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Iredell County Health Department distributing potassium iodide tablets

Iredell County Health Department distributing potassium iodide tablets

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The Iredell County Health Department will distribute potassium iodide (KI) tablets to Iredell County residents and businesses Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at no charge. The KI is for Iredell County residents who live, and businesses that operate, within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zones (EPZ) surrounding the McGuire Nuclear Power Plant. Public health departments in the 10-mile EPZ for McGuire Nuclear Power Plant, (Mecklenburg, Gaston, Lincoln, Iredell and Catawba) will distribute KI pills to their citizens. If you are not an Iredell County resident and need KI tablets, contact your local county health department.

Potassium Iodide (KI) is an over-the-counter medication that can protect the thyroid if someone is exposed to radioactive iodine during a radiological emergency. If taken at the appropriate time and at the proper dosage, KI fills the thyroid with stable iodine to prevent radioactive iodine from being absorbed, therefore reducing the risk of possible damage of the thyroid. KI may not provide people with 100% protection against all radioactive iodine, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and it does not provide protection from full body irradiation or other radioactive elements that may be the result of a nuclear power plant release. While KI is recommended for any radiological emergency, evacuation remains the best course of action for protecting your health.

In order to make the distribution process as convenient as possible, pick-up will be at two locations. To keep the line moving and to provide a safe distribution amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Iredell County Health Department will be using a drive-thru method.

Iredell County residents living in the 10-mile EPZ may pick-up their household’s KI at either of the following locations:

Pine Lake Prep, 104 Yellow Wood Circle, Mooresville or Woodland Heights Elementary School, 288 Forest Lake Blvd., Mooresville.

When you arrive at the distribution site, an Iredell County government official will ask you for your address to help ensure you are an Iredell County resident and live within the 10-mile EPZ of McGuire Nuclear Power Plant. You will then be guided into one of two lines of cars passing by a tent. When you approach the distribution tent the Iredell County KI Distribution Team will ask you some basic identifying information (name, address, how many are in your household) and document how many pills you are receiving at the distribution. You will be given a packet containing four potassium iodide (KI) tablets per member of your household along with a drug information sheet for KI pills, explaining its proper use. Read this information sheet at your earliest convenience and DO NOT take the tablets at this time.

When visiting the drive-thru KI distribution site, please wear a mask when your car window is down. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or is a close contact and currently under quarantine restrictions, should contact their local health department later to arrange pick up of KI tablets.

Iredell County residents who live within the 10-mile EPZ of McGuire Nuclear Plant and are unable to make it to our KI Distribution site Saturday can pick up their KI at the following locations:

Iredell County Health Department, 610 E. Center Ave., Mooresville, 704-664-5281-every Friday starting Oct. 30 from 8-11:30 a.m. and 1-4 p.m.

Iredell County Health Department, 318 Turnersburg Hwy., Statesville, 704-878-5300 - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The public health system is working with several local pharmacies to encourage them to stock potassium iodide (KI) for purchase by those ineligible for the state supplied tablets. For a list of locations in Iredell County, visit https://www.co.iredell.nc.us/DocumentCenter/View/15777/Where-to-buy-KI-101420SMigit-final—English

KI is considered safe for most people but can cause minor side effects such as gastrointestinal disturbances and rashes. Those who are allergic to iodine should not take KI. Anyone who is not sure if they can take KI should talk to their doctor and pharmacist. Do not take KI unless public health officials tell you to do so.

To learn more about KI and Nuclear Emergency Preparedness, visit the following resources:

Iredell County Health Department, Radiation Emergencies: https://www.co.iredell.nc.us/254/RadiationEmergencies

Duke Energy, Nuclear Preparedness: https://www.duke-energy.com/safety-and-preparedness/nuclearsafety/mcguire

Centers for Disease Control, Radiation: https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/radiation/emergencies/index.htm

North Carolina Division of Public Health Preparedness and Response KI Program: https://epi.ncpublichealth.com/phpr/ki/ki.html

If you have any further questions, reach out to the Iredell County Health Department at 704-878-5300.

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