and Education Program
West Nile Virus



Birth and Death Records Vital records

For More Information:

MorrowCountyClerk’s Office

Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening

The Oregon Breast and Cervical Cancer Program helps low-income, uninsured, and underserved women gain access to free screening programs for early detection of breast and cervical cancers.  These free services can include pap tests, breast exams, and mammograms.

To be eligible, a woman must be:

  • Age 40 and above
  • Uninsured or underinsured (have a high deductible or insurance that does not cover these tests)
  • Not eligible for Medicare Part B
  • Low income
  • Living in Oregon

For More Information
To find out if you qualify and to schedule your test(s), call the State program at 877-255-7070.
State BCC Program Website



    TheAmericanAcademy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusively breastfeeding your baby for the first 6 months.
After six months, discuss the introduction of solid foods with your baby’s care provider.  The AAP further
recommends that breastfeeding continue  (or expressed breast milk be provided) until the baby is at least one year
old.  The World Health Organization also recommends babies be breastfed until two years of age.
There are Immediate and Long Term Health Benefits from Breastfeeding
Healthcare providers have long recognized the immediate and long-term health benefits of breastfeeding for both infants and their mothers.  Some of these health benefits include:

  • For infants
    • Resistance to infections, including decreased risk of ear infections, decreased risk of diarrhea and gastrointestinal infections
    • Decreased risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
    • Decreased risk of diabetes both types 1 and 2
    • Decreased risk of obesity
    • Decreased risk of allergies and asthma
    • Increased IQ and brain development
    • Human milk is made to meet the specific needs of human babies, and it changes as the baby grows to offer the best combination of nutrients that make it easy for baby to digest and metabolize
  • For mothers
    • Uterus returns to normal size more quickly and mother has reduced blood loss
    • Decreased risk of breast cancer
    • Decreased risk of ovarian cancer
    • Exclusive breastfeeding delays the return of menses
    • Psychological benefits of increased self-confidence and enhanced bonding with infant

Breastfeeding Women Have Rights
State employers shall provide breastfeeding employees with “reasonable break time” and a private, non-bathroom place to express breast milk during the workday, up until the child’s first birthday. (U.S.Department of Labor Legislation of 15 July 2010)
All women in Oregonhave the right to breastfeed in public.
Breastfeeding Support and Education
MCHD has an RN that is also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).  Women that reside inMorrowCountyare eligible to receive free breastfeeding support and education.  Contact the Morrow County Health Department (541-676-5421).

For More Information
AmericanAcademyof Pediatrics
OregonPublic Health Division
Communicable Disease Program

  • General Information
    • Communicable Diseases
    • Infectious Diseases
    • Reportable Diseases
    • Environmental Health Inspections
  • Mandatory Reporter Resources
    • Who Must Report?

    • What Diseases or Illness Must be Reported?
    • How to Reach & Report to the Morrow County Health Department?

Communicable Diseases Program

Communicable diseases are those that can be spread from person-to-person.  This occurs by coming in contact with contaminated body fluids.  Contact takes place when we breathe in air-borne particles; when we touch objects with germs and then transfer the germs to ourselves by touching our eyes, nose, or mouth; or by sexual contact.  Common communicable diseases include:

  • Chlamydia
  • Hepatitis A, B & C
  • Pertussis

Infectious Diseases
Infectious diseases are those that can make us ill, but cannot be spread from person-to-person as described above.  Unsafe drinking water or eating food that has been improperly prepared or stored may result in illness.  Sometimes we get sick from bites of mosquitoes, pets, or wild animals.  Injuries can result in infections.  Common infectious illnesses include:

  • Salmonella
  • Giardia
  • West NileVirus
  • Rabies
  • Tetanus

Reportable Diseases
By law,Oregonhealthcare providers (clinics, hospitals, laboratories) are required to report specific communicable and infectious diseases to the Morrow County Health Department (MCHD).  There are currently more than 50 diseases that are reportable in the State ofOregon.  MCHD has trained staff to conduct confidential disease investigations. These investigations can:

  • Help prevent a larger outbreak
  • Provide individuals that are ill with important follow-up information
  • Help in tracking and understanding disease patterns in the State

Environmental Health Inspections

Morrow County Health Department and Umatilla County Health Department share staff that conduct required inspections of restaurants, pools/spas, day care programs, and other facilities. This is another way Health Departments work to ensure safe practices to protect the public’s health.  (See Environmental Health Program on this website).

Mandatory Reporter Resources

Who Must Report?
ByOregonlaw, clinics, hospitals, laboratories, emergency services, and law enforcement are required to report specific diseases and animal bites to the Morrow County Health Department (MCHD).  Individuals may also report diseases or animal bites.

What Diseases or Ilnesses Must Be Reported?

How to Reach & Report to the Morrow County Health Department?
Morrow County Health Department has trained staff to answer questions and conduct disease investigations.  During the work day call 541-676-5421.  After hours (evenings, weekends, holidays), call the County dispatch office at 541-676-5317 and request to speak to the on-call health department staff person.  The on-call staff person will be paged and return a call to the reporting person.

Environmental Health Services  


There are many things in the environment that can cause illness or injury.  The Environmental Health Services program works to ensure the public’s safety by:

  • Field Inspections of:
    • Restaurants
    • RV Parks
    • Pools and Spas
    • Schools (including Day Care Facilities)
    • Organizational Camps
    • Motels and Hotels
    • Bed and Breakfast
  • Training and Education to:
    • Correct Problems Identified in Field Inspections (above)
    • Help Facility Owners/Operators/Workers understand Oregon Laws/Rules
    • Assist with operator or employee licensure, where necessary, e.g., Food Handler’s Cards

Environmental Health Services (EHS)

Morrow County Health Department contracts with Umatilla County Health Department (UCHD) for Environmental Health Services.  EHS may be reached at 541-278-6394.  More detailed information is also available on the UCHD website at:

Food Handler’s Card

A food handler’s card can be obtained in several ways:

  • At a public health department office in:
    • Pendleton (541-278-5432)
    • Hermiston (541-567-3113)
    • Boardman (541-481-4200)
    • Heppner     (541-676-5421)
  • Online at:
  • By scheduling your private class with EHS at 541-278-6394, if you have ten or more people.


Family Planning



General Information

    • Women’s Annual Exams
    • Contraception Methods (Birth Control)
    • Pregnancy Testing
    • Pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
    • Emergency Contraception 
  • General Information
    Morrow County Health Department conducts reproductive health exam clinics on a regular basis at their offices in Boardman and Heppner.  A Nurse Practitioner and nurses provide exams, education and counseling about your reproductive health and contraceptive choices (birth control methods).  Nurses are available during advertised clinic hours if you walk-in or call-in with questions or concerns.At the Time of your First Appointment it is Important to Bring Your:
  • Social Security Number
  • Photo Identification
  • Copy of your Birth Certificate

Related Services Include

  • Women’s Physical Exams, including PAP Smears
  • Contraception (types of birth control)
  • Pregnancy Testing
  • Pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Disease Assessment
  • Emergency Contraception

Annual Exams
These exams are by appointment and may include:

  • Blood pressure check
  • Breast exam
  • Pelvic exam
  • PAP Smear (a test for cervical cancer)
  • Anemia test (low blood iron)
  • Medical history

Contraception (Birth Control)
Morrow County Health Department carries many types of birth control.
For more information:

Pregnancy Testing
Morrow County Health Department provides pregnancy testing to confirm or rule out a pregnancy, and follow-up counseling to help you depending on your situation.
If you want to avoid pregnancy, MCHD can:Provide you with emergency contraception if you have had sex without birth control within so many hours or days

  • Help you decide on a contraception method (type of birth control) that is best for you and your partner
  • Test you for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Do your annual exam

If you want to get pregnant, MCHD can:

  • Provide information about stopping or going off of contraception
  • Talk to you what else you can do before and during pregnancy to help you have a healthy baby
  • Test you for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Conduct your annual exam
  • Do pregnancy testing

Pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Disease Assessment
Women who are pregnant may already be infected with a sexually transmitted disease or can become infected with a sexually transmitted disease.  This can have more serious consequences for a woman and the baby she is carrying, than for a woman who is infected but not pregnant.
It is becoming standard practice to test all women for STDs once they are pregnant.  Some STDs can be treated while a woman is pregnant.  Re-testing women at the time of birth can provide information to determine the best delivery method to protect a baby during birth—cesarean section (C-section) or natural (vaginal) birth.
For more information go to the CDC, STDs and Pregnancy website:

Emergency Contraception 

What If:

  • A condom broke or slipped
  • You didn’t use any birth control
  • You had sex when you didn’t expect to
  • You were forced to have sex
  • You forgot to take your birth control 

Timing is Important
Emergency contraception (EC) is a method of preventing pregnancy in a woman who has unprotected sex, problems using birth control, or been sexually assaulted.  Emergency Contraception should be taken as soon as possible to prevent an unintended pregnancy. EC is most effective when taken within three days of unprotected sex, but can be effective up to five days.  EC does not prevent sexually transmitted diseases.

Facts About Emergency Contraceptive Pills 

What are they?
Emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) can be purchased over the counter (without a prescription) in most pharmacies if you are 17 and older.  ECPs may also be available from family planning clinics or a doctor’s office. ECPs are a pill or pills that work like birth control pills to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.

How do they work?
The large dose of hormones changes the hormone level necessary for pregnancy to take place.  After several days the body’s hormone levels return to normal.

What are the side effects?
No serious health problems have been reported.  Some women using ECPs experience nausea and vomiting.  Others have reported headaches, breast tenderness, dizziness, and fluid retention.  These are temporary side effects until the amount of hormone decreases.

What are the benefits?
For most women ECPs are a simple, safe way to lower the chances of getting pregnant after unprotected sex.  ECPs are not 100% effective.  You can still get pregnant using them.  If you are already pregnant, ECPs will not cause an abortion.

Should I talk to a nurse or doctor before using ECPs?
If you think you are already pregnant or are allergic to progesterone you should talk to a clinician before taking ECPs.

Starting a Regular Method of Birth Control

ECPs are only for emergencies.  You should go to a Family Planning Clinic or talk to a nurse or doctor about starting a regular birth control method.

Who will know?

All services and discussions at Family Planning Clinics or with Public Health Nurses are confidential.

For More EC Information:

For More Information About Many Topics in This Section:
OregonStateFamily Planning Website

Fees and Insurance


Fees are charged for most health department services.  The amount charged is based on your income and your ability to pay.  Services will not be denied if you are unable to pay.  Morrow County Health Department is also willing to make arrangements for fee payments.  Donations? 

Morrow County Health Department can bill your insurance provider for covered services.

In Oregon, You or Your Family Members May Qualify For The:

H1N1 Flu


In 2009-2010 a new flu (H1N1) emerged and rapidly spread around the world causing what is referred to as an influenza pandemic.  Although the flu was considered mild on a scale of mild-moderate-severe, it still caused a lot of illness since people had little or no immunity to the new flu.  Those at higher-risk of developing influenza-related complications include older persons, the very young, pregnant women, and those with chronic health conditions such as asthma, heart and/or lung disease, and diabetes.

Fall 2010
The injectable flu shots or intranasal flu mist that will be available this fall will contain the vaccine to protect against the new flu as well as protect against the regular or seasonal flu.

 Harmful Algae Blooms:  A Public Health Concern

Q:  What is an algae bloom?
A:  Algae are microscopic organisms that grow naturally in oceans and fresh waters. Under certain conditions, some algae can grow into a large visible mass called a bloom.
Q: Why are algae blooms a health concern?
A:  Not all blooms are harmful, but some species of algae, such as cyanobacteria or blue-green algae, can produce toxins or poisons that can cause serious illness or death in pets, livestock, wildlife and humans.
Q:  Do algae blooms occur in Morrow County?
A.  In 2009 part ofWillowCreekLake(or Reservoir) near Heppner, OR, was identified as having a harmful algae bloom.  See the link below to the “2009 Bloom Season Recap.”
Q:  How will I know if a toxic algae bloom is present?
A:  Algae blooms appear as thick foam or scum on the water’s surface. They can be bright green, blue-green, white or brown in color. Unfortunately, you cannot tell if an algae bloom is toxic just by looking at it. If you come across areas of thick algae, take precaution by avoiding water contact.
Q:  What are the health risks posed by exposure to toxic algae?
A:  Skin irritation or rash is the most commonly reported health effect. Other symptoms range from diarrhea, cramps and vomiting to fainting, numbness, dizziness, tingling and paralysis. The most severe reactions occur when large amounts of water are swallowed. The chronic effects of long-term exposure to algae toxins are being studied.
Q:  How can I protect myself when camping or recreating at a lake where a bloom is in process?
A:  Stay out of the affected water. Keep children and pets away. Never drink or cook with the affected water. If you come in contact with the affected water, wash off thoroughly with another source of water.
Q:  Can I treat algae-affected water to make it safe?
A:  No. Personal water filtration devices that may be purchased in outdoor recreational stores have not been proven to be effective. Boiling water will not remove the toxins.
Q:  Is it safe to eat fish?
A:  Fish caught in affected waters pose unknown health risks. If you choose to eat them, remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking because toxins are more likely to collect in these tissues.
Q:  How will I know if a body of water has an algae bloom before I travel there?
A:  For More Information:
Visit      the Harmful Algae Bloom Surveillance (HABS) Website
Call      971-673-0440
2009 Bloom Season Recap

                      HIV / AIDS


Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).  This condition progressively reduces the body’s ability to fight against other illnesses and infections that may result in death.
HIV is transmitted by direct contact with bodily fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal fluids, breast milk, and by sharing needles.
Although antiretroviral treatments for AIDS or HIV can slow the course of disease, there is no vaccine or other medication to prevent or cure the disease.
AIDS is a pandemic (has spread world-wide).  Preventing infection is a key aim in controlling the AIDS pandemic, with health organizations promoting safe sex and needle-exchange programs in attempts to manage the disease.

HIV / AIDS Testing and Counseling
The Oregon State HIV Prevention Program strongly encourages people to know their HIV status.  Morrow County Health Department offers confidential HIV/AIDS testing and counseling.

For More Information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

OregonPublic Health Division, HIV Program

OregonAIDS Hotline

Immunization Program

General Information

Morrow County Health Department offers immunizations (vaccines) for infants, children, college-bound students, and adults.  Immunizations can provide life-long protection from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Public School Immunization Requirements 

Shots (immunizations) are required by law for children attending all public and private schools, preschools, childcare facilities, and Head Start programs in Oregon, with few exceptions.  

College-Bound Students

Students should check with their intended college for immunization requirements prior to entrance.  Some immunization requirements vary by region of the country.

International Travel Vaccines

Check with Benton-Franklin Health Department (Kennewick,WA)

For More Information

Centers for Disease Control, Vaccines and Immunizations

OregonImmunization Program (OIP)



    Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses.  It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death.  Some people, including older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions are at higher risk for serious flu  complications.  The best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu shot every year.

Flu Symptoms
Colds and flu symptoms are similar, however, colds usually start gradually and do not cause a fever.  People with the flu may get some or all of the following symptoms and the symptoms tend to occur more suddenly:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Vomiting & diarrhea (more common in children than adults)

Complications of Flu and Those at Higher Risk
Anyone can get the flu (even healthy people) and serious problems from influenza can also happen at any age.  Complications can include pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus or ear infections.
Some people are at higher risk of developing flu-related complications if they get sick.  This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and very young children. 

How to Prevent the Flu
During flu season you can protect yourself and your loved ones by:

  • Covering your cough
  • Washing your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Staying home if ill
  • Getting a flu shot


Morrow County Health Department

MCHD offers flu shots at their offices in Heppner and Boardman and at other off-site locations for the convenience of county residents. (Also see Current Topics:  H1N1 Flu)

For More Information
Seasonal Influenza, Centers for Disease Control
H1N1 Flu, Centers for Disease Control
Flu, Oregon Public Health Division

Maternal and Child Health Program 

The Maternal and Child Health Program provides services for pregnant women, infants, and families.  A Home Visit Nurse and/or paraprofessionals are available to meet with you in the convenience of your home.

Maternity Case Management (MCM):
Home visits during your pregnancy and for two months postpartum to provide self care and newborn care information, including:

    • Nutrition
    • Changes experienced during pregnancy
    • How your baby grows
    • Preparation for childbirth
    • Preparation for newborn care
    • Preparation for breastfeeding
  • Designed to meet your individual needs and concerns.
  • Support, referrals and other available information

Babies First!

  • Home visits for you and your baby until your baby reaches 5 years of age.
  • Visits include:
    • Monitoring growth of your baby and child
    • Developmental screenings
    • Education on health topics for your baby’s needs
    • Referral to other support services as needed

CaCoon Management:

This is a program for families with children who have special health needs or disabilities. The nurse will provide general support and referrals for care coordination. 

Healthy Start:
Healthy Start is a voluntary parenting education and support program for first-time parents.  Services begin before your first child is born (pre-natal) and may continue until your child is age 5. The paraprofessional will:

  • Offer ways      to promote healthy childhood growth and development and strengthen      families
  • Support      families through infant and toddler stages
  • Discuss      changes that come with being a new parent
  • Share ideas      that promote positive parent/child relationships
  • Offer      suggestions for fun and educational parent/child activities

For More Information
OregonOffice of Maternal and Child Health

Other Health Department Programs and Additional Links: 

Child Car Seat Safety

  • Free car seat inspection and installation with a certified child passenger safety technician.
  • Low cost car seats available for families who qualify; limited to stock available and one per child.
  • Educational materials available.

In Oregon, You or Your Family Members May Qualify For The:

(OHP Application Available at MCHD Offices)
State Child Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)
Family Health Insurance Assistance Program (FHIAP)
Oregon Medical Insurance Pool (OMIP)
(Application Assistance Available)

      (Application Submitted with Proof of Pregnancy)

Head Lice


Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program

  • Types ofCountyEmergencies
  • Managing Emergencies
  • Personal Preparedness
  • Beyond Personal Preparedness
  • Business Continuity Planning

Types of County Emergencies

Disasters or emergencies happen somewhere every day—earthquakes, severe storms, floods, disease outbreaks, etc.  Based on a periodic assessment, the top four hazards inMorrowCountycurrently include:

  • Fog (leading to traffic-related accidents resulting in injury or death)
  • Chemical Stockpile (Umatilla Chemical Depot)
  • Human Disease
  • Flood 

Managing Emergencies

Police, firefighters, 9-1-1 dispatchers, and Emergency Medical Technicians manage emergencies on a daily basis.  While less obvious, the Morrow County Health Department and local healthcare providers routinely manage single cases or small outbreaks of illnesses like E-coli, Salmonella, or other reportable diseases.  In 2009-2010, health and medical providers implemented their pandemic influenza plans due to the emergence of the H1N1 (swine) flu.

Morrow County Health Department, specifically the Communicable Disease (CD) program and the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program, work closely with County Emergency Management to plan, train, and practice for all types of emergencies.  Through mutual aid agreements we can ask for assistance from other counties, and by request, we can seek help from the state and federal government.  While help is available, it is important that individuals are also prepared to help themselves to reduce the burden on our emergency services providers. 

Personal Preparedness
Our local emergency response agencies cannot be everywhere at once if there is a large emergency. Individuals (families and neighborhoods) need to take responsibility to meet their own needs for at least 72 hours following any type of emergency event.  72 hours is about how long it is estimated until outside help can arrive and begin to assist.  How will you manage for 72 hours (or longer) if there is no power, no heat, no immediate access to clean drinking water?  These are the types of questions we each need to ask ourselves and then prepare for.   The effort does not have to be overwhelming.  Begin and gradually add to your emergency cache of supplies.  There is a lot of good information and resources available to guide your preparations.  Links include:

Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program:
Department of Homeland Security:
American Red Cross:
Washington State Department of Health Emergency Resources Guide:

Beyond Personal Preparedness

Once you (and your family) are prepared, or while preparing, go the next step and consider taking a First Aid or CPR class, American Red Cross Disaster Training, etc.  Join a Search and Rescue Team or become a HAM Radio Operator.  Give blood if you can or financially support agencies that provide emergency assistance.  There are many opportunities to help and many classroom and computer-based training courses that can add to your knowledge and skill.

American Red Cross:

Search and Rescue:

Umatilla/Morrow Emergency Service Radio Operators:

Business Continuity Planning (BCP)

While large and small businesses support our nation’s and our county’s economy, many businesses are ill-prepared if disaster strikes.  Start by asking yourself how well your business could operate if your plant, facility or store was structurally damaged?  What if there was no power, no computer access, or limited staff available to work for awhile?  What are the most critical tasks that need to be completed on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis?  Who is trained  (and cross-trained) to conduct critical tasks?  There are resources available to assist businesses with emergency planning.  Note that this type of planning is also commonly referred to as Continuity of Operations Planning or Disaster Recovery Planning.   Links to get your business started, include:
Department of Homeland Security:

Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program:

U.S.or local Chamber of Commerce:
U.S.Chamber of Commerce: 

For More Information:

State Public Health Preparedness:
Contact theMorrowCountyPublic Health Emergency Preparedness Program:  541-676-5421


 Morrow County had a case of rabies in a bat in 2009.  So far in 2010 there have been 12 animal-related rabies cases in Oregon with bats being the primary carriers of the disease. (See Oregon Veterinary Medical Association website link below.)
Rabies is a deadly animal disease caused by the rabies virus.  People get rabies from the bite or scratch of an infected animal.  Typical wild animals that may be infected with rabies are bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes, while people also get rabies from infected dogs, cats or farm animals.
In people the symptoms of rabies include fever, headache and fatigue, then confusion, hallucinations and paralysis.  The disease can be fatal.  A series of shots can prevent rabies in people exposed to the virus.  You need to get the shots right away.  If an animal bites you, wash the wound well, then get medical care.

To help prevent rabies:

  • Vaccinate your pets.  Rabies vaccines are available for dogs, cats and farm animals.
  • Don’t let pets roam
  • Don’t approach stray animals.  Animals with rabies might be aggressive and vicious, or tired and weak

For More Information
Oregon Veterinary Medical Association Website:

Centers for Disease Control Rabies Websites:


Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) 

Sexually transmitted diseases are primarily caused by bacteria and viruses.  Bacterial STDs such as Chlamydia, Syphilis, and Gonorrhea can be cured with antibiotics.  STDs caused by viruses such as Genital Herpes, Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Hepatitis B, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) cannot be cured, but most can be treated to relieve symptoms and help prevent complications.

If untreated, STDs can have consequences ranging from mild brief illness to serious complications such as infertility, tubal pregnancy, cancer, stroke, and death.  Many STDs can cause serious health problems, including death in infants born to infected mothers.  For this reason, STD testing is becoming standard practice at the beginning of pregnancy.

Most STDs cause no symptoms at first and persons do not know they are infected until they are tested or complications occur.  Evidence indicates that if a person has an STD they have a much greater chance of catching HIV. (See HIV/AIDS Section on this website.)

More Detailed Information

STD Program

The STD Program strives to reduce the frequency of STDs and their complications by reducing the spread of disease.
The STD program provides confidential testing and treatment to manage illness in those infected and their partners.  Men and women of all ages are eligible for services.

If You Think You Have a STD
You can call for an appointment or walk-in at a health department clinic and ask to talk to a public health nurse at any time. 

Protect Yourself!
Use condoms every time you have sex:
If you or your partner have had other sexual partners in the past ten years and you do not know your own or your partner’s HIV status, or

  • If you are uncertain if you are your partner has an STD
  • But using a condom is not a guarantee that you will not get or give a STD




Tick Diseases

Dermacenter andersoni
Common Tick inEastern Oregon
Ticks are commonly found outdoors during the warmer months in easternOregon, especially May through August.  Those that hike, camp, hunt, farm, or have outdoor jobs are at higher risk of tick bites.  You can get a tick from your yard, especially if your yard has a lot of brush or leaf litter or borders a wooded area.  Pets that go outdoors can bring ticks indoors.

Tick-borne Disease
Different ticks carry different tick-borne diseases.  In northeastern Oregonthe most common tick is one called Dermacenter andersoni.  While not all tick bites will result in disease, the Dermacenter andersoni tick is known to carry the following:

  • ColoradoTick Fever
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Tick Paralysis
  • Tularemia

You Can Prevent Tick Bites Several Ways

  • Wear clothes that will help shield you from ticks:
    • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
    • Tuck your pants into the top of your socks or boots to create a “tick barrier.”
    • Wear light colored clothes to make it easier to spot ticks.
  • ·         Use a good tick repellent:
    • Products containing permethrin, which are used on clothing, are especially recommended for people who will be spending an extended period of time in possible tick habitat.
      • Permethrin products are marketed under names like Permanone® and Duranon® and are available in stores that sell outdoor gear.
      • Do not use permethrin on your skin.
      • Standard DEET-based products are another option.
        • Use a product containing no more than 30 percent DEET for adults.
        • Concentrations up to 30 percent DEET are also safe for children according to reports from theAmericanAcademyof Pediatrics. Do not use DEET for infants under two months of age.
        • Products containing DEET will also protect you from mosquito bites and mosquito-transmitted diseases (see West Nile Virus).
        • Follow the manufacturer’s directions for all repellent applications.
  • ·         Check frequently for ticks and remove them promptly.
    • Check the hairline and behind the ears and points of clothing constriction (e.g. behind knees, waist line, and arm pits).
    • Check your dog or cat for ticks before allowing them inside.  Tick repellents are available for pets.

Tick Removal

  • ·         Prompt tick removal is important.
  • ·         If possible, use a pair of tweezers to grasp the tick by the small head and not the body.
    • o       Grasp the tick close to the skin.
    • o       Pull the tick outward slowly, gently, and steadily
    • o       Do not squeeze the tick
    • o       Wash the bite area, dry, and use an antiseptic
    • o       Rinse off and dry the tweezers before storing
  • ·         Avoid folk remedies like vaseline, nail polish remover or burning matches—they are not safe or effective ways to remove ticks.

For More Information

Identifying Adult Hard Ticks Commonly Found on Humans inOregon
CDC Division of Vector-borne Infectious Diseases

OregonCD Summary:  Tick Talk

AmericanAcademyof Pediatrics:  Using DEET on Children


Tobacco Prevention and Education Program




Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death and disease.  Every year tobacco use kills almost 7, 000 Oregonians.  Secondhand smoke causes an additional 800 deaths inOregonannually.
The Tobacco Prevention and Education Program (TPEP) works to reduce tobacco-related illness and death.  It is a comprehensive program that addresses the issue of second-hand smoke, works to counter pro-tobacco influences, and helps people quit smoking or using tobacco products.

Smokefree Workplace Law
The Smokefree Workplace Law covers all places of employment.  This includes bars, bingo halls and bowling centers, as well as 75 percent of hotel and motel sleeping rooms and all employee break-rooms.  In addition, everyOregonbusiness is required to maintain a 10-foot smoke-free zone around doors, windows, and ventilation systems.

Employees and the public can help ensure that the law is followed by reporting violations.  If you have a violation to report, please call the Morrow County Health Department (541-676-5421) or call 1-866-621-6107.  You may also complete an online complaint form at:  The complaint will be processed by the State and then forwarded toMorrowCounty for verification and follow-up.  Response measures for non-compliance can progress from a letter, to site visits, and then monetary fines.

The Oregon Tobacco Quit Line
For smokers—especially the 73 percent who want to quit—there’s never been a better time to kick the habit.  There are many ways to quit tobacco that are proven to help smokers for good.  The Oregon Tobacco Quit Line provides telephone counseling as well as access to other resources.  Please call: 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or in Spanish at 1-877-2NO-FUME (1-877-266-3863)

For More Information
Contact the Morrow County Health Department Tobacco Coordinator at 541-676-5421 


West Nile Virus 

West Nile Virus (WNV) is a disease carried by mosquitoes that can infect humans, birds, horses, or other mammals. People only get this disease from the bite of an infected mosquito and not from other animals or people with the disease.

Evidence indicates that most people who are bitten by an infected mosquito do not  become ill.  Some people experience mild illness or flu-like symptoms, including fever, headache, body aches, mild rash, swollen lymph glands.  More serious symptoms include high fever, stiff neck, confusion, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness or paralysis.  In a few cases, WNV can cause serious neurological diseases like encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord).  If illness does occur, it will usually occur within 3 – 15 days of being bitten by an infected mosquito.

Those At Risk
Like many illnesses, the very young and the elderly are at increased risk of disease.  Those age 50, particularly those 65 and older, are at increased risk of acquiring serious disease.

Preventive Vaccine / Medical Care
Currently there is no vaccine that can be given to prevent people from getting WNV, although there are some vaccine manufacturers working on this.  There is no specific treatment to cure human disease, only supportive care.
Note that there is a vaccine that horses can be given to prevent disease and horse owners should check on this with a veterinarian.

Protect Yourself From Mosquito Bites

During mosquito season (spring, summer, fall) avoid getting mosquito bites.  When outdoors do the following:

  • Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts, particularly between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active
  • Limit outdoor activity, especially at dusk when the Culex tarsalis mosquitoes are most active
  • Avoid shaded, bushy areas where mosquitoes rest
  • Use an insect repellent when spending time outdoors

Insect Repellents
Insect repellents containing DEET (diethyltoluamide) are most effective.  DEET should be the main ingredient listed on a product label.  Repellents containing DEET come in aerosols, pump sprays, and moistened towelettes.  It is very important to read and follow label directions.
After returning indoors, wash with soap and water to remove DEET from the skin.
DO NOT USE DEET ON CHILDREN 2 MONTHS OF AGE AND YOUNGER.  Look for other insect repellents to apply to the skin of very young children and monitor young children when outdoors. Use mosquito netting to cover infant carriers.

Eliminate Mosquito Breeding Habitat
Homeowners are encouraged to eliminate mosquito breeding sites to reduce mosquito populations.  Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing or slow moving water.  In residential areas, standing water can collect in unused tires, cans, unused pools and pool covers, and any objects that can hold water.  Search your property after it rains and dump out water.
Frequently changing the water in bird baths, pet water containers, etc., will also help reduce mosquito breeding habitat.
Mosquitoes will enter homes through broken screens and open windows and doors.  Keep mosquitoes out of the house by fixing broken screens.

What To Do With Dead Birds
Birds, particularly those in the Corvid family (crows, ravens, jays, and magpies), are susceptible to WNV.  A single dead bird or a die-off of birds may or may not be due to WNV.  Call the local Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Heppner Field Office (541-676-5230) to report dead birds. Call or find out how to handle dead birds before doing so.

Vector Control Districts
Vector Control Districts have been established in some areas of the state.  These are local tax-supported districts that conduct surveillance for mosquitoes and control mosquito populations by various means.
The North Morrow Vector Control District (NMVCD) covers a specific geographical region only in northMorrowCounty.  There is a similar district inWestUmatillaCounty.

For More Information
AmericanAcademyof Pediatrics & DEET

The Insect Repellent DEET (EPA)

Oregon State Public Health Website

Centers for Disease Control Website

West Umatilla Vector Control District Website

North Morrow Vector Control District
Irrigon Office:  541-481-6082
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Heppner Field Office:  541-676-5230                       

Culex Tarsalis