Maine CDC honors organizations for efforts against infectious disease

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday that it awarded four organizations the Pump-Handle Award for their contributions against infectious diseases in Maine.

Camp Sunshine received the Pump-Handle Award for its quick response to an outbreak of viral gastroenteritis. The virus is highly contagious, and the camp's quick response led to containment of the illness. The camp also worked with the Maine CDC epidemiology and health inspectors to provide information for surveying, follow-up tests and a strengthened outbreak response.

Mercy Hospital was honored for its response to a rabid fox in the community, and for its dedication to make medication and treatment available to other healthcare systems that had a high volume of people with symptoms. Five people with symptoms were treated at the hospital.

The Bangor Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinic was recognized for its ability to provide STD screening, treatment and surveillance in the northern part of the state. The clinic is one of two in the state, and has helped provide screening and treatment for people with HIV/AIDS.

The Main School Nurses Association was chosen for the award because of its dedication to organizing and operating Main's school-located vaccine clinics.

The Pump-Handle Award has been awarded for more than a decade in Maine.

"Maine CDC has long-held relationships with people across the state whose work helps prevent the spread of infectious disease,'' Stephen Sears, the state epidemiologist, said. "This award is just one small way to recognize and thank them for a job well done."