Public Health

The requirements for Public Health merit badge were revised effective September 1, 1996.

  1. Visit your city, county, or state public health agency. Prepare an outline of the agency's various services and:
    1. Explain them briefly to your counselor.
    2. Explain how these affect you.
    3. Identify the four leading causes of death (mortality) in the United States for any one of the past 5 years. Compare these with the four leading causes of hospital admissions (morbidity) in the United States. Find out how the public health agency you visited is involved in trying to reduce both the mortality and morbidity of these leading causes of illness and disability.
    4. Tell about three professions of the people providing these services at the agency.
  2. Explain how the following diseases are contracted: tetanus, influenza, syphilis, hepatitis, emphysema, AIDS, encephalitis, meningitis, salmonellosis, Lyme disease, herpes, and lead poisoning.
  3. Do the following:
    1. Explain the meaning of immunization.
    2. Name five diseases against which a young child should be immunized.
    3. Name two diseases against which you should be reimmunized periodically.
  4. Visit a restaurant orother commercial food service facility andobserve food preparation, handling, and storage. Interview a food service inspector and explain:
    1. How foods can become contaminated.
    2. What conditions allow microorganisms to increase in number in food.
    3. How microorganisms in food can be killed.
    4. How dishes and utensils should be washed in camp and at home.
  5. Do the following:
    1. Show two ways of making water safe to drink under camping conditions.
    2. Visit a water treatment facility and describe the steps used in making public drinking water safe; OR visit the drinking-water quality-control agency in your community. Describe how water quality is monitores.
  6. Do the following:
    1. Explain how household insects and rodents can be controlled in your home, community, and camp.
    2. Visit a municipical wastewater treatment facility and a solid-waste management operation in your community. Describe how sewage and waster water disposal is done safely in urban and rural environments, and under wilderness camping conditions.
  7. Do the following:
    1. Describe the health dangers from air, water, and noise pollution.
    2. Describe health dangers from tobacco use and alcohol and drug abuse.

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