Press Releases

"Mayor’s Heroin Task Force Calls for Citywide Overdose Plan, 24/7 Access to Addiction Treatment, and Public Education Campaign to Fight Stigma"

The Mayor’s Heroin Treatment and Prevention Task Force today called for 10 bold steps to attack the city’s epidemic heroin and opioid addiction, including having 24/7 “treatment on demand” for substance users and a public education campaign to encourage treatment and combat stigma. Convened by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake in October 2014, the Task Force was co-chaired by Bernard J. McBride, CEO Behavioral Health System Baltimore, and Dr. Samuel Ross, CEO of Bon Secours Baltimore Health System, and was comprised of 35 community leaders, public health experts and government representatives. 

There were 303 total drug and alcohol overdose deaths in Baltimore City in 2014, compared with 246 in 2013, a 23 percent increase. Last year, 192 overdose deaths were heroin-related, compared with 150 in 2013. There are an estimated 18,900 individuals who use heroin in Baltimore.

Fentanyl-Related Overdose Deaths Up 178% In Baltimore In First Quarter of 2015

Baltimore City health officials are issuing a warning and launching a public education effort about life-threatening fentanyl-laced heroin on the streets in Baltimore. In the first quarter of 2015 (January – March), there have been 39 overdose deaths in Baltimore associated with fentanyl, an increase of 178 percent from the same time in 2014 (14 deaths). There were 303 overdose deaths in Baltimore in 2014. “Fentanyl-laced heroin is killing individuals in our city," said Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner.

Mayor and City Health, Fire & Police Leaders, Safe Kids Baltimore Join To Highlight How Kids Can Stay Safe During Hot Weather

Last week, Baltimore City experienced the tragic death of Leasia Carter, a 2-year-old girl who was reportedly left in a vehicle for 24 hours.  Leasia is one of nearly 650 children nationwide who have tragically died since 1998 after being left in automobiles during hot weather.

Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen, leadership from the Baltimore City Fire Department and Baltimore Police Department and Safe Kids Baltimore/ University of Maryland Children's Hospital held a press conference to remind parents and caregivers of safety tips for children in the summer.  Topics covered included the dangers of hot weather, fireworks safety, swimming pool safety and the importance of knowing CPR.

“Each and every one of the nearly 650 kids who have died after being left unattended in a vehicle was preventable,” said Dr. Wen. “Even on a day that is just in the mid 70’s outside, temperatures inside vehicles can reach life-threatening levels very quickly. This is true particularly for children - kids’ bodies warm 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s body does.”

14 Brands of Niagara Bottled Water Recalled For Possible E. Coli Contamination

Niagara Bottling is issuing a voluntary recall of 14 brands of bottled water products due to concerns of possible E. coli contamination from the spring source.  Today’s heat index is expected to reach 105 degrees, so residents drinking bottled water should be cautious of the brands involved in the recall. “E. coli can be a very serious infection.  Given the Code Red weather today, out of an abundance of caution, we want to alert residents drinking bottled water of the voluntary recall,” said Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen.

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Declares Code Red Heat Advisory For Tuesday; First Of The Season

With the heat index expected to be at 105 degrees tomorrow, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen has issued a Code Red Heat Advisory for Tuesday, June 23.  The heat index is a measure of air temperature and relative humidity and indicates how hot it feels to individuals outside.  This is the first Code Red of the season.

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Encourages Citizens To Take Precautions As Season’s First Hot Weather Arrives

With forecasted temperatures in the mid-90s, a heat index expected to reach 100 degrees and unhealthy air quality, Baltimore health officials are encouraging residents to take precautions as the first hot weather of the season arrives today. “Individuals should stay indoors in air-conditioning as much as possible and be sure to stay hydrated with water today,” said Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner.

"Health Department Announces OneBaltimore / Baltimore Corps Team To Lead Department’s Public Health Recovery Efforts"

The Baltimore City Health Department announces the selection of a team of fellows to lead the agency’s public health recovery efforts under Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s OneBaltimore initiative. 

"Evaluation Confirms Patient Seen At Hopkins Does Not Have Ebola"

The Baltimore City Health Department reports that clinical evaluation and laboratory tests conducted at Johns Hopkins Hospital have ruled out a diagnosis of Ebola for the patient who was admitted yesterday with a chief complaint of fever and a recent travel history to West Africa. The patient is expected to be discharged from the hospital today and poses no risk to the general public.

"Baltimore City Health Department Confirms Patient Being Evaluated For Fever; No Danger To Public Suspected"

The Baltimore City Health Department can confirm that a patient is undergoing evaluation at Johns Hopkins Hospital with a chief complaint of fever after recently returning from West Africa.  The patient is currently being treated in an isolation room. The initial evaluation is suggestive of a diagnosis other than Ebola infection but further tests are ongoing. “The testing is being done out of an abundance of caution,” said Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner.  

"Baltimore City Prepares For 2015 Code Red Heat Alert Season"

Today, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen was joined by representatives of the Mayor’s Office, Baltimore City Fire Department, Office of Emergency Management, and Office of Human Services / Community Action Partnership in announcing the kickoff of Code Red Heat Alert season, which began May 15th and runs until September 15th