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SEK Multi-County Health Department

Creating a Healthy Community

News & Announcements

Swimming Pool Safety

Everyone loves the summer fun of swimming, but no one enjoys some of the illnesses that can happen after swimming. Diarrhea is the most common recreational water illness (RWI). Swimmers who are sick with diarrhea—or who have been sick in the last two weeks—risk contaminating pool water with germs. Diarrheal illnesses are caused by germs such as Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Shigella, norovirus and E-coli. These germs can live from minutes to days in pools, even if the pool is well-maintained. Some germs are very tolerant to chlorine and were not known to cause human disease until recently. Once the pool has been contaminated, all it takes is for someone to swallow a small amount of pool water to become infected. All swimmers should take the following easy and effective swimming steps:

Keep the pee, poop, sweat, and dirt out of the water!

- Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea.

- Shower before you get in the water.

- Don’t pee or poop in the water.

- Don’t swallow the water.

Every hour—everyone out!

- Take kids on bathroom breaks.

- Check diapers, and change them in a bathroom or diaper-changing area–not poolside–to keep germs away from the pool.

- Reapply sunscreen

Remember we share the water - and the germs in it - with everyone! Have a safe summer! 

Published by Samantha Mason, RN - SEK Multi-County Health Department


​Heat Safety

An average of 658 people in the US each year succumb to extreme heat. Many times heat-related illnesses are preventable if you prepare and take preventative steps to avoid getting over-heated.

H2O is the way to go! Avoid energy drinks, caffeine, sugary drinks and alcohol. On a hot day, an adult should drink 8 ounces of water at least every 20 minutes, or between 24-32 ounces every hour. Drinking water at shorter intervals will help keep you hydrated. You should drink water before and after being in the heat, so you’re not playing catch up. Take caution to not drink more than 48 ounces in an hour because this can cause a medical emergency due to decrease in salt concentration in your blood.

Other measures of prevention are as follows:

- Wear loose-fitting, light-weight, light-colored clothing.

- Wear wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses and broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30. Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, or more often if sweating/swimming. UV rays are the strongest between 10am-4pm, so keep this in mind while outdoors.

- Reduce or eliminate strenuous activities or do them in cooler parts of the day.

- Take extra precautions with certain medications that can affect your body’s ability to stay hydrated/dissipate heat.

- Never leave anyone (humans or pets) in a parked car. Keep doors locked to prevent children entering.

- Provide plenty of fresh water for pets and leave water in a shady area.

- Be cautious if you’re at a higher risk.

- Take time to adjust yourself by not spending excessive amounts of time in the heat until you have acclimated to it.

- Check on elderly, disabled, or homebound family, friends and neighbors on hot days to assist if needed.

Risk Factors for Heat-Related Illness:

- Age

- Exertion

- Obesity

- Sudden exposure to hot weather

- Lack of air conditioning

- Certain medications and health conditions

Sun exposure is not all bad and is good for the body, in moderation, because it enhances mood, helps with seasonal depression, relieves stress, improves sleep and is a source of vitamin D. Enjoy time outside this summer, but remember, whether working or playing outdoors in the heat (between rains), to take precautions to prevent heat-related illness for you, your family, friends, neighbors, and of course pets.

Published by: Rebecca Johnson, BSN, RN - SEK Multi-County Health Department


Quick Links

Resources, updates, and announcements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Find out more about the services we offer and how we can help you stay healthy.

Are you prepared? Find resources to help you be ready in an emergency.

Send in health questions and read answers from Public Health Nurse, Hannah Geneva, RN.

Give us a call or send a message - we are here to help!

Find answers to frequently asked questions for things like insurance and lab work.

COVID-19 Vaccine Availability

Answers to frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and how to get a vaccine can be found on the COVID-19 page.

Monkeypox Information

Resource and information about Monkeypox.

Check for a complete list of current job openings!

Our Story

In 1971, the Bi-County Health Department was started with Anderson County and Linn County. Kansas Department of Health and Environment worked with these two counties because of their low immunization rates. Several years later, Allen, Bourbon, and Woodson Counties joined to form the Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Department. In 2006, Linn County left the SEKMCHD leaving the four counties - Allen, Anderson, Bourbon, and Woodson.

In the beginning, Health Department Nurses went into all the schools to give free immunizations to anyone who needed them. All the while working on educating the public about the importance of the immunizations. We still provide immunization services, and other services have been added over the years to include WIC, Women's Health, Child Care Licensing, Home Visitors, and Breastfeeding Support.

Feel free to contact us at any time and we will do our very best to help you find what you need. We are here to help!