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

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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.

Not Too Late to Get a Flu Shot

Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean it’s too late to get a flu shot. The flu season can actually last through the early spring months. The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) encourages all Georgians 6 months of age and older to get a yearly flu vaccine.  The flu shot takes two weeks to provide protection, so take this time and schedule an appointment with your health care provider or your local public health department to get your flu vaccine.

“We are on a mission to help Georgians realize how convenient and easy it is to receive a flu vaccine,” said Sheila Lovett, Immunization Director for the Georgia Department of Public Health.  “Doctors’ offices, health departments, clinics, pharmacies and even some schools and employers offer the vaccine.  It’s a short time to commit to staying healthy through the holidays.”

Influenza can be a serious disease that leads to hospitalization and sometimes death.  Regardless of race, age, gender or ethnicity, anyone can get sick from the flu.  Those especially at risk are adults 65 years of age and older, children younger than 5, pregnant women, people with certain chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or other long-term medical conditions.

A flu vaccine is the best protection against the flu.   With flu season beginning as early as August and sometimes lasting until May, it is never too late to vaccinate.  The vaccination is available in the shot form. CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), also known as the “nasal spray” flu vaccine, should not be used during the 2017-2018 flu season.

For more information flu and flu prevention, visit gachd.org/flu.

For more information on immunization, visit: http://dph.georgia.gov/influenza-what-you-need-know.

 

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).

Diabetes Threat

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. Those are staggering numbers. There are different types of diabetes including type 1, type 2, gestational, and others. There are different risk factors for each type. The most common form is type 2 diabetes. Being overweight, having certain health problems, and not very physically active can have a definite impact on your chances of getting type 2 diabetes.

Are You at Risk?
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and caused by several things including lifestyle factors. Family history of the disease and other factors also play a role in determining if a person will develop diabetes.

Do you know if you are at risk for type 1 or type 2 diabetes?
Take this quick Risk Assessment to find out.

The Truth about Diabetes
There is a lot of misinformation out there about diabetes, what causes it, what you should and should not eat if you have it, etc. The American Diabetes Association sets the record straight by providing truthful answers about Diabetes Myths.

Every year, November 14 is recognized as World Diabetes Day but every day is a chance to learn about diabetes, diabetes prevention, and how to manage diabetes if you have it. Sometimes, it all comes down to your ABCs.

For more information about diabetes, check out these websites:
American Diabetes Association
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (at the National Institutes of Health)

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.