Environmental Health

 
 

Environmental health includes the conditions we live in that we cannot individually control, but that can affect our health. These conditions include the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. St. Louis County Public health works to provide guidance and education on reducing environmental hazards in our homes and communities. Our staff work with residents to help identify potential areas of concern, such as lead, mold, radon, tickborne diseases, animal bites and rabies risk, and public health nuisances.

Animal Bites/Rabies Risk

Rabies is a disease that affects the nervous system of mammals, including humans. It is caused by a virus and is typically spread by an infected animal biting another animal or person. Rabies is fatal if treatment is not started before the appearance of symptoms. Learn more from the Minnesota Department of Health’s Rabies page.  

While the risk of contracting rabies in St. Louis County is low, a person who has been bitten should contact their healthcare provider immediately to determine what treatment is recommended. As public health professionals, we provide follow-up on reported animal bites and assess the risk of rabies transmission. We work with the person who was bitten and, if the animal is a pet, the animal’s owner to evaluate and provide access to testing and treatment, if necessary.  

Fill out an Animal Bite Form to report a bite to your local public health professionals.

 

Public Health Nuisance

A public health nuisance is defined by Minnesota law as any activity or failure to act that adversely affects the public’s health. Although some situations may qualify as a public nuisance, not all situations are a public health nuisance.  A public health nuisance is one that may affect health or disease. For example, a yard full of clutter may not be appealing to look at, but it does not affect human health nor harbor disease. A few examples of a public health nuisance could be: 

  • Insect or rodent infestations 

  • Clandestine drug manufacturing 

  • Unsafe living situations that affect children or vulnerable adults 

  • Improperly stored waste 

We evaluate public health nuisance complaints in the county, providing education, resources, and follow-up as needed. If you have a potential public health nuisance to report, call the public health mainline nearest you or complete the Public Health Nuisance form. We cannot take anonymous complaints or reports; a name and contact information are required with all reports.  

To report a natural or human-caused emergency that may have serious public health consequences AFTER regular business hours, call 9-1-1.   

 

 

Lead

We provide education, resources, and follow-up for children and pregnant people with elevated levels of lead in their blood. To learn more about our services, contact Sarah Lehrke. Learn more about sources of lead from the Minnesota Department of Health. 

 

Contact

Public Health
Duluth
218-725-5210

Ely
218-365-8200

Hibbing
218-312-8300

Virginia
218-471-7600

 

Disease Prevention & Control
Program Coordinator

Diane Seiloff-Yourczek
218-471-7609
Email

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