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

News


It’s Not Too Late to Get a Flu Shot

Flu is widespread throughout Georgia and more than 300 people have been hospitalized with flu-related illness across the state. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu season usually peaks between December and February; however, flu season can last into spring.

“This has been an extremely rough flu season and the entire country has been hit hard,” said Health Director for the Coastal Health District, Lawton Davis, M.D. “It’s not too late to get vaccinated against the flu and we want to encourage those who have not been vaccinated to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, and sometime diarrhea or vomiting.

There are other things we can all do 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 fever-reducing medications.
  • 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 on this year’s flu season and the flu vaccine, go to cdc.gov/flu.

Additional Flu Information

Flu Inactive Vaccine Information Statement

Flu Inactive Vaccine Information Statement SPANISH

Flu Guide for Parents

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, February 12, at the Chatham County Health Department located at 1602 Drayton Street. 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.

Widespread Flu in Georgia: Protect Yourself and Prevent the Spread of Flu

From the Georgia Department of Public Health
January 12, 2018

If you have not gotten a flu shot yet, do not wait any longer! Flu is widespread in Georgia, and more than three hundred individuals have been hospitalized with flu-related illness. The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed four flu-related deaths so far, but that number is expected to increase.

The predominant strain of flu circulating in Georgia and around the country is influenza A (H3N2). This strain can be particularly hard on the very young, people over age 65, or those with existing medical conditions. H3N2 is one of the strains contained in this year’s flu vaccine along with two or three others, depending on the vaccine.

“It is not too late to get a flu shot,” says J. Patrick O’Neal, M.D., DPH commissioner. “Every individual over the age of six months should get a flu vaccine – not just for their own protection, but to protect others around them who may be more vulnerable to the flu and its complications.”

Flu symptoms and their intensity can vary from person to person, and can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. If you think you have the flu, call or visit your doctor.

In some cases, healthcare providers may recommend the use of antivirals such as Tamiflu® or Relenza®. Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid, an inhaled powder or an intravenous solution) that fight against the flu in your body. Antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within two days of getting sick. Antivirals are used to treat those at high-risk for flu complications – young children, the elderly, individuals with underlying medical conditions and women who are pregnant. Most otherwise-healthy people who get the flu, however, do not need to be treated with antiviral drugs.

There are other things you can do to help prevent the spread of flu – tried and true measures your mother taught you.

  • Frequent and thorough hand-washing with soap and warm water. Alcohol based gels are the next best thing if you don’t have access to soap and
  • Cover 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
  • If you are sick, stay home from school or work. Flu sufferers should be free of a fever, without the use of a fever reducer, for at least 24 hours before returning to school or

If you are caring for a sick individual at home, keep them away from common areas of the house and other people as much as possible. If you have more than one bathroom, have the sick person use one and well people use the other. Clean the sick room and the bathroom once a day with household disinfectant. Thoroughly clean linens, eating utensils, and dishes used by the sick person before reusing.

To learn more about influenza log on to www.flu.gov.

 

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.

Rabies Precautions Issued in Camden County

A stray cat in Woodbine tested positive for rabies after biting a woman. The incident took place at close to the 12000 block of Hwy. 17 near intersection on Hwy. 17 and Grover Rd. The resident who was bitten has been advised to follow up with a healthcare professional. Increased raccoon activity has also been reported in downtown St. Marys near the elementary school. Camden County residents are encouraged to stay away from and report any animals acting strangely to Camden County Animal Control at 912-576-7395.

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 Camden 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 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 Camden County Animal Control at 912-576-7395 and the Camden County Health Department Environmental Health office at 912-729-6012.

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, October 18, at the Chatham County Health Department located at 1602 Drayton Street. 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.

Some Public Health Services to Stop Early on Dec. 8

Health Departments and HIV CARE Centers in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties will suspend operations at 11 a.m. on Friday, December 8, for a software upgrade.

Environmental Health offices in Bryan, Camden, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties will also suspend operations at 11 a.m. on Friday, December 8.

The Vital Records office at the Chatham County Health Department will remain open on Friday, December 8.

The Vital Records office at the Glynn County Health Department will be closed on Friday, December 8.

The Chatham County Environmental Health office will remain open on Friday, December 8.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. All services will be available at 8 a.m. on Monday, December 11.

Georgia WIC Program Public Comment, Dec. 1 – Dec. 31, 2017

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Public Health’s (DPH) Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) will hold its annual public comment period from Dec. 1 – Dec. 31, 2017. During this period, Georgians are invited to comment on the program’s successes and identify opportunities to improve WIC services.

A federally-funded health and nutrition program, Georgia WIC promotes good health and positive food choices by providing its participants with nutrition education and food selections based on their nutrient content, availability throughout the state and cost. WIC food packages can include infant formulas and medical foods, milk, cheese, eggs, fruits, vegetables, juice, whole grain foods, fish, peanut butter, soy products and beans. Food packages are tailored to meet the needs of the participant.

The Georgia WIC program’s food packages are aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and infant feeding practice guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The guidelines reflect recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine. There are more than 1,400 authorized food retailers that participate in the Georgia WIC program food delivery system.

To make comments or provide suggestions, visit wic.ga.gov, click on the public comment link located on the Georgia WIC home page, and complete the appropriate survey. To learn more about Georgia WIC, please visit wic.ga.gov or call 1-800-228-9173 or 1-800-225-0056 (TTY).

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

 

Mail:  U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410

Fax: (202) 690-7442

Email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Free Diabetes Risk Assessments November 29

The Coastal Health District Chronic Disease Prevention Program will offer free diabetes risk assessments from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Wednesday, November 29, at the Chatham County Health Department located at 1395 Eisenhower Drive in Savannah.

More than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes and more than 84 million people over the age of 18 in the United States have pre-diabetes. In Georgia alone, more than one million people have diabetes and about 44,000 Georgians are diagnosed with diabetes every year. There are different risk factors for different types of diabetes.

In recognition of National Diabetes Awareness Month and in an effort to identify those who may be pre-diabetic, the Coastal Health District’s Chronic Disease Prevention Program will offer free diabetes risk assessments at the Chatham County Health Department. Information on diabetes prevention and management will also be available. This event is free and open to the public.

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.