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

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Free & Confidential HIV Testing Events Scheduled

The Coastal Health District Prevention Program will provide free and confidential HIV testing on November 29 and December 1 in observance of World AIDS Day. All events are open to the public. The following events have been scheduled:

Wednesday, November 29
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The Union Event Room “C” (upstairs), Savannah State University*
(In conjunction with Savannah State University’s “Know to Live” HIV & Substance Abuse Program)

Friday, December 1
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Health department locations in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn,  Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties.

Friday, December 1
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Brunswick Job Corps Center, 4401 Glynco Pkwy, Brunswick, GA 31525
(Also during that time there will be a free screening of the film  “Wilhelmina’s War” to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and World AIDS Day, and to challenge the stigma and discrimination of people living with HIV. Q & A panel discussion will follow).

The South has an extremely disproportionate burden of HIV disease when compared with other regions of the U.S. In 2015, the Southern region accounted for an estimated 38 percent of the total U.S. population,1 yet an estimated 50 percent of all new HIV diagnoses (at any stage of the disease) occurred in the South; a rate that is alarmingly disproportional to its population. The South also has the highest rate of stage-three HIV infections (AIDS) as an estimated 9.2/100,000 people living with HIV in the South are living with AIDS, and survival rates from AIDS are also the lowest nationally. Nationally, 40 percent of all people living with AIDS reside in the South.

World AIDS Day is observed each year on December 1 and is an opportunity to bring awareness to HIV and HIV prevention, show support for people living with HIV, highlight efforts to combat HIV, and remember those who have died from the disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 36.7 million persons are living with HIV/AIDS around the world. Each year, more than 1 million people die from AIDS-related causes and 2.1 million people become newly infected by HIV. Global efforts to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS are helping but it continues to pose a serious public health threat. The Coastal Health District HIV/AIDS program currently serves 1,398 clients living with HIV/AIDS throughout the eight-county district (Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties).

Flu Vaccination: The Best Protection Against the Flu

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is urging Georgians to get vaccinated against flu. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu, so it’s important to take preventive measures now.

“The single most effective way to prevent the flu is the flu vaccine. Every healthy individual over the age of six months should get a flu vaccine, unless there are underlying medical conditions. In those cases, patients should consult their physician,” said Dr. J. Patrick O’Neal, commissioner, Georgia Department of Public Health. “The holidays bring gatherings with family and friends and increase the likelihood of spreading the flu. Now is the time to get vaccinated.”

Even if the vaccine is not a perfect match, it can still help lessen the severity and length of flu symptoms if you do get sick, according to Dr. O’Neal.

Symptoms of flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, chills and fatigue. One of the most pronounced flu symptoms is an overall feeling of achiness and malaise that comes on quickly.

There are other things you can do to help protect against flu, including:

  • Frequent and thorough hand-washing. Alcohol based gels are the next best thing if there is no access to soap and water.
  • Covering your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing to help prevent the spread of the flu. Use a tissue or cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow or arm.
  • Avoid touching your face as flu germs can get into the body through mucus membranes of the nose, mouth and eyes.
  • If you are sick, stay home from school or work. Flu sufferers should be free of fever without the use of a fever reducer for at least 24 hours before returning to school or work.

If you do get sick and think you may have the flu, contact your health care provider right away. There are medications that can be used to treat flu but they are most effective when taken within 48 hours of the onset of flu symptoms.

You can also track flu activity in Georgia at dph.georgia.gov/flu-activity-georgia. The page is updated weekly. For more information about flu and how to prevent it, log on to flu.gov.

Glynn County Health Dept. Blood Drive Scheduled for November 14

Glynn County Health Department and OneBlood will hold a community blood drive from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday, November 14, at the Glynn County Health Department at 2747 Fourth Street in Brunswick.

Donating blood takes less than an hour and each blood donation has the potential to save up to three lives. Everyone who donates will receive a FREE OneBlood Fleece blanket. In addition, all donors will receive a wellness check including blood pressure, temperature, iron count, pulse, and cholesterol screening. If you want to save time and make an appointment in advance, please call 912-279-3351.

Free Chatham Co. Smoking Cessation Classes

In preparation for the Great American Smokeout on November 16, the Coastal Health District Chronic Disease Prevention Program will hold free smoking cessation classes on November 7 and 9.

The classes will be held:
Tuesday, November 7, 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
400 Mall Blvd., Suite G (second floor).

Thursday, November 9, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
420 Mall Blvd.

Thursday, November 9, 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
420 Mall Blvd.

Class size is limited so anyone interested should call 912-644-5818 or email chdstopsmoking@gmail.com to reserve a spot.

In addition, the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line is offering four weeks’ worth of nicotine replacement therapy, in the form of nicotine gum or the nicotine patch, free of charge. Call the Quit Line at 1-877-270-STOP.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States and in Georgia. The Coastal Health District is committed to preventing initiation of tobacco use and helping smokers quit. In preparation for the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout – an annual event during which smokers are encouraged to make a plan to quit or plan in advance and then quit smoking on that day –  the Coastal Health District’s Chronic Disease Prevention Program will offer three free smoking cessation classes.

Chatham County Health Dept. to Close Early Oct. 31

The Chatham County Health Department will suspend all clinical services at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, October 31, to accommodate staff training. Environmental Health and Vital Records offices will remain open all day.

Clinical services will resume at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, November 1. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this causes.

Teen Talk Program Registration Open

Registration is open for the next Teen Talk Program in Chatham County. This free, evidence-based program is open to youth ages 10-19. For more information or to register, click HERE.

Registration closes on October 27!

Camden County Drive-Through Flu Clinic November 4

 

The Camden County Health Department will hold a drive-through flu vaccination clinic from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., Saturday, November 4, at Lowes located at  1410 East Boone Avenue in Kingsland. 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. Flu season is unpredictable so residents are encouraged to get vaccinated now.

For more information or to download the consent form ahead of time, click HERE.

McIntosh Co. Health Dept. Drive-Through Flu Clinic Oct. 17

The McIntosh County Health Department will hold a drive-through flu vaccination clinic from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., on Tuesday, October 17, at the McIntosh County Health Department located at 1335 GA Hwy. 57 in Townsend.

The McIntosh County Health Department will hold a drive-through flu vaccination clinic to make it as convenient as possible. 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. Flu season is unpredictable so residents are encouraged to get vaccinated now.

For more information or to download the consent form ahead of time, click HERE.

Flu Vaccine Available at Health Departments

Health departments in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties now have injectable flu vaccine available. Getting the flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and your community from the flu.

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 or to download the consent form ahead of time, go to your county health department web page and click on the Flu Vaccination Information link under County Information.

One West Nile Virus-Associated Death; Two Additional Human Cases in Chatham County

The Coastal Health District has confirmed one West Nile Virus (WNV)-associated death and two additional human cases of WNV in Chatham County. These are the first confirmed human cases in the county or the Coastal Health District this year; however, WNV activity in mosquito populations has been detected and reported by Chatham County Mosquito Control and public health since July.

Statewide, there have been a total of 31 confirmed human cases and five deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 8 in 10 of people infected with WNV will show no symptoms at all; about 1 in 5 will develop a fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash; and about 1 in 150 will develop a severe illness affecting the central nervous system.

“West Nile Virus is transmitted by infected mosquitoes and once we know the virus is in the mosquito population we know that, unfortunately, there is a threat to people who live in that same population of contracting the virus,” said Lawton Davis, M.D., district health director for the Coastal Health District. “We continue to urge residents to do everything they can to keep from getting bitten by mosquitoes and to reduce mosquito breeding around their homes and neighborhoods.”

Mosquitoes that carry WNV are more likely to bite during the evening, night, and early morning. Wearing EPA-approved insect repellant containing at least 20-30 percent DEET will help keep mosquitoes away and eliminating standing water around the home and yard will help stop them from breeding.

Tip containers such as children’s toys, flowerpots, and planters after every rain or at least once a week and toss out anything that holds water, such as old tires or cans. Also clean out gutters, remove piles of leaves, and keep vegetation cut low to prevent landing sites for adult mosquitoes.

Chatham County Mosquito Control will continue to take steps to reduce the mosquito population and residents should expect to see Mosquito Control’s low flying, yellow helicopters on a regular basis throughout the county.

The 5Ds of mosquito bite prevention can also help prevent mosquito bites and breeding:

  • Dusk/Dawn – Avoid dusk and dawn activities during the summer when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Dress – Wear loose-fitting, long sleeved shirts and pants to reduce the amount of exposed skin.
  • DEET – Cover exposed skin with an insect repellent containing the DEET, which is the most effective repellent against mosquito bites.
  • Drain – Empty any containers holding standing water – buckets, barrels, flower pots, tarps – because they are breeding grounds for virus-carrying mosquitoes.
  • Doors – Make sure doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly, and fix torn or damaged screens to keep mosquitoes out of the house.

For more information on West Nile Virus click HERE or go to www.cdc.gov.