Harris County goes door-to-door looking for Harvey health concerns

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Friday, September 15, 2017
County inspectors go door to door after Harvey
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County health inspectors are on the ground surveying the impacts of Hurricane Harvey.

SEABROOK, Texas (KTRK) -- Harris County Public Health took a personal approach to look for Harvey-related concerns. On Friday, dozens of volunteers walked, knocked, and spoke with Seabrook neighbors, a task county public health officials said was necessary because the need following Harvey is still great.

"This is massive in scale, and our community has been devastated in so many different ways and so many different areas. It's all hands on deck," Harris County Public Health executive director Dr. Umair Shah said.

There's no health scare in Seabrook, but health experts said they haven't collected data from the area in the past following a natural disaster. While they are looking for medical issues, that isn't the only focus.

"There may be additional information that ourselves as the health department may not be able to fill," Dr. Shah said. "Maybe it's a social services issue. Maybe it's an issue to law enforcement."

In addition to surveying the area, the county has a mobile clinic. People can get shots and food for their pets. They can also get immunizations from themselves and preventative medical supplies.

"It's awesome, man," Seabrook resident Peter Mariscal said. "Everybody is coming together during this ordeal. It's awesome to see. It's really awesome to see."

"I think it's good because a lot of us have been out of work and we can't get to the vet and get our flea meds," Baytown resident Eva Bone said. "The mosquitoes are really bad right now with all the water."

The Seabrook stop is the twelfth for the mobile clinic. The county plans to continue to roll out vehicles over the coming days and offer free services.

As for the door-to-door operation., crews will wrap in Seabrook Friday night and travel to Friendswood Saturday. Afterwards, the county will review the data and determine what action is needed.

"We have decided to take public health to the public, to the community," Dr. Shah said. "That's what we do all along, that's our strategy, but during the midst of Harvey it's taken on more importance."

The county public health mobile clinic will be at the Kroger in Friendswood Saturday from noon until 5:00 p.m.

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