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

Chatham News


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.

Two Raccoons on Wilmington Island Tests Positive for Rabies

Two raccoons on Wilmington Island have tested positive for rabies. In the first incident, the raccoon came into contact with a dog. The dog is current on vaccinations and received a booster vaccine. In the second incident, a raccoon was hit by a car and an individual trying to render aid was scratched by the raccoon. The Chatham County Environmental Health office has reached out to the resident to recommend consultation 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 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 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.

 

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.

 

Chatham County Health Department Schedule Announcement

The Chatham County Health Department midtown location at 1602 Drayton Street will only be open from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Friday, September 29. Both health department locations – 1602 Drayton Street and 1395 Eisenhower Drive – will be closed for all services, including environmental health and vital records, on Friday, October 20, for staff training.

We apologize for any inconvenience this causes.

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.

Functional, Access, and Medical Needs Registry Evacuation Process Under Way/Evacuation Info.

September 8, 2017

The evacuation process for those on the Chatham County Functional, Access, and Medical Needs Registry is now under way. Those on the Registry will receive an automated call informing them of when they will be picked up at their home. The Functional, Access, and Medical Needs registration process ended at 5 p.m. on Thursday, September 7. At this point, any residents who do not have transportation out of town should report to the Savannah Civic Center to evacuate with the general population.
Again, anyone on the Functional, Access, and Medical Needs Registry will be picked up at their home. Those NOT on the registry who have no means of evacuating should go to the Savannah Civic Center.


Chatham County Evacuation Information

Mandatory evacuation:
All of Chatham county will be under a mandatory evacuation. The governor has called for everything east of I-95 to evacuate, but Chatham County has issued a mandatory evacuation for the entire county
We will begin evacuating by zone:
Zone A: 8 AM—12PM Saturday
Zone B: 12 PM—8 PM Saturday
Zone C: 8 AM—12—PM Sunday


City of Pooler evacuation assistance

  • Shuttles will run from the recreation park located at 900 South Rogers Street on the following days and times:
  • Saturday morning, Sept. 9, at 8 AM—6 PM
  • Sunday, Sept. 10, 8 AM—2 PM
  • The LAST shuttle will run at 2 PM on Sunday, Sept. 10
  • Do not leave any vehicles at 900 South Rogers Street if you are evacuating

EAA (Evacuation Assembly Area)

  • Begins Sept. 9 at 8 AM—7 PM at the Civic Center
  • Will reopen on Sunday, Sept. 10 at 8 AM
  • No one will be allowed to park at the Civic Center
  • Remember those with vehicles are encouraged to evacuate using your own resources
    Luggage:
  • No more than 1 piece of luggage per person
  • Luggage will not be stored at the civic center
    Pets:
  • Are allowed if they are crated and have shot records
  • Only domestic animals (i.e. cats and dogs)
  • People with functional medical needs are being evacuated today (Sept. 8)
  • If they have not already registered, then they will need to do so through the EAA tomorrow, Sept. 9 at 8 AM

Utilities
Port Wentworth is not turning off utility services


Georgia Forestry will not issue any more burn permits after today until further notice
Outdoor burning needs to cease.

Chatham Co. Functional, Access, Medical Needs Registry to Close 5 p.m., Sept. 7

CHATHAM COUNTY, GA – Applications for the Chatham County Functional, Access, and Medical Needs Registry will not be taken after 5 p.m. today, Thursday, September 7. At that point in time any residents who do not have transportation should make arrangements to get to the Savannah Civic Center at 301 West Oglethorpe Avenue to evacuate with the general population should an evacuation order be issued.

We must close the Registry ahead of tropical storm force winds in order to process the number of applicants already received.