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

News


Raccoon in Daffin Heights Tests Positive for Rabies

A raccoon that was killed by family dogs in the Daffin Heights neighborhood in Savannah has tested positive for rabies. The dogs are up-to-date on rabies vaccinations and will remain under observation at home for 45 days.

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 Chatham County Health Department 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 after 12 weeks of age, followed by a booster shot within one year and vaccination every 1-3 years depending on veterinary recommendation and vaccine used.
  • 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 Chatham County Animal Services at 912-652-6575 and the Chatham County Environmental Health office at 912-356-2160.

Mosquito Precautions Encouraged

Southeast Georgia counties have seen a lot of rain this summer and that means a higher risk for mosquitoes that can carry diseases such as West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). Coastal Health District officials want to remind residents to take steps to avoid mosquito bites and prevent mosquito breeding.

WNV can cause mild to serious illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 80 percent of people infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all; about 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash; and about 1 in 150 people who are infected develop a severe illness such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord). Mosquitoes that carry the West Nile Virus are more likely to bite during the evening, night, and early morning.

EEE is a mosquito-borne virus that causes swelling of the brain. In horses, it is fatal 70 to 90 percent of the time. Horse and large animal owners are encouraged to vaccinate their animals against the virus and to clean out watering sources, such as buckets and troughs, every three-to-four days to prevent mosquitoes from breeding there. EEE is rare in humans; however, humans are susceptible to the virus. According to the CDC, most people infected with EEE do not show illness. Symptoms in severe cases of EEE include a sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting. The primary mosquito that transmits EEE breeds in freshwater swamps.

One of the best ways to prevent mosquito breeding and the spread of mosquito-borne viruses is to get rid of standing water around the home and in the yard. Residents are urged to clean up around their homes, yards, and communities and get rid of unnecessary items that can hold water and turn into mosquito breeding grounds by using the “Tip ‘n Toss” method. After every rainfall, tip out water in flowerpots, planters, children’s toys, wading pools, buckets, and anything else that may be holding water. If it holds water and you don’t need it (old tires, bottles, cans), toss it out. It’s also a good idea to change water frequently in outdoor pet dishes, change bird bath water at least twice a week, and avoid using saucers under outdoor potted plants.

For containers without lids or that are too big for the Tip ‘n Toss method (garden pools, etc.), use larvicides such as Mosquito Dunks© or Mosquito Torpedoes© and follow the label instructions. These larvicides will not hurt birds or animals. In addition, clean out gutters, remove piles of leaves, and keep vegetation cut low to prevent landing sites for adult mosquitoes. Homeowners associations and neighborhoods, along with city and county governments, are encouraged to sponsor community cleanup days.

Residents are always encouraged to follow the 5Ds of mosquito bite prevention:

  • 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.

Find a list of EPA-approved insect repellents HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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, August 27, at the Chatham County Health Department located at 1395 Eisenhower Drive 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.

Mosquito-borne Virus Activity Detected in Glynn County; Officials Advise Taking Protective Measures

Glynn County Public Works has confirmed that samples of mosquitoes collected in the county have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). This indicates that WNV is actively circulating in local mosquito populations this year. No human cases of WNV have been confirmed in any Coastal Health District counties, including Glynn. Glynn County is being actively treated for mosquitoes. Spraying will be conducted on the evenings of July 20, 21, and 22, weather permitting.

WNV is transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes and can cause mild to serious illness. Mosquitoes that carry the West Nile Virus are more likely to bite during the evening, night, and early morning. The Glynn County Health Department and Glynn County Public Works officials urge residents to take appropriate precautions now and throughout the summer to minimize mosquitoes around their property.

One of the most effective ways of preventing mosquito breeding and thus the spread of mosquito-borne viruses is controlling the mosquito population by getting rid of standing water around the home and in the yard. Residents are urged to clean up around their homes, yards, and communities and get rid of unnecessary items that can hold water and turn into mosquito breeding grounds. One way to do this is “Tip ‘n Toss.” After every rainfall, tip out water in flowerpots, planters, children’s toys, wading pools, buckets, and anything else that may be holding water. If it holds water and you don’t need it (old tires, bottles, cans), toss it out. It’s also a good idea to change water frequently in outdoor pet dishes, change bird bath water at least twice a week,and avoid using saucers under outdoor potted plants.

For containers without lids or that are too big to Tip ‘n Toss (garden pools, etc.), use larvicides such as Mosquito Dunks© or Mosquito Torpedoes© and follow the label instructions. These larvicides will not hurt birds or animals. In addition, clean out gutters, remove piles of leaves, and keep vegetation cut low to prevent landing sites for adult mosquitoes.

Homeowners associations and neighborhoods, along with city and county governments, are encouraged to sponsor community cleanup days.

Residents are always encouraged to follow the 5Ds of mosquito bite prevention:

  • 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.

 

Environmental Health Reaches Out to Microbladers Regarding New Law

Environmental Health managers in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties are reaching out to microblading artists to encourage them to apply for permits. In May, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill permitting microblading – temporary cosmetic tattooing of eyebrows – as a legal form of tattooing. The bill was signed into law and took effect July 1. Previously, the practice of microblading was prohibited under Georgia law.

Environmental Health offices in all eight Coastal Health District counties have locally adopted tattoo rules to help eliminate public health risk factors, confirm sanitization practices, ensure after-care instructions are provided for clients, and minimize risk of disease. Microblading now falls within those rules. As with traditional tattoo artists, microbladers will have to abide by certain regulations to get permitted.

“Our number one goal is to make sure that anyone performing microblading is following procedures that will help protect the health of those receiving services,” said Coastal Health District Environmental Health Director, Brant Phelps. “Microbladers can now apply for permits through their local environmental health office and are encouraged to do so as soon as possible.”

For more information on the new law, go to legis.ga.gov/legislation. Contact information for local environmental health offices can be found HERE.

 

Mosquito-Borne Virus Activity Widespread in Chatham County

Chatham County Mosquito Control has confirmed that samples of mosquitoes collected across Chatham County have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). Mosquito Control confirmed last week that mosquito samples in Pooler tested positive for WNV. Once WNV activity is detected in mosquitoes it is an indication that the virus is actively circulating in local mosquito populations – regardless of the specific location of positive mosquito pools. The latest samples collected around the county confirm that fact. Recent weather patterns have not allowed Mosquito Control to conduct control operations; therefore, weekend missions will be scheduled. Residents should expect to see Mosquito Control’s low flying, yellow helicopters on a regular basis throughout the county this weekend between the hours of 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.

No human cases of WNV have been confirmed in any Coastal Health District counties, including Chatham. About 80% of the people who get WNV never even know it because they don’t develop symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash.

WNV is transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes and can cause mild to serious illness. Mosquitoes that carry the West Nile Virus are more likely to bite during the evening, night, and early morning. The Chatham County Health Department and Chatham County Mosquito Control urge residents to take appropriate precautions now and throughout the summer to minimize mosquitoes around their property.

One of the most effective ways of preventing mosquito breeding and thus the spread of mosquito-borne viruses is controlling the mosquito population by getting rid of standing water around the home and in the yard. Residents are urged to clean up around their homes, yards, and communities and get rid of unnecessary items that can hold water and turn into mosquito breeding grounds. One way to do this is “Tip ‘n Toss.” After every rainfall, tip out water in flowerpots, planters, children’s toys, wading pools, buckets, and anything else that may be holding water. If it holds water and you don’t need it (old tires, bottles, cans), toss it out. It’s also a good idea to change water frequently in outdoor pet dishes, change bird bath water at least twice a week and avoid using saucers under outdoor potted plants.

For containers without lids or that are too big to Tip ‘n Toss (garden pools, etc.), use larvicides such as Mosquito Dunks© or Mosquito Torpedoes© and follow the label instructions. These larvicides will not hurt birds or animals. In addition, clean out gutters, remove piles of leaves, and keep vegetation cut low to prevent landing sites for adult mosquitoes.

Homeowners associations and neighborhoods, along with city and county governments, are encouraged to sponsor community cleanup days.

Residents are always encouraged to follow the 5Ds of mosquito bite prevention:

  • 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Mosquito-borne Virus Activity Detected in Chatham County; Officials Advise Taking Protective Measures

Chatham County Mosquito Control has confirmed that samplings of mosquitoes collected in western Chatham County (Pooler area) have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). This indicates that WNV is actively circulating in local mosquito populations this year. Mosquito control personnel are surveying all areas of Chatham County and scheduling control operations as required. No human cases of WNV have been confirmed in any Coastal Health District counties, including Chatham.

WNV is transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes and can cause mild to serious illness. Mosquitoes that carry the West Nile Virus are more likely to bite during the evening, night, and early morning. The Chatham County Health Department and Chatham County Mosquito Control urge residents to take appropriate precautions now and throughout the summer to minimize mosquitoes around their property.

One of the most effective ways of preventing mosquito breeding and thus the spread of mosquito-borne viruses is controlling the mosquito population by getting rid of standing water around the home and in the yard. Residents are urged to clean up around their homes, yards, and communities and get rid of unnecessary items that can hold water and turn into mosquito breeding grounds. One way to do this is “Tip ‘n Toss.” After every rainfall, tip out water in flowerpots, planters, children’s toys, wading pools, buckets, and anything else that may be holding water. If it holds water and you don’t need it (old tires, bottles, cans), toss it out. It’s also a good idea to change water frequently in outdoor pet dishes, change bird bath water at least twice a week, and avoid using saucers under outdoor potted plants.

For containers without lids or that are too big to Tip ‘n Toss (garden pools, etc.), use larvicides such as Mosquito Dunks© or Mosquito Torpedoes© and follow the label instructions. These larvicides will not hurt birds or animals. In addition, clean out gutters, remove piles of leaves, and keep vegetation cut low to prevent landing sites for adult mosquitoes.

Homeowners associations and neighborhoods, along with city and county governments, are encouraged to sponsor community cleanup days.

Residents are always encouraged to follow the 5Ds of mosquito bite prevention:

  • 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.

 

Chatham County Mosquito Control is actively treating all areas of Chatham County for mosquitoes. Residents should expect to see Mosquito Control’s low flying, yellow helicopters on a regular basis throughout the county.

 

Rabies Precautions Issued Following Raccoon Attack on St. Simons

A raccoon scratched and bit a resident while she was standing in her driveway in the Island Club area of St. Simons Island on Sunday, July 8. Although the raccoon has not been caught, the actions of the animal indicate that it likely has rabies. The resident is seeking follow-up care from her healthcare provider.

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 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. Warmer weather increases the possibility of coming across wild animals – many of which can carry rabies – so residents are encouraged to be especially vigilant during summer months.

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

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World Breastfeeding Week Event in Savannah August 4

The Coastal Health District Women, Infants, and Children’s (WIC) nutrition program will hold a World Breastfeeding Week celebration from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 4, at the Forsyth Park Farmers’ Market in Savannah. The event is free, family friendly, and will include a walk for breastfeeding awareness, prize giveaways, and information on the benefits of breastfeeding.

To register for the event and receive a t-shirt, click HERE.

World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated during the first week in August every year in more than 170 countries to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.  This year’s theme is “Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life” and is focused on breastfeeding as the foundation of lifelong good health for babies and mothers. The Coastal Health District is committed to helping mothers breastfeed their babies because breastfeeding is so important for good health. Breast milk is easy to digest, with just the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein for a baby’s growth and development. Breastfed babies usually get sick less often, because breast milk contains antibodies that can protect infants from bacterial and viral infections.

For more information on the objectives of World Breastfeeding Week 2018, go to worldbreastfeedingweek.org.

For more information on the event, contact Monica Lightfoot at Monica.Lightfoot@dph.ga.gov.

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.