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

News


Health Departments Modify Hours

The hours of operation at health departments in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties will change slightly beginning July 1 to make it more convenient for clients to come in for services. The Fort Stewart WIC clinic will also have modified hours. Click on your county for an updated hours of operation.

In Chatham and Glynn counties, the vital records offices (death and birth certificates) will follow the same hours of operation as the health departments. The environmental health offices in  Camden and McIntosh counties will also adjust hours beginning July 1. The Chatham County environmental health office will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. The office will physically close at 2 p.m. on Fridays; however, clients can schedule appointments in advance to take place after 2 p.m.

Health department services include child and adult immunizations, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, family planning services, child health services, the Women, Infant, and Children’s (WIC) nutrition program, Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP) and more.

Fruit Recall

There is a recall by Caito Foods of fresh cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, & fresh-cut mixed fruit with the same melons because they may be contaminated with Salmonella. Georgia is one of the states where the products were distributed.

Get more information and a complete list of the recalled products here: https://bit.ly/2LGvreT

Back to School Clinics Scheduled

School will be back in session before we know it and parents are encouraged to get their children the necessary immunizations and screenings now to avoid the back to school rush and longer wait times. Several health departments in coastal Georgia have scheduled back to school clinics in July:

Camden County Health Department*
1501 Georgia Avenue, Woodbine
1 p.m. – 4 p.m., Tuesday, July 24
*(Free Eye, Ear, Dental & Nutrition Screens)

Camden County Health Department*
905 Dilworth Street, St. Marys
1 p.m. – 4 p.m., Thursday, July 26
*(Free Eye, Ear, Dental & Nutrition Screens)

Chatham County Health Department*
1395 Eisenhower Drive, Savannah
8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Thursday, July 19
8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Thursday, July 26
*(Free Eye, Ear, Dental & Nutrition Screens)

Liberty County Health Department
1113 E. Oglethorpe Hwy., Hinesville
8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., Thursday, July 19
8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., Thursday, July 26
8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday, July 30

Long County Health Department
8 a.m. – 7 p.m., Thursday, July 19
584 N. Macon Street, Ludowici
(Closed for lunch from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.)

McIntosh County Health Department
1335 GA Hwy. 57, Townsend
8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 17
McIntosh County Health Department

Students entering a Georgia school for the first time – no matter what the grade level –  must have a completed Certificate of Vision, Hearing, Dental, and Nutrition screening form. “First time” means never enrolled in a Georgia school before at any time in their lives.

In addition, children born on or after January 1, 2002 who are attending seventh grade and new entrants into Georgia schools in grades 8 through 12 must have received one dose of Tdap vaccine and one dose of meningococcal vaccine. (“New entrant” means any child entering any school in Georgia for the first time or entering after having been absent from a Georgia school for more than 12 months or one school year).

Students will be seen on a first come, first served basis and no appointment is necessary.

All health departments in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties offer eye, ear, dental, and nutrition screens as well as immunizations all year round.

Free Mammograms for Women in Chatham Co. Who Meet Eligibility Criteria

The Chatham County Health Department’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP) is partnering with the St. Joseph’s/Candler Mobile Mammography Program to offer free mammograms from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, June 25, at the Chatham County Health Department located at 1602 Drayton Street in Savannah. Women who meet certain annual income guidelines and are 40-64 years of age without insurance will be eligible to receive a screening mammogram at no cost.

Appointments are preferred but walk-ins will be accepted. To make an appointment, please call 356-2946.

Click HERE for more information on BCCP.

Free HIV Testing Events Scheduled for Chatham; Glynn

The Coastal Health District HIV Prevention Program will offer free HIV testing on June 27 in observance of National HIV Testing Day. Testing events will take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the following locations:

CHATHAM COUNTY:
Walgreens, 2109 E. Victory Drive, Savannah
Walgreens, 11509 Abercorn St., Savannah
Walgreens, 4210 Augusta Rd., Garden City

GLYNN COUNTY
Walgreens, 4575 Altama Ave., Brunswick

All testing is completely confidential and results will be available in one minute. A follow-up visit will be scheduled for anyone who tests positive and counseling will be made available to those individuals.

The first 25 people who come for testing at each Walgreens location will receive a gift card.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates around 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV, and one in eight people don’t know they have it. Nearly 45,000 people find out they have HIV every year. In Georgia, the risk of HIV diagnosis is 1 in 51. National HIV Testing Week is an opportunity to raise awareness, encourage people to get the facts, tested, get involved, and get linked to care and treatment services. The Coastal Health District is pleased to offer free HIV testing as part of this global effort. As a reminder, HIV testing is free at all health departments in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties and available Monday through Friday during regular health department hours of operation.

Anyone with questions about testing can call Diane DeVore at (912) 644-5828 or e-mail Diane.Devore@dph.ga.gov.

Feral Cat in Glynn Co. Tests Positive for Rabies

A feral cat in the Waverly Pines neighborhood in Brunswick has tested positive for rabies. At least three residents were exposed to the cat and have been advised to follow up with a healthcare professional.

Several species of wild animals that are native to coastal Georgia – including raccoons, foxes, and bats – can carry rabies. Rabies is a potentially deadly virus that is primarily spread by infected animals. The Glynn County Health Environmental Health office offers these tips to protect you and your family from rabies:

  • Avoid contact with animals you don’t know.
  • Make sure your pets receive the proper immunizations. Dogs and cats should get rabies vaccines by four months of age, followed by a booster shot one year later, and another one every year as prescribed by your veterinarian.
  • Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or by leaving pet food out at night.
  • Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home. Do not try to nurse sick animals to health. Call animal control or a properly licensed animal rescue agency for assistance.
  • Teach children to never handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly. “Love your own, leave other animals alone” is a good principle for children to learn.

Symptoms of rabies in animals include a change in behavior, biting, aggression, showing no fear of natural enemies (such as humans), foaming at the mouth, and paralysis.

If an animal ever bites you, seek medical care immediately and contact Glynn County Animal Control at 912-554-7500 and the Glynn County Health Department Environmental Health office at 279-2940.

Bryan Co. Save a Life Youth Health Summit Scheduled for June 23

The Coastal Health District Adolescent Health and Youth Development (AHYD) Program, in partnership with Prevention by RCC and Bryan County Family Connection, will hold the Save a Life Youth Health Summit from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, at the Richmond Hill Teen Center located at 185 Ball Park Road in Richmond Hill. The Summit is free for youth ages 10-19, parents, and educators.

Attendees will take park in the CPR Heartsaver Certification Class and education on suicide prevention, bullying prevention, and bystander intervention. For educators, completing the suicide prevention education class will result in one clock hour for National Board of Certified Counselors, Inc., continuing education credits. Lunch will be provided and there will also be raffle prizes and other giveaways.

Space is limited and registration is required. To register the registration form below and email it to Prevention@rccsav.org or ronique.thomas@dph.ga.gov.

Save a Life Youth Health Summit Reg Form

Health Departments Now Offer New Shingles Vaccine

Health departments in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties are now offering Shingrix, a new vaccine to help protect against shingles, a painful rash that is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. Shingrix also protects against postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), severe pain that can occur at the site of the shingles rash even after the rash clears up. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted to recommend the vaccine in adults ages 50 and older.

The previous vaccine for shingles – Zostavax – was recommended for those 60 and older. According to the CDC, Shingrix is recommended for healthy adults 50 and older even if they have previously had shingles, received Zostavax, or are unsure if they have had chickenpox.

“Being able to offer the Shingrix vaccine means that we can protect even more people against shingles,” said Coastal Health District Immunization Coordinator, Paige Lightsey, R.N. “When we can offer a vaccine that provides even more coverage against a disease, it’s a good day in public health.”

Shingrix is given in two doses separated by two to six months. According to the CDC, two doses of Shingrix is more than 90 percent effective at preventing shingles and PHN.

About one in every three people in the United States will get shingles. The risk of shingles increases as you get older. There is no maximum age for getting the Shingrix vaccine.

For more information on the Shingrix vaccine, click HERE.

Public Health Officials Urge Residents Who Meet Criteria to Apply to Hurricane Registry for Those with Functional, Access, or Medical Needs

Hurricane season is quickly approaching and the time to prepare is now. Health department officials in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties strongly encourage residents who have certain healthcare needs and no way to evacuate if a storm is coming to apply to the Hurricane Registry for those with functional, access, or medical needs.

The Hurricane Registry for those with functional, access, or medical needs is a list maintained by the health department of residents who may need transportation or medical assistance and have no resources such as family members, neighbors, or friends to help them evacuate if a hurricane is threatening. Residents must apply to be on the Registry and can do so by calling toll-free, 1-833-CHD-REGISTER (1-833-243-7344) and following the phone prompts which will connect them directly with their county health department. The application can also be downloaded at gachd.org/registry. Residents who meet criteria and get on the Registry will be evacuated when there is serious threat of a hurricane.

Those with functional or access needs – including children or adults with physical, sensory, or intellectual disabilities who need assistance with the activities of daily living including eating, taking medication, dressing, bathing, communicating, transferring from bed to chair and chair to bed, and toileting – will be evacuated to a gymnasium type setting far enough inland so that they are safe from the storm. The accommodations at the shelter will be basic (a cot with 20-40 square feet of space, bathroom facilities, meals, etc.) and the shelter may be several hours away.

Those with medical needs – including those who need the help of trained medical professionals for things like IV medication or who may be dependent on a respirator or other medical equipment – may be taken to a healthcare facility which will likely be located several hours inland.

Anyone who lives in a nursing home, assisted living, or personal care facility is not eligible for the registry and must follow their facility’s emergency plan. The Registry is truly a last resort but it is important that local emergency management agency and public health department officials have a list of residents who have certain needs and no other way to evacuate should that become necessary.

The time to apply for the Registry is when there are no storms threatening. It is important to note that Registry applications will stop being accepted 72 hours prior to the arrival of tropical storm force winds.

For more information on the Hurricane Registry for those with functional, access, or medical needs, click HERE.

Public Health Officials Urge Residents Who Meet Criteria to Apply to Hurricane Registry for Those with Functional, Access, or Medical Needs

E.coli Illness in Georgia Linked to Multi-state Outbreak; Infections Tied to Romaine Lettuce from Arizona

 

 ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have confirmed one case of E. coli infection in Georgia that is linked to the multi-state outbreak of E. coli. The CDC has identified romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region as the likely source of the outbreak strain of E. coli. Eighty-four people from 19 states have been infected so far.

The Georgia case linked to the multi-state outbreak of E. coli is a metro Atlanta teenager and was hospitalized, but has since been released. The individual ate salad containing romaine lettuce at different restaurants in the metro area, and also ate bagged romaine purchased at a local grocery store.

Symptoms of E. coli infection usually develop between 2-8 days after contact with the bacteria. Most people experience diarrhea (that can be bloody), severe stomach cramps and vomiting. Some infections are very mild and people recover within a week. Other infections are severe or even life-threatening.

“This particular strain of E. coli has resulted in more hospitalizations than we would normally expect with this type of outbreak,” said Cherie Drenzek, DVM, state epidemiologist. “It is crucial that the public understands how serious E. coli infections can be, and to heed all recommended precautions about avoiding romaine lettuce for the time being.”

The CDC recommends:

  • Consumers avoid all romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region, including whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce.
  • Understand that product labels often do not identify growing regions; do not eat or buy romaine lettuce it if you do not know where it was grown.
  • Don’t take chances – if you are not sure what romaine lettuce is or what it looks like, do not eat it.
  • Washing lettuce will not eliminate E. coli – the bacteria can stick to leafy surfaces or hide in microscopic crevices.
  • Contact your healthcare providerif you have diarrhea that lasts for more than three days or is accompanied by high fever, blood in the stool, or so much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down and you pass very little urine.

For more information log on to https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2018/o157h7-04-18/signs-symptoms.html.

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 www.dph.ga.gov.