COVID-19 is a disease caused by coronavirus germs that pass easily from one person to another and is caused by a type of coronavirus germ not found in people before 2019. Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, headache, muscle pain, congestion or runny nose, sore throat, fatigue, or loss of taste or smell. Other less common symptoms include stomach symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Click HERE to learn about the COVID-19 pandemic response of St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services, Emergency Management, and Safety and Risk Management.
Vaccination for COVID-19
Vaccination is recommended for most people over the age of 6 months. The number of doses varies, depending on age and presence of conditions that make it harder for people to fight infections. Click HERE to find out if you are up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines.
St. Louis County is not currently offering COVID-19 vaccines. To find locations in Minnesota near you to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, click HERE.
Testing for COVID-19
Testing for COVID-19 is recommended for anyone who is experiencing symptoms or who has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 recently. Timing and type of testing is dependent on several factors. For current recommendations for testing, isolation, and quarantine guidance, click HERE. To find testing options in Minnesota near you, click HERE.
St. Louis County Public Health offers public immunization clinics for children 18 years of age or younger who are eligible for the Minnesota Vaccine for Children (MnVFC) program. Click HERE to find out if your child is eligible for MnVFC.
Children enrolled in a Minnesota Health Care program (Medical Assistance or Minnesota Care) are encouraged to see their primary health care provider for a Child and Teen Checkup (C&TC) exam and immunizations if able. Click HERE to learn more about our C&TC program.
Need an Immunization Record?
The Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC) is a system that stores electronic immunization records. MIIC makes keeping track of vaccinations easier and helps ensure Minnesotan’s get the right vaccines at the right time. Click HERE to request an immunization record.
Another resource now available to access and store your immunization records in the Docket App. Docket is supported by the Minnesota Department of Health and can be downloaded from the iPhone App Store or Google Play. Click HERE to learn more.
Northeast Minnesota Immunization Connection (NEMIC)
St. Louis County Public Health serves as the Northeast Minnesota Immunization Connection (NEMIC) regional coordinator. The other counties comprising NEMIC include Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, and Lake County. NEMIC provides local outreach, training, quality improvement initiatives, and user support for primary care clinics and local public health professionals who use the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC). These tasks include tracking immunization trends, and sending reminder letters to families and clinics regarding children or adolescents who may be overdue for any immunizations.
Learn more about MIIC HERE.
Immunization rates are estimates of the number of people who have received recommended vaccines. There are two main data sources for Minnesota childhood and adolescent immunization rates: the National Immunization Survey (NIS) and the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC), Minnesota’s statewide immunization information page. To learn more and see Minnesota’s statistics click HERE.
Hepatitis C is a is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C is spread through contact with blood from an infected person. Today, most people become infected with the hepatitis C virus by sharing needles or other equipment used to prepare and inject drugs. For some people, hepatitis C is a short-term illness, but for more than half of people who become infected with the hepatitis C virus, it becomes a long-term, chronic infection. Chronic hepatitis C can result in serious, even life-threatening health problems like cirrhosis and liver cancer.
St. Louis County Public Health follows up with people who have had a positive Hepatitis C antibody test. Public Health staff recommend confirmatory testing, provide education, and assist people to get connected to medical care. St. Louis County Public Health also offers Hepatitis C testing at various community events and at several community partner locations.
To learn more about Hepatitis C, click HERE.
While the risk of exposure to rabies is low in St. Louis County, the risk of rabies transmission after an animal bite needs to be ruled out or preventative medical care provided.
An infection with the rabies virus is nearly always fatal if treatment is not started before the appearance of symptoms. Time is an important factor for needed treatment. The person who has been bitten should contact a healthcare provider immediately to determine what treatment is recommended. Public health professionals follow-up on reported animal bites and assess the risk of rabies transmission. They contact the person bitten AND the animal owner to evaluate the situation and make recommendations.
Animal Bites Referral Form
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks the body's immune system. All people can be affected by HIV regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, income, or other social factors.
There has been an increase in new HIV infections in Duluth and the surrounding area. People considered at high risk in this outbreak include:
People who use injection drugs or share needles/works.
People experiencing homelessness or unstable housing.
Men who have sex with men (MSM)
People who exchange sex for income and other items they need.
To learn more about the increase in HIV infections in Duluth, click HERE.
For Duluth area testing, medication information, and harm reduction services, click HERE.
For Iron Range area testing, medication information, and harm reduction services, click HERE.
To learn about free take-home test kits, click HERE.
Mpox is a viral illness closely related to smallpox, but which causes much less severe disease. Person-to-person transmission of the virus in some countries, including the United States, is fairly new. Mpox usually starts with symptoms like fever, headache, sore throat, swollen glands, and fatigue followed by rash. Not everyone with mpox will develop and show these symptoms; some may only develop a rash. The risk to the general public for mpox is low. Currently, a high proportion of cases are occurring among people who identify as gay and bisexual men. It is important that those at high-risk are aware of mpox and the steps they can take to reduce their risk of infection. Click HERE to learn more.
There is a vaccine for mpox, however supply is limited. St. Louis County Public Health is working with the Minnesota Department of Health and our local healthcare systems to distribute and administer vaccine to individuals recommended for vaccination. To learn more about who is recommended, click HERE.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) are also known as sexually transmitted infectious (STI’s). These are infections caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites that are spread through sexual activity, specifically anal, vaginal, and oral sex. This group of diseases includes syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and hepatitis. To learn more, click HERE.
The Duluth area is currently seeing an increase in cases of syphilis. For more information about this outbreak click HERE.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious disease caused by an infectious bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. There are two phases of TB: latent infection and active disease. Active TB disease most often affects the lungs but can involve any part of the body.
St. Louis County Public Health provides case management for both active and latent cases of TB. This includes providing education and monitoring medication adherence and side effects for people requiring treatment. Some people are eligible for free medication through the Minnesota Department of Health. To learn more, click HERE.
Immunizations and Vaccine Resources