Latest Update for Public Health Delayed Opening in North GA on Tuesday

Health

Due to the latest weather warning that Georgia counties north of I-20 may form black ice on roads due to overnight freezing Monday night, all North Georgia Health District offices in Dalton and Public Health Departments, Programs and Services in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties will DELAY Opening until 10 AM on Tuesday, December 11th. Any further updates will be posted to the North Georgia Health District website at www.nghd.org and on district social media pages at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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

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Don’t Let The Flu Catch Up To You

Health

Don’t Let The Flu Catch Up To You:

Georgia Dept. of Public Health Encourages Yearly Flu Shot

North Georgia – The holidays are almost here, and that means family gatherings and holiday parties where people tend to be in close personal contact. Don’t bring flu to the festivities. National Influenza Vaccination Week is December 3-9, and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) encourages all Georgians to get their flu vaccine. The flu shot is the best protection against the flu.

“Flu season is here until possibly as late as May, and we anticipate an active flu season this year,” said Sherry Gregory, RN, Infectious Disease Supervisor of the North Georgia Health District, based in Dalton. “It’s important that North Georgians understand the best way to protect against influenza is to receive an annual flu vaccine. As long as the virus is circulating, it’s never too late to vaccinate.”

Influenza can be a serious disease that leads to hospitalization and sometimes death. On average, more than 200,000 people in the United States are hospitalized each year for illnesses associated with seasonal influenza virus infections.[1] 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. Preventive actions such as simply washing hands and covering the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing can guard against the flu.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months and older receive a flu vaccine. Getting a flu vaccine is more convenient than ever. Public health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties have flu vaccine for people of all ages, including pediatric and quadrivalent vaccine as well as Fluzone High Dose for people 65 years old and older. Log onto nghd.org to find these North Georgia Health District county health departments’ contact information by clicking the LOCATIONS tab at top of the home page. Many physicians, pharmacies, employers, schools, colleges and universities also offer flu vaccines. 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.

National Influenza Vaccination Week emphasizes the importance of receiving an annual flu vaccination. Even healthy children and adults can get very sick from the flu. So be wise and get immunized against the flu. For more information on immunization, visit http://dph.georgia.gov/influenza-what-you-need-know.

North Georgia Health District Closed Early Today

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 6, 2017

North Georgia Health District Closed Early Today

The office of North Georgia Health District 1-2 of the Georgia Department of Public Health based in Dalton is Closed this afternoon due to the potential for dangerous winter road conditions. Environmental Health Offices in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties are closed, as well. Public Health Departments in each of these counties close by 1 PM every Friday.

For further updates, log onto http://www.nghd.org

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Jennifer King
Public Information Officer and
Risk Communicator
North Georgia Health District 1-2 of the
Georgia Department of Public Health
1710 Whitehouse Court
Dalton, GA 30720
(706) 529-5757, x3191 (Office)
(706) 280-9115 (Cell)
(706) 529-5740 (Fax)
[email protected]

Website: nghd.org
Facebook: Facebook.com/N.GA.Health
Twitter: twitter.com/NGAHealthDist

Parents, make-a-date to vaccinate your preteen

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For Immediate Release

March 3, 2017

 

Contact: Jennifer King, (706) 529-5757, ext. 3191 / [email protected]

 

Parents, make-a-date to vaccinate your preteen

 

North Georgia – Let’s face it – nobody likes getting shots – but a shot lasts a second: diseases last much longer.

 

In an effort to protect every adult and child, the Georgia Department of Public Health established Georgia Preteen Vaccine Awareness Week, observed March 13-17, 2017, to serve as a reminder for parents to talk with their preteens and teens about getting immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases.

 

“Preteens are at an age when they are becoming more independent and social. They spend more time out with friends, playing sports, going to sleepaway camps and attending parties. While this is a fun part of growing up, these activities could increase their risk for contracting potentially life-threatening diseases,” said Sheila Lovett, director for the Georgia Department of Public Health Immunization Program. “Parents, make it a priority to vaccinate your preteen against these preventable diseases.”

 

According to the Georgia  Department of Public Health Rule (511-2-2), all students born on or after January 1, 2002, entering or transferring into seventh grade and any “new entrant” into eighth through 12th grades in Georgia need proof of an adolescent pertussis (whooping cough) booster vaccination(called “Tdap”) AND an adolescent meningococcal vaccination (MenACWY). This law affects all public and private schools, including, but not limited to, charter schools, community schools, juvenile court schools and other alternative school settings (excluding home schools).

 

These vaccines are available at county public health departments in the North Georgia Health District. Our public health department locations and phone numbers are as follows:

 

Cherokee: 1219 Univeter Road, Canton, GA 30115 – (770) 345-7371 / 7545 North Main Street, Woodstock, GA 30188 – (770) 928-0133

 

Fannin: 95 Ouida Street, Blue Ridge, GA – (706) 632-3023

 

Gilmer: 28 Southside Church Street, Ellijay, GA 30540 – (706) 635-4363

 

Murray: 709 Old Dalton-Ellijay Road, Chatsworth, GA 30705 – (706) 695-4585

 

Pickens: 60 Health Way, Jasper, GA 30143 – (706) 253-2821

 

Whitfield: 800 Professional Boulevard, Dalton, GA 30720 – (706) 226-2621

 

Vaccines are the best defense we have against serious, preventable and sometimes deadly contagious diseases. They help avoid expensive therapies and hospitalization needed to treat infectious diseases like influenza and meningitis. Immunizations also reduce absences both at school and after school activities and decrease the spread of illness at home, school and the community.

 

“The question parents often ask about vaccinations for their preteen or teen is ‘Why does my child need this vaccine?’,” said Ashley Ridley, RN, BSHA, Immunization Coordinator for the North Georgia Health District. “The answer is simple. Vaccinations are the best way to prevent diseases such as meningitis, which can cause shock, coma and even death within hours of the first symptom, and the Human Papillomavirus, also known as HPV, the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. HPV can lead to cervical cancer in women, as well as other oral and genital cancers in men and women; therefore, it is recommended that, ideally, the vaccine be given to girls and boys before they become sexually active and exposed to HPV.”

 

The CDC currently recommends the following vaccines for preteens and teens:

 

  • Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (Tdap)
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) – three doses
  • Meningococcal Disease (MenACWY)

 

Georgia Preteen Vaccine Awareness Week is an opportunity to raise awareness through schools, health care providers and the media regarding preteen immunizations, particularly Georgia’s pertussis and meningococcal requirements for incoming seventh-grade students. Speak with your healthcare provider or county public health department today to find out if your preteen is up-to-date and if not, make a date to vaccinate.

 

For more information, click here.

 

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About Us: The North Georgia Health District is part of the Georgia Department of Public Health. One of 18 health districts in the state, the North Georgia Health District (District 1-2) is comprised of six counties: Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens, and Whitfield. Many public health programs and services exist throughout the district, all of which are designed to meet the needs of the people of North Georgia. Learn more about us at www.nghd.org, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

To access this press release on our website, please log onto  http://nghd.org/pr/34-/843-parents-make-a-date-to-vaccinate-your-preteen.html

 

Attached: Press Release in PDF

 

Thank you,

 

Jennifer King
Public Information Officer and
Risk Communicator
North Georgia Health District 1-2 of the

Georgia Department of Public Health
1710 Whitehouse Court
Dalton, GA 30720
(706) 529-5757, x3191 (Office)
(706) 280-9115 (Cell)
(706) 529-5740 (Fax)
[email protected]

Website: nghd.org
Facebook: facebook.com/N.GA.Health
Twitter: twitter.com/NGAHealthDist

Rabies Alert: Health officials urge residents to vaccinate their animals.

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                                For Immediate Release         

rabies-skunkDecember 16, 2016

Another Whitfield County Skunk Tests Positive for Rabies

Health officials urge residents to vaccinate their animals

 

Dalton (GA) – A Whitfield County resident observed stray dogs interacting with a skunk on Boyles Mill Road in the northeast section of the county on Monday, December 12 and contacted officials the next day after seeing a media report about rabies in the area. The resident was not close enough to the stray dogs to give a specific description.

Whitfield Animal Control responded to the call and found a dead skunk in about the same location. Since the skunk almost certainly had contact with the stray dogs it was shipped to the Georgia State Public Health Laboratory, which confirmed on Wednesday, December 14 that the skunk had rabies.

There was no human exposure to rabies in this incident.

Residents in the northern parts of Whitfield and Murray Counties are strongly advised to be aware of wild mammals behaving aggressively, appearing sick or otherwise behaving in an abnormal manner. Children should be taught to avoid stray dogs, cats and wild mammals.

Pet owners should make sure their cats and dogs are currently vaccinated against rabies. When rabid wild animals come near a home, pets usually have first contact with them. So when pets are vaccinated against rabies, pet owners and their families are also better protected. Unvaccinated dogs or cats that have been bitten by a rabid animal are recommended to be destroyed or placed in very strict quarantine for six months.

Persons who own livestock in these areas should have farm animals with which they have close contact vaccinated against rabies and be aware that all livestock are susceptible to rabies. A cow in another part of north Georgia was recently found to have rabies, resulting in anti-rabies treatments for several persons.

For more information about rabies and its prevention, contact your local Environmental Health office (contact information is at www.nghd.org) or log onto www.cdc.gov/rabies.

About Us: The North Georgia Health District is part of the Georgia Department of Public Health. One of 18 health districts in the state, the North Georgia Health District (District 1-2) is comprised of six counties: Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens, and Whitfield. Many public health programs and services exist throughout the district, all of which are designed to meet the needs of the people of North Georgia. Learn more about us at www.nghd.org, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

To access this press release directly online, go to our website at  http://nghd.org/pr/34-/827-another-whitfield-county-skunk-tests-positive-for-rabies.html

Thank you,

Jennifer King
Public Information Officer and
Risk Communicator
North Georgia Health District 1-2 of therabies2

Georgia Department of Public Health
1710 Whitehouse Court
Dalton, GA 30720
(706) 529-5757, x3191 (Office)
(706) 280-9115 (Cell)
(706) 529-5740 (Fax)
Je[email protected]

Website: nghd.org
Facebook: facebook.com/N.GA.Health
Twitter: twitter.com/NGAHealthDist

Twelve North Georgians receive POST-EXPOSURE Rabies treatment

Health, News

North Georgia Health District officials announced today that twelve people are currently receiving post-exposure rabies treatment due to contact with domestic animals that have now tested positive for the disease.

Within the past two weeks, two puppies and a kitten have been confirmed by the Georgia Public Health Laboratory as having rabies. All three pets were too young to receive rabies vaccinations. One of the puppies was in Whitfield County and the other was in Gilmer County. The kitten was in Cherokee County. In each case, the pet was attacked by a rabid wild animal and bitten in the head, but it was not reported to veterinarians or health authorities until rabies symptoms developed in the pet.

The time between being bitten by the wild animal and onset of rabies symptoms was very short because the head bites were close to the brain. The rabies virus only travels through the nervous system to the brain, not through blood or other organs. The closer a bite is from the brain, the shorter time it takes to reach the brain.

Wild animals that transmitted rabies to the puppies and kitten were a skunk, a raccoon and, possibly, a coyote.

The fact that these unrelated cases occurred in separate areas of the North Georgia Health District within the past two weeks is a coincidence, and even more coincidental is that all pets involved were too young to vaccinate. Pets must be at least three months old to be vaccinated against rabies.

Parents are strongly cautioned to keep children away from wild animals, strays and unvaccinated pets that may have been in contact with wild animals. Vaccinate all dogs and cats at three months of age and no later.

Wild carnivores are the animals most likely to spread rabies to pets and humans, including raccoons, skunks, foxes, bobcats, and coyotes. It is also not uncommon for persons to acquire rabies from bats. Any bite or other physical contact with a bat or any of these wild carnivores should be evaluated by a medical professional for rabies exposure. Even finding a bat in a bedroom where a person has been sleeping is cause for alarm and should be reported. Human deaths from rabies in the United States are rare, but because rabies is almost always fatal once symptoms begin to develop in a human, the only prevention is anti-rabies treatments given as soon as possible after exposure to rabies. If given in time, the treatments are 100 percent effective in preventing rabies. Only a small minority of wild animals carry and transmit rabies, so indiscriminate killing of them is not warranted. If these types of wild animals or domestic animals seem to be behaving strangely or displaying symptoms suggestive of a neurological illness, contact a veterinarian and the county Environmental Health office at once.

Livestock animals are also susceptible to rabies but can be vaccinated by a veterinarian. Rabies vaccinations are strongly recommended for show livestock and any livestock with which humans have regular contact such as riding horses.

Contact the local Environmental Health Office for questions about rabies or to report an incident that may involve rabies. Contact information for Environmental Health offices in the North Georgia Health District is available at www.nghd.org. Questions and reports may also be directed to the North Georgia Health District Environmental Health office in Dalton, Georgia by calling (706) 529-5757, extension 1161.

 

Find additional information on CDC’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/index.html.

Free Rapid HIV Testing at Dalton State College

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Health Departments in North Georgia Awarded Car Seat Mini Grant

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Buckle Up Right, Every Trip, Every Time

 NORTH GEORGIA – Several county health departments in the North Georgia Health District were awarded the 2016 Car Seat Mini-Grant by the Georgia Department of Public Health, Injury Prevention Program. Through the Mini-Grant, health departments and collaborating community partners are able to work together to provide car seats and education to financially eligible families in Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties!

This program is funded by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to help ensure Georgia’s children are safe while riding in motor vehicles.

And it works! Since 2007, the education, car seats and booster seats provided through the Mini Grant prevented serious injury or death and saved at least 303 of Georgia’s children who were involved in crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car seats reduce fatal injuries by 71 percent among infants and by 54 percent among children ages 1 to 4 years in passenger cars. Car seats offer the best protection for children in the event of a crash, and they are most effective when installed and used correctly. Nearly three out of every four car seats are not used properly, placing children at unnecessary risk.

Keeping children safe is vital, and the Car Seat Mini-Grant is a great opportunity for communities to help protect kids from serious injuries or death in motor vehicle crashes.

In Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties, the Mini-Grant is enabling public health departments and their partners to educate parents and caregivers on how to properly install and use car seats, offer car seat inspections and provide car seats and booster seats to financially eligible families. Through the Car Seat Mini-Grant, agencies supporting more than 130 counties are working to keep Georgia’s children safe. These programs help families get their children buckled up right, every trip, every time.

For more information about the car seat program in North Georgia, contact the Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens or Whitfield County health department (numbers are listed below). If you would like information regarding other counties involved in the program, please contact the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Child Occupant Safety Project via email at [email protected] or at (404) 679-0500.

 

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