Immunization Services will not be available on Friday, March 31, at the Chatham County Health Department due to staff training.


The Coastal Health District of Georgia serves the counties of Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long & McIntosh

Camden News

Free “Growing Fit” Training Offered for Early Care Centers

Physical activity and nutrition are essential for children to develop healthy lifestyles that will help reduce the risk of chronic disease later in life. To that end, the Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia Shape, HealthMPowers, Inc. and Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning have developed Growing Fit Kit: Wellness Policies for Georgia’s Early Care Environment. A free training on the kit will be offered to staff from early care centers from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, at the Coastal Health District office located at 420 Mall Blvd. in Savannah.

Training will center around a tool kit which provides a step-by-step process to guide early care educators in the development and/or improvement of nutrition and physical activity policies and practices.  It also contains an explanation of the importance of a wellness policy, a self-assessment tool to evaluate current policies and practices, success stories from other early care settings, healthy eating and physical activity resources, and a planning document with suggestions and examples for writing the policy.

This educational learning experience is a Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning approved CEU course allowing participants to earn required training units while strengthening their wellness policy efforts to create healthy environments for students to learn and teachers to work. This training also helps move centers toward achievement of Quality Rated standards set by the Department of Early Care and Learning.

To register for either training session, please contact Cristina Gibson at 912-644-5818 or email

Camden Co. Health Dept. Preteen Vaccination Clinic March 16

Georgia Preteen Vaccination Week is March 13-17 and Camden County Health Department officials are encouraging parents to bring preteens to the health department on Thursday, March 16, to get up-to-date on vaccinations. Both Camden County Health Department locations – 1501 Georgia Avenue in Woodbine
and 901 Dilworth Street in St. Marys – will be open until 6:30 p.m. on March 16 and no appointment is necessary.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices currently recommends that 11 and 12 year olds receive Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis/whooping cough), HPV (human papillomavirus), meningococcal, and flu vaccines. Also, any preteens should be brought up-to-date on any other vaccines that may have been missed such as the chicken pox vaccine.

For more information, please call the Camden County Health Department at 912-576-3040 (Woodbine) or 912-882-8515 (St. Marys).

Georgia Health Officials Warn of Potential Phone Scam

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is receiving complaints from residents of Georgia and residents of other states about suspicious phone calls. Many of the calls appear to come from a Georgia DPH phone number.

“Right now, we do not know the real reason for the calls or what the caller is truly looking for,” said Rick Keheley, DPH’s inspector general. “We do know the calls are not coming from the Georgia Department of Public Health.”

DPH encourages residents to be extremely cautious when participating in health-related telephone surveys.

DPH does occasionally use telephone surveys to gain information on health trends and it is important to understand the difference. DPH:

  • Will never ask for religious information
  • Will never ask for credit card information
  • Will never try to sell goods or services
  • Will always provide call back or contact information for verification

Residents with questions or those wishing to report a suspicious call should contact DPH’s Office of Inspector General at (404) 656-4409 or


About the Georgia Department of Public Health

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is the lead agency in preventing disease, injury and disability; promoting health and well-being; and preparing for and responding to disasters from a health perspective. For more information about DPH, visit

PUBLIC NOTICE: Georgia Department of Public Health’s Babies Can’t Wait Program Seeks Public Comment Until April 10, 2017

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Public Health’s (DPH) Babies Can’t Wait (BCW) program invites interested persons to participate in a 60-day public comment period for the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2017 Annual State Application under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Stakeholders, early intervention providers, parents and members of the public are encouraged to comment and may review the grant application and revised policy online or at locations throughout the state.

Comments will be accepted in four ways:

1.    Written comments will be received by mail until April 10, 2017:

Babies Can’t Wait
Attn: Sally Cannon, Part C Coordinator
2 Peachtree Street NW, Suite 11-456
Atlanta, GA 30303-13422

2.    Email comments will be received until April 10, 2017:  (Subject line: Part C or Public Comment)

3.    Comments submitted  by fax will be accepted until April 10, 2017:
State BCW Office fax: (404) 657-7307

4.    In Person comments at a Public Hearing:
DPH invites interested persons to attend Public Hearings and present public comments. To allow an opportunity for all to be heard, comments will be limited to five minutes. (See locations listed below.)

Click on image for full screen view.







To learn more about DPH’s Babies Can’t Wait program, please call (404) 657-2850 or (888) 651-8224 or visit

The Babies Can’t Wait (BCW) Program is Georgia’s statewide early intervention system for infants and toddlers with special needs, age birth to three, and their families. This program enhances the capacity of families to meet the special needs of their child in order to ensure that each young child with significant developmental delays achieves his or her maximum developmental potential.

About the Georgia Department of Public Health
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is the lead agency in preventing disease, injury and disability; promoting health and well-being; and preparing for and responding to disasters. DPH’s main functions include: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Maternal and Child Health, Infectious Disease and Immunization, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Emergency Medical Services, Pharmacy, Nursing, Volunteer Health Care, the Office of Health Equity, Vital Records, and the State Public Health Laboratory. For more information about DPH, visit




To learn more about DPH’s Babies Can’t Wait program, please call (404) 657-2850 or

(888) 651-8224 or visit

National Black HIV/AIDS Testing Events Scheduled Feb. 7

Tuesday, February 7, will mark the 16th observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) and the Coastal Health District will recognize the day by holding HIV testing events throughout the eight-county public health district. The Coastal Health District Prevention Program will offer free and rapid confidential HIV testing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, February 7 at health departments in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties. No appointment necessary.

The NBHAAD 2017 theme is “I am my Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper: Fight HIV/AIDS.” NBHAAD is directed, planned, and organized by a group known as the Strategic Leadership Committee, a coalition that partners with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to mobilize communities in an effort to address local epidemics and influence the course of HIV in African American communities across the country.

The Coastal Health District has close to 1,400 active cases of HIV and Georgia ranks 5th highest in the nation for the total number of new diagnosis of HIV. The Coastal Health District encourages the community to use this observance to promote HIV prevention practices and reduce the stigma surrounding the disease.

Go to to learn more about NBHAAD. To locate services for a free HIV test or to access treatment, visit Georgia Department of Public Health’s CAPUS (Care and Prevention in the U.S.) Care Portal at or call the Georgia AIDS/STD Infoline at 1-800-551-2728.

For more information on the testing events, please call Diane DeVore at 912- 644-5828 or email

E-Cigarette Use Among Youth: A Public Health Threat Know the Risks and How to Get Help to Quit Tobacco and Nicotine

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is urging caution about the use and exposure of children and youth to electronic nicotine delivery systems, including electronic cigarettes. The U.S. Surgeon General issued a report this week on the dangers of electronic nicotine delivery systems saying “nicotine-containing products are unsafe for youth.”

Electronic nicotine delivery systems are known by a variety of names, including “vapes,” “e-cigarettes,” “pens” and “e-hookahs.” They come in thousands of flavors and colors. Parents, teachers, coaches, counselors and other youth leaders should be aware of the dangers of these products and that they can be made to look like pens and other small objects that can be hidden in plain sight.

It is against the law in Georgia to sell or distribute any electronic cigarette to a person who is under the age of 18. As of October 2014, it is against state policy to use these products on any University System of Georgia property. Federal law also prohibits sales of e-cigarettes to minors, restricts sales in vending machines, and requires these products to have a nicotine warning label.

Nicotine is a neurotoxin that can damage the developing adolescent brain by causing permanent changes and contributing to mental health problems and mood disorders as well as other health problems. In addition to nicotine, the aerosol from electronic nicotine delivery products may include formaldehyde, propylene glycol, lead and other toxic chemicals.

Use of electronic nicotine delivery systems or devices, particularly by youth, is associated with other tobacco use.

“We know youth and young adults are trying these unsafe products in increasing numbers. This is an emerging public health crisis that threatens the health of our youth and our progress in reducing dependence on tobacco statewide” said Jean O’Connor, JD, DrPH, director of Chronic Disease Prevention for DPH.

The emissions from e-cigarettes have not been proven to be safe for anyone. Along with the dangers to the developing youth brain, nicotine is a highly addictive chemical for people of all ages that causes hardening of the arteries, which is associated with heart attack and stroke. Pregnant women or women who may become pregnant should especially avoid using or being exposed to nicotine. It can impact fetal development, affecting the brain, nerves and circulatory systems.

Electronic cigarettes and similar electronic nicotine delivery devices have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as tobacco cessation devices. The only current safe and effective tools to quit nicotine and tobacco products are approved nicotine replacement therapy products, which contain controlled doses of nicotine.

Most people who want to quit tobacco or nicotine need help to end their addiction. Anyone, including teenagers, who needs help quitting tobacco or nicotine, should talk with their doctor. Help quitting tobacco is covered by Georgia Medicaid and other health plans. Or, they can contact the Georgia Tobacco Quitline for free, confidential support:

English: 1-877-270-STOP (877-270-7867)
Spanish: 1-877-2NO-FUME (877-266-3863)
Hearing Impaired: 1-877-777-6534

The Quitline is available 24/7. It is never too late to quit.

For more information visit or email

Smoke From Wildfires Spreads In Georgia; DPH Urges Precautions to Protect Health

Shifting winds are pushing smoke from several fires burning in North Georgia and parts of Tennessee into the state, including the metro Atlanta area. The Georgia Department of Public Health is urging people, especially individuals with chronic heart and lung diseases, to protect themselves from smoke from wildfires.

For healthy people, smoke from wildfires that contains particles from burning trees and shrubs can irritate your eyes and respiratory system. However, smoke can worsen chronic health problems such as lung disease, asthma, allergies and increased risk of heart attacks and stroke. People with existing respiratory conditions, young children and elderly people are especially susceptible to health effects from this smoke.

“We especially urge parents and caregivers to pay careful attention to children and older adults and seek medical care if needed,” said Jean O’Connor, director of Chronic Disease Prevention at the Georgia Department of Public Health. “Older adults are more susceptible to smoke because of their increased risk of heart and lung problems. Children’s airways are still developing and they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults.”

Smoke can irritate the eyes and airways, causing coughing, a scratchy throat, irritated sinuses, headaches, stinging eyes or a runny nose. People with heart disease might experience chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath or fatigue. People with lung disease may not be able to breathe as deeply or as vigorously as usual, and they may experience symptoms such as coughing, phlegm, chest discomfort, wheezing and shortness of breath.

It’s important to limit your exposure to smoke and there are precautions you can take:

  • Use common sense. If it looks and smells smoky outside limit outdoor activities; yard work, exercise, children playing.
  • Pay attention to local air quality reports and news coverage related to smoke.
  • Keep indoor air as clean as possible if you are advised to stay indoors. Keep windows and doors closed. Run an air conditioner if you have one, but keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.
  • Avoid activities that increase indoor pollution. Burning candles, fireplaces, or gas stoves can increase indoor pollution. Vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home, contributing to indoor pollution. Smoking also puts even more pollution into the air. 
  • Do not rely on dust masks for protection. Paper “comfort” or “dust” masks commonly found at hardware stores are designed to trap large particles, such as sawdust. These masks will not protect your lungs from the small particles found in wildfire smoke. 
  • Follow the advice of your doctor or other health care provider about medicines and about your respiratory management plan if you have asthma or another lung disease.

For more information about smoke and health go to

Smoke from Burning Debris Can Trigger Respiratory Issues

Smoke created from residents burning debris generally does not pose a health hazard but it may worsen symptoms for people who have pre-existing respiratory conditions such as respiratory allergies, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The best protection for these individuals is to avoid areas where burning is taking place or stay indoors. If that is not possible, parents or caregivers of persons with respiratory conditions should monitor the individual carefully; ensure all medication is taken as directed; and, seek medical attention immediately if the In addition:

  • Make sure to keep windows and doors shut.
  • Use the recycle or re-circulate mode on the air conditioner in your home or car.
  • Asthmatics should follow their asthma management plan.
  • Contact your doctor if you have symptoms such as chest pain, chest tightness, shortness of breath, or severe fatigue. This is important not only for people with chronic lung or heart disease, but also for individuals who have not been previously diagnosed with such illnesses. Smoke can “unmask” or produce symptoms of such diseases.

Health Departments Now Offering Flu Vaccine

Health Departments in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties now have flu vaccine available. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is only recommending injectable flu vaccine (flu shot) this season. The health department offers flu shots for $29 and high dose flu shots – made to better protect those 65 and older – for $50. Getting the flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and your community from the flu. No appointment is necessary to get a flu shot at your local health department, Monday through Friday.
Save even more time by downloading and filling out the consent form before you arrive for your flu shot:
General Vaccine Consent Form
General Flu Vaccine Consent Form (Spanish)

Information on the flu vaccine can be found here:
Flu Vaccine Information Statement (English)
Flu Vaccine Information Statement (Spanish)

The following flu vaccination clinics have been scheduled:

Camden County Health Department
Drive-through flu vaccination clinic
Woodbine: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
St. Marys: 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Glynn County Health Department
Drive-through flu vaccination clinic
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
November 4

McIntosh County Health Department
Drive-through flu vaccination clinic
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
November 1

Long County Health Department
Walk-in flu vaccination clinic
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
November 2

Getting vaccinated against the flu is recommended for everyone six months of age and older. It takes about two weeks after getting a flu shot for the vaccine to provide the body protection against the flu. While getting the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu, there are other things we can all do every day to prevent getting or spreading the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you get sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. The fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • Try to cough or sneeze into the corner of your elbow and not your hand or cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

For more information click HERE.

Floodwater and Food: When in Doubt, Throw It Out

Residents facing the daunting task of cleaning up flooded homes and wondering whether high water or power outages have ruined their food can follow a simple rule: When in doubt, throw it out.

Once power is off, the refrigerator keeps food at safely cold temperatures for 4 hours, while food in a freezer remains safe for approximately 8 hours. If your power is off longer, your food is not safe to eat and should be discarded.

  • Do not consume anything that flood water may have touched. Flood water carries disease-causing organisms.
  • Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water. If in doubt, throw it out.
  • Do not eat food packed in plastic, paper, cardboard, cloth, and similar containers that have been water damaged.
  • Discard food and beverage containers with screw-caps, snap lids, crimped caps (soda bottles), twist caps, flip tops, and home canned foods, if they have come in contact with flood water. These containers cannot be disinfected.
  • Undamaged, commercially-prepared foods in all-metal cans or retort pouches can be saved if you remove the labels, thoroughly wash the cans, rinse them, and then disinfect them with a sanitizing solution consisting of 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of potable water. Finally, re-label containers that had the labels removed, including the expiration date, with a marker. Discard any canned foods that are dented as this can increase the risk of contracting botulism, a rare but very serious illness.
    For more information, please go to