Public Health

Zika virus

Zika is a virus spread by mosquitoes. Most people infected with Zika virus do not even get sick. The kinds of mosquitoes known to carry Zika virus are generally not found in Massachusetts. For more information about Zika virus, including recommendations for pregnant women and people traveling, see the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Mosquito and Tickborne Illness

Mosquitoes and ticks are more than pests; they can carry diseases which can make you very sick.  Common mosquito-borne diseases in Massachusetts are West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.  Common tickborne diseases in Massachusetts include Lyme Disease, Babesiosis, and Anaplasmosis (Ehrlichiosis).  Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from mosquito and tick bites and the illnesses they can cause.  Visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ticks, mosquitoes) to learn more.


Bats & Rabies

The warmer summer months occasionally bring bats into the living spaces of homes. Because bats can carry rabies, it is important for bats to be tested if they come into contact with a human or a pet. Rabies is serious and important to prevent, but rabid bats are rare.

 Click here for more information if you may have had contact with a bat

 Questions? Call Animal Control at 617.796.2109 or the Health Department at 617.796.1420.

 Bat information for Residents Flyer 

Mass Dept of Public Health Bats & Rabies information


Sharps Disposal

Sharps are needles and lancets used at home to inject medicine into people or pets. Properly disposing of sharps helps keep potentially harmful products out of the waste stream. A new state regulation went into effect on July 1, 2012 that prohibits people from disposing of needles and lancets in the trash.

Newton residents may bring sharps in proper containers to the Rumford Avenue Resource Recovery Center. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For information and directions, click here.


Medication Disposal

Most medication, unless indicated otherwise on the package, may be disposed of in your regular household trash (blue bin) after removing it from the container and mixing it with something undesirable such as coffee grounds or kitty litter. Do not flush medication down the toilet. Here are some instructions.

Unwanted or expired medication can be dropped off at the Newton Police Department, 1321 Washington St. Solid medication only, no liquids or needles.  Also, the Newton Police Department and the Health & Human Services Department periodically collaborate with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to collect unused and expired medication.


Heart Health

CPR/AED educational video


Falls Prevention

Each year, more than 1.6 million older US adults go to emergency departments for fall-related injuries.  Among older adults, falls are the number one cause of fractures, hospital admissions for trauma, loss of independence, and injury deaths.  Fortunately, falls are often preventable.

Four things you can do to prevent falls:

  1. Exercise to improve your balance and strength
  2. Have your health care provider review your medications
  3. Have your vision checked
  4. Make your home safer

More information:

  1. Click here for a list of falls prevention resources in Newton
  2. Click here to learn more about what you can do to prevent falls
  3. Click here to check your risk for falling
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