Hoarding cases, flu vaccines, top Milford Health Department agenda

MILFORD — The city Health Department is working with 13 open “troubled housing” cases involving hoarding and unsanitary living conditions, agency Director Deepa Joseph reported to the board this month.

Joseph said there are a variety of hoarding issues in those dwellings involving paper, garbage and food, but none currently involving animals. Some are homeowners, some are renters, she said.

“We just opened two new cases,” Joseph said. She said the department’s environmental health division is helping to bring the properties into compliance.

Joseph told the board the new data was brought forth during a meeting of CRIDE, Collaborative for Residential Integrity for the Disabled and Elderly, a program established here in 2003.

She said many of the referrals come in through the police and fire departments and involve a lack of financial resources.

“These are very difficult housing problems requiring a comprehensive process of gaining trust, encouraging the resident’s participation in the remediation process and long term contact and monitoring,” Joseph wrote in her report to the board. “In several instances the unsanitary conditions of the dwelling necessitated condemnation, displacing the occupants until clean-out is achieved.”

In other business, Joseph reported to the board that as of the week ending Feb. 10, the state Department of Health reports influenza activity to be “high and widespread throughout the state.”

She also reported a highly successful seasonal influenza vaccination campaign.

In addition to its regular flu shot offerings, the Milford Health Department organized extra flu clinics for the public, including a Jan. 24 event that was well-attended and a Saturday clinic on Feb. 10 that was “very good,” with 165 adults and 47 children receiving the vaccine. A Feb. 7 clinic had low turnout, probably due to poor weather conditions, Joseph said.

The department will continue to offer the vaccine through March 2018. She said the Connecticut vaccine for children program modified their coverage requirements so that all children ages 6 month through 18 years old can receive the vaccine for free.

Joseph also announced at this month’s meeting that the department has partnered in an event to bring awareness of current drug trends.

The department partnered with Milford Prevention Council and CT Association of Prevention Professionals to hold “Hidden in Plain Sight,” March 22 at Milford Library.

The event for adults only, to be held from to 8 p.m. will allow participants to walk through a mock bedroom and experience “a hands-on search for clues of high risk behavior,” a flier for the event states.

There is limited, reserved seating and the program is for adults who are parents, caregivers, educators or who work with youth.

For more information, contact Milford Prevention Council, 203-783-6676.