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

Camden News


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.

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.

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.

Free Mammograms for Women Who Meet Criteria

Camden County
The Camden County Health Department’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP) is partnering with the Southeast Georgia Health System Breast Care Center’s Mobile Mammography Program to enroll women into BCCP, provide breast screenings, and offer free mammograms from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, October 23, at the Camden Woods Shopping Center located at 1601 Hwy. 40 E. in Kingsland. 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.

No appointment necessary. For more information on the Breast and Cervical Cancer Program, click HERE.


Chatham County
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 Tuesday, October 24, 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.

For more information on the Breast and Cervical Cancer Program, click HERE.


McIntosh County
The McIntosh County Health Department’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP) is partnering with the Southeast Georgia Health System Breast Care Center’s Mobile Mammography Program to enroll women into BCCP, provide breast screenings, and offer free mammograms from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday, October 27, at the Bi-Lo in Darien. 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.

No appointment necessary.

No appointment necessary. For more information on the Breast and Cervical Cancer Program, click HERE.

 

Post-Irma Beach Water Testing Update

Testing for elevated levels of enterococcus (pronounced: en·ter·o·coc·cus), bacteria which is found in warm blooded animals including humans but also birds, raccoons, deer, dolphins and other wildlife, resumed this week after testing was suspended due to Hurricane Irma. Beaches in Chatham and Glynn counties showed results that are within normal limits; therefore, advisories for these areas have been lifted.  There is one exception: North Beach at Dexter Lane (from the old North picnic area to Brice Lane). Beach access was blocked in that area so no testing could be performed.

The following areas are only tested once a month and have not been tested since August:

  • Skidaway Narrows (Butterbean Beach) in Chatham County
  • Contentment Bluff Sandbar and Dallas Bluff Sandbar in McIntosh County
  • Reimolds Pasture, Sea Island North, Sea Island South, and Blythe Island Sandbar in Glynn County.

Since no testing has been performed at North Beach at Dexter Lane on Jekyll Island or at any of the areas mentioned in bullet points above, The Coastal Health District recommends you do not swim or wade in the water in those areas. Fish and other seafood caught from those areas should be thoroughly washed with fresh water and thoroughly cooked before eating as should fish or seafood caught from any waters.

The areas will be retested and results will be shared once that happens. For more information about beach water testing, click HERE.

DPH Urges Safety Precautions After Irma

Keep Yourself and Your Loved Ones Safe By Following Basic Safety Tips

ATLANTA – Hurricane/tropical storm Irma is no longer a threat but recovering from the storm will take weeks, and even longer in some parts of the state. The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is urging Georgians to use extreme caution particularly in the next few days as residents return to their homes, power is restored and damage assessments are made. The storm may be over, but that doesn’t mean the danger is.

Be careful near damaged buildings

  • Do not return to your home until you are told it is safe to do so.
  • Return during daylight hours, when it is easier to avoid hazards, particularly if the electricity is off.
  • Do not enter your home if you are unsure of structural integrity.
  • Leave immediately if you hear shifting or unusual noises.
  • If you smell gas or suspect a leak, notify emergency authorities or the gas company immediately and leave the area.

Stay away from power lines

  • Stay clear of fallen power lines – be particularly careful of power lines that may be hidden in fallen trees and branches.
  • Watch out for power lines dangling overhead.
  • Report downed power lines to emergency authorities or the power company immediately.

Avoid floodwater

  • Always follow warnings about flooded roads.
  • Don’t drive through floodwater – it may be deeper than you think.
  • Keep in mind that floodwater often carries germs. If you touch it, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water. If you don’t have soap or water, use alcohol-based wipes or sanitizer.

Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  • Never use a generator inside your home or garage, even if doors and windows are open.
  • Only use generators outside, more than 20 feet away from your home, doors and windows.
  • Install battery-operated or battery backup CO detectors near every sleeping area in your home.

Identify and throw away food that may not be safe to eat

  • When in doubt, throw it out.
  • Throw away food that has an unusual odor, color or texture.
  • Throw away perishable foods (including meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers) in your refrigerator when the power has been off for four hours or more.
  • Thawed food that contains ice crystals can be refrozen or cooked. Freezers, if left unopened and full, will keep food safe for 48 hours (24 hours if half full).
  • Throw away canned foods that are bulging, opened or damaged.

Check water quality

  • Listen and follow all drinking water advisories and use bottled water when in doubt.
  • Do not drink water from private wells that have/may have been flooded.
  • Disinfect all private wells that may have been flooded before drinking water.

Protect yourself from animals and pests

  • Floods can bring mosquitoes that carry disease – use insect repellent with DEET or Picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus. Follow label directions.
  • Wear long sleeves, pants and socks when you’re outside.
  • Stay away from wild or stray animals after a storm – call 911 or your local public health department to report them.

Prevent mold

  • Protect yourself by wearing gloves, masks and goggles.
  • Remove and discard items that cannot be washed and disinfected (such as mattresses, carpeting, carpet padding, rugs, upholstered furniture, cosmetics, stuffed animals, baby toys, pillows, foam-rubber items, books, wall coverings and paper products) within 24-48 hours.
  • Remove and discard drywall and insulation that has been contaminated with sewage or floodwaters within 24-48 hours.
  • Ventilate by opening all doors and windows.
  • Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces (such as flooring, concrete, molding, wood and metal furniture, countertops, appliances, sinks and other plumbing fixtures) with hot water and laundry or dish detergent.

 

For more information go to:

https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/hurricane_irma.html

https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/refridg_food.html

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-05/documents/epa816f05021.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/mold/images/mold_infographic.jpg

http://www.gema.ga.gov/Pages/default.aspx

https://dph.georgia.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 from a health perspective. For more information visit: www.dph.georgia.gov

Swimming in the Ocean Not Advised Under Current Conditions

The Coastal Health District and Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Coastal Resources Division, advise against swimming or wading in the ocean due to the possibility of hazards including rip currents, elevated bacteria levels, and debris in the water.

Testing for elevated levels of enterococcus (pronounced: en·ter·o·coc·cus), bacteria which is found in warm blooded animals including humans but also birds, raccoons, deer, dolphins and other wildlife, is currently suspended/temporarily unavailable. Testing will resume as soon as possible.

For more information about beach water testing, click HERE.

Residents with Functional, Access, or Medical Needs Urged to Register with Health Department

Public health officials strongly encourage residents in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties who may have functional, access, or medical needs and no way to evacuate – should that become necessary – register with their county health department. The Functional, Access, and Medical Needs Registry is made up of residents who may require transport and medical assistance during a hurricane evacuation and have no other resources such as family, friends, neighbors, or church members to help them if they need to evacuate. Residents must apply to be on the Registry.

Those on the Registry will be evacuated to an American Red Cross shelter in an inland county that will likely be in a gymnasium or similar setting and could be several hours away. The Registry is truly a last resort, but if a hurricane is threatening our area, it is important that health department officials know where the most vulnerable residents are located so that evacuation assistance can be provided to them. People living in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and personal care homes are not eligible for the Functional, Access, and Medical Needs and must follow their facility’s emergency plan.

Functional and Access Needs registrants are individuals who may need services to maintain their independence in a shelter. This includes children and adults with physical, sensory, mental health, and cognitive and/or intellectual disabilities affecting their ability to function independently without assistance. Medical Needs registrants are individuals who require support of trained medical professionals. This includes those individuals who may need assistance with managing unstable, terminal, or contagious conditions that require observation and ongoing treatment.

The application and protected health information authorization form can be downloaded HERE.
Residents can also call the following numbers for more information:

Bryan County
912-756-2611 or 912-653-4331

Camden County
912-882-8515 or 912-576-3040

Chatham County
912-691-7443

Effingham County
912-754-6484

Glynn County
912-279-2940

Liberty County
912-876-2173

Long County
912-545-2107

McIntosh County
912-832-5473


West Nile Virus Infections Increase in Georgia; Georgians Urged to Protect Themselves from Mosquito Bites

From the Georgia Department of Public Health
August 31, 2017

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed nearly 20 human cases of West Nile virus so far this year, including at least three deaths. Georgians are urged to protect themselves from mosquito bites, especially when they are outside this Labor Day weekend.

“Georgians can reduce the number of mosquitoes around their homes and yards by getting rid of standing water,” said Chris Rustin, Ph.D., DPH director of Environmental Health. “Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes that may be infected with West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.”

Tip ‘n Toss all containers that can collect water – flowerpots, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths – anything that holds water and gives mosquitoes a place to thrive. Mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus look for stagnant water to breed in, so be sure gutters and eaves are clear of leaves and debris.

The most effective way to protect against WNV infection and all mosquito-borne diseases, including Zika, is to prevent mosquito bites. Observe the “Five D’s of Prevention” during your outdoor activities this holiday weekend:

  • Dusk/Dawn – Mosquitoes carrying WNV usually bite at dusk and dawn, so avoid or limit outdoor activity at these times.
  • 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 DEET, which is the most effective repellent against mosquito bites.
  • Drain – Empty any containers holding standing water because they are excellent 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.

Symptoms of WNV include headache, fever, neck discomfort, muscle and joint aches, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash – that usually develop three to 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The elderly, those with compromised immune systems, or those with other underlying medical conditions are at greater risk for complications from the disease.

Anyone with questions about WNV or Zika should speak to their healthcare provider or call their local county health department, environmental health office. More information about mosquito-borne illnesses and mosquito repellents can be found by clicking mosquito-borne illness.


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. 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 visit: www.dph.georgia.gov.