Dates health departments will be closed for staff training in May, June, & July
READ MORE »

×

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

View Upcoming Events

News & Events


Dates health departments will be closed for staff training in May, June, & July

Coastal Health District health departments will be closed on the following dates for mandatory staff training. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Camden County Health Department (St. Marys): May 23 & 24

Bryan County Health Department (Pembroke): May 28 & 29

Bryan County Health Department (Richmond Hill): June 13 & 14

Effingham County Health Department: May 30 & 31

Long County Health Department: June 5 & 6

McIntosh County Health Department: June 10 & 11

Chatham County Health Department (Eisenhower and Drayton St.):
July 1 & 2

Georgia WIC Comment Survey

Let us know what you think about WIC! We want to make the program better but we need your help. Please go to wic.ga.gov to give us your feedback. The survey will be open through June 30.

Measles: What You Need to Know

Measles has been in the news a lot lately. As of April 29, 2019, six residents in Georgia (none in Coastal Health District) have been reported as having measles. Measles have also been reported in nine other states. Measles is highly contagious and can be very dangerous, especially for young children.
The best way to prevent measles is for all children to be fully vaccinated on time. The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is safe and effective and prevents measles and two other viral diseases – mumps and rubella. More than 95% of the people who receive a single dose of MMR will develop immunity to all three viruses. A second dose boosts immunity, typically enhancing protection to 98%.

Measles is spread by air-borne droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes and can live in the air and on surfaces for 2-3 hours. Measles typically begins with a fever, followed by cough, runny nose, and/or red, watery eyes. After two to three days, the fever peaks and a rash appears at the hairline and spreads progressively downward covering the face, neck, trunk and extremities. Symptoms from measles usually appear within 10 – 14 days after exposure. Measles patients are considered to be contagious anywhere from 4 days before to 4 days after the rash appears.

Measles is endemic in many parts of the world and transmission in the U.S. is most often associated with unvaccinated travelers (Americans or foreign visitors) who get measles while they are in other countries.

Who is at increased risk of becoming infected with measles?

  • Infants who are too young to have been vaccinated (less than 1 year of age)
  • Persons who have never been vaccinated
  • Pregnant women
  • Immunocompromised persons (these include persons undergoing cancer chemotherapy or other immune-suppressive treatments, transplant recipients or those with diseases that affect the immune system such as acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) or systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE).
  • Anyone who becomes sick or thinks they may have been exposed to measles should contact your health care provider immediately and let him or her know that you may have been exposed to measles.

Anyone who becomes sick or thinks they may have been exposed to measles should contact their health care provider immediately. DO NOT go to the doctor’s office, the hospital, or a public health clinic without FIRST calling to let them know about your possible contact with measles. Health care providers who suspect measles in a patient should notify public health immediately. For more information about measles, log on to https://www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html

Measles Fact Sheets for Parents in English and Spanish

E. coli Illness in Georgia: What You Need to Know

As of April 10, 2019, at least 17 people in Georgia have confirmed cases of E. coli infection, and these cases are linked to a larger multi-state outbreak involving nearly 100 people in 5 states. Because the investigation is ongoing, the number of cases will likely rise.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Georgia Department of Public Health and other agencies are working to uncover a common source of the infection, such as a specific food item, grocery store or restaurant chain. Public Health is interviewing the people who became ill, asking them about foods they’ve recently eaten and any other possible exposure they could all have in common.

The particular bacteria is E. coli O103, and usually causes symptoms about 3-4 days after someone has swallowed the germ. Symptoms of E. coli O103 include:

  • diarrhea (often bloody)
  • severe stomach cramps
  • vomiting

If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should see your doctor. Young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk for developing complications from E. coli infection.

“Most people recover from E. coli O103 infections within a week, but some illnesses last longer and can be more severe, resulting in a type of kidney failure,” said Cherie Drenzek, DVM, MS, DPH chief science officer and state epidemiologist. “It is crucial that the public understands how serious E. coli O103 infections can be, and to heed all recommended precautions about handwashing and food preparation.”

Ways to prevent E. coli infection include:

  • Wash your hands. Wash hands after using the restroom or changing diapers, before and after preparing or eating food, and after contact with animals.
  • Cook meats properly. Cook ground beef and pork to at least 160˚F. Cook steaks and roasts to at least 145˚F and let rest for three minutes after you remove meat from the grill or stove. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of the meat.
  • Keep raw meats separate from foods that won’t be cooked before eating.
  • Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils with soap after they touch raw meat to avoid contaminating other foods.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables before eating.
  • Avoid unpasteurized (raw) milk and other dairy products, and unpasteurized juice.
  • Don’t prepare food or drink for others when you are sick.

For more information about E. coli O103, log on to https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/index.html.

For more information about safe food handling and preparation, log on to https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/basics/clean/index.html.

Potential Hepatitis A Exposure from Restaurant Worker

A case of hepatitis A has been diagnosed in a food handler at the Zaxby’s located at 5971 Ogeechee Road. A public health investigation found that this employee worked while infectious, March 29 through April 3.

It is relatively rare for restaurant patrons to become infected with hepatitis A virus due to an infected food handler. However, anyone who consumed food and/or drink at the restaurant between March 29 and April 3 should watch for the symptoms of hepatitis A infection.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver, and symptoms may include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Fever
  • Stomach pain
  • Brown-colored urine and light-colored stools
  • Yellowing of the skin of eyes

Symptoms can appear up to 50 days after exposure to the virus. If anyone develops these symptoms, they should stay at home and contact their healthcare provider immediately.

There is also a safe and effective vaccine for hepatitis A that is available through some healthcare providers and all health departments. Even if the vaccine is given after the person was exposed, it can provide protection against developing hepatitis A.

Careful hand washing, including under the fingernails, with soap and water, is always an important tool to prevent the spread of this and many other diseases. Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. The virus spreads when an infected person does not wash his/her hands adequately after using the toilet or engages in behaviors that increase risk of infection.

The following flyer has more information about hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A Information

Additional information can be found at cdc.gov/hepatitis.

CDC’s Tips From Former Smokers® Campaign To Air Hard-Hitting Commercials Beginning April 2019

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is continuing its national tobacco education campaign—Tips From Former Smokers® (Tips®)—with hard-hitting TV commercials that feature real people who have experienced the harms caused by smoking. The campaign ads, which air beginning April 2019, will again highlight the immediate and long-term damage caused by smoking, and encourage smokers to quit.

CDC launched the first Tips campaign in 2012 to lower smoking rates and save lives, and the campaign has been very successful since then. Results of a CDC study published in the journal, Preventing Chronic Disease, show that during 2012-2015, CDC’s Tips campaign was associated with over half a million sustained quits among U.S. adult smokers, and over 9 million quit attempts.

Americans pay a high price in illnesses and deaths due to tobacco use. Unfortunately, even though smoking rates among adults have declined over the years—from 20.9% in 2005 to 14% in 2017—tobacco use still results in far too many deaths, disabilities, and smoking-related illnesses in the United States. For every person who dies because of smoking, at least 30 people live with a serious smoking-related illness.

“Most smokers want to quit. They don’t want to suffer or be a burden on their families,” said Corinne Graffunder, DrPH, MPH, director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “By showing how real people and their families are affected by smoking-related diseases, the Tips campaign can help motivate people to quit for good.”

For more information about the Tips campaign and resources for quitting smoking, visit CDC.gov/tips. For help quitting, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

Tips From Former Smokers. Smoking Causes Immediate Damage to Your Body. Learn More.

STD Awareness

STDs are making a comeback across the nation. The surge of STDs endangers the health of too many in the United States (U.S.). According to the CDC, from 2013-2017, syphilis cases nearly doubled, gonorrhea cases increased by 67 percent, and chlamydia cases remained at record highs.

STDs are preventable and treatable. The best way to prevent STDs is to understand how to protect yourself. Anyone who is sexually active can get an STD. According to the CDC, there are 20 million new STD infections in the United States every year.

Did you know that the most common STD – human papillomavirus (HPV) – can be prevented by a vaccine? Get the lowdown on how to prevent STDs here. STD testing and treatment is available at all Coastal Health District health departments.

Ladies Who PrEP Summit Scheduled for April 13

The Georgia Department of Public Health Office of HIV/AIDS, Sister Love, Inc., and the Coastal Health District will host the “Ladies Who PrEP Summit” in Savannah on April 13 at the Savannah Marriott Riverfront.

WHO: The Georgia Department of Public Health Office of HIV/AIDS, Sister Love, Inc., and the Coastal Health District

WHAT: Ladies Who PrEP Summit

WHEN: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Saturday, April 13

WHERE: Savannah Marriott Riverfront, 100 General McIntosh Blvd., Savannah

WHY: Attendees will be empowered to take control of their sexual health as they discuss women’s sexual health issues and learn about Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) as an HIV prevention option. The day will be a great blend of education and fun as attendees will enjoy food, celebrity guest panels, music, and interactive skill building activities from health experts.

This event is free and open to the public but registration is required:
https://ladieswhoprepsavannah.eventbrite.com

Click here for more information about PrEP.

National Nutrition Month



March is National Nutrition Month and a time to focus on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

Below is some information we hope you will find helpful.

Dietary Guidelines
MyPlate, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and food labels can help you create a healthy eating plan that includes a variety of foods from all food groups. Learn more at https://sm.eatright.org/aboutDGA.

Food Safety
Reduce your risk of food poisoning by following these four easy steps: https://sm.eatright.org/4HFSsteps

Dining Out
Restaurant food is meant to look, smell and taste great, and that means nutrition can sometimes fall by the wayside! Try these tips to dine out while sticking to a healthy eating plan: https://sm.eatright.org/diningout

Benefits of Healthy Eating Style
A healthy eating plan can help prevent illnesses and keep you feeling great! Learn about some of the benefits of a healthful diet: https://sm.eatright.org/preventillness

Eating Right Isn’t Complicated
Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated! Start building a smarter plate by choosing fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy — foods that are packed with the nutrients you need.
Get more tips at https://sm.eatright.org/ERnotcomplicated.

Portion Sizes
A key part of healthful eating is choosing appropriate amounts of different foods. Learn the important differences between the terms “serving size” and “portion size”: https://sm.eatright.org/srvprtnsizes



Free Mammograms in Chatham Co. for Women Who Meet Eligibility Criteria

The Chatham County Health Department’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP) is partnering with St. Joseph’s/Candler Mobile Mammography Program to offer free mammogram screenings for women who meet eligibility guidelines from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., on Tuesday, March 26, at the health department’s midtown location, 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. More information on eligibility requirements can be found at gachd.org/bccp.

Appointments are preferred but walk-ins will be accepted. To make an appointment, please call 356-2946.