District 4 Public Health

Clinic appointment: 1-800-847-4262
WIC appointment: 1-706-298-6080

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Family Engagement Survey

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is conducting a survey of our families. You are being asked to complete a survey based on your experience in our Maternal and Child Health (MCH) programs (C1st, Babies Can’t Wait, Children’s Medical Services, Family Planning, etc.). The survey will take approximately 5 minutes to complete. The information you provide will be kept confidential and will be used to see what areas need to be strengthened.

Please use the following link to complete the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FamilyEngagementsurveyforfamilies .

We ask that you complete the survey by May 15.

Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey.

If you have any questions and/or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Linda Tran, Title V Analyst at Linda.Tran@dph.ga.gov.

E. coli Illness in Georgia Linked to Multistate Outbreak

E. coli Illness in Georgia Linked to Multistate Outbreak

 

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have confirmed 17 cases of E. coli O103 infection in Georgia. Because this is an ongoing investigation, the number of cases is expected to increase. These illnesses are part of a multistate E. coli outbreak sickening nearly 100 people in five states. There are no reports of death in the outbreak.

A specific food item, grocery store, or restaurant chain has not been identified as the source of these infections. DPH is interviewing the individuals who became ill, asking them about foods they ate in the week before they got sick and looking for any other exposures or commonalities.

People usually get sick from E. coli O103 an average of 3-4 days after swallowing the germ. Symptoms of E. coli O103 include diarrhea (often bloody), severe stomach cramps and vomiting. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should see their 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.

National Nutrition Month

America is known as a melting pot of cultures who enjoy a variety of ethnic dishes, but some of these recipes can be high in saturated fat and calories. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers tips on how to cut down on fat while savoring the flavor of traditional family fare.

“Family recipes are usually passed down from one generation to the next, so many of us hesitate to tinker with perfection,” says Cordialis Msora-Kasago, a Los Angeles-based registered dietitian nutritionist and a national spokesperson for the Academy. “I encourage my clients to experiment with cooking techniques and flavors to put their own heathy spin on family dishes.”

“Try baking instead of frying your chicken or pork chops,” Msora-Kasago says. “Look for ways to lighten up your dishes and enjoy the natural flavors of food.”

Smart Swaps

“You don’t have to forgo your favorite dishes in your quest for more healthful meals,” Msora-Kasago says. “Consider swapping less healthful ingredients with more nutritious options.”

Msora-Kasago offers the following tips:

  • Use heart-healthy canola, olive or peanut oil instead of solid fats.
  • Use sharp, reduced-fat cheese and low-fat milk in your macaroni and cheese
  • Sweeten your desserts with fruit puree or apple sauce instead of sugar
  • Use whole wheat flour instead of white flour in muffins
  • Opt for brown rice instead of white rice in your red beans and rice or jambalaya.

Msora-Kasago’s advice? “Experiment! Cut the fat in potato salad by substituting half of the mayonnaise with plain non-fat Greek yogurt. Your family might not notice the difference. Simple swaps are key to making dishes healthier without sacrificing flavor.”

Savor the Flavor

“Liven up your family meals by trying new spices,” Msora-Kasago says. “Use smoked paprika or a dash of smoked salt to add the smoked flavor that you would normally get from ham, bacon or salt pork. Consider using salt-free herb blends to lower the salt in your foods.”

Experiment with different flavors by adding apple cider or rice vinegar to your greens or marinate your chicken in rosemary and lemon juice before grilling, Msora-Kasago says.

“Don’t bury the natural sweetness of your sweet potatoes under a mound of marshmallows and sugar,” Msora-Kasago says. “Add a little brown sugar and vanilla to make a lower-calorie version of candied yams.”

“Eating right isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor,” Msora-Kasago says. “Healthy eating styles can be adapted to fit the foods of all cultures.”

Examples of healthful menu items from cultural traditions.

Healthy eating on a budget.

Keep Your Preteen Safe – Vaccinate Them Today

Vaccinate your preteen today so they can have healthy tomorrow.

In an effort to protect every adult and child, District 4 Public Health is joining the Georgia Department of Public Health in recognizing March 11-15, 2019 as Georgia Preteen Vaccine Awareness Week. This week serves as a reminder for parents to talk with their preteens and teens about getting immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases.

“Every parent wants to protect their child from danger, yet many times parents don’t see vaccination as a priority,” said Sheila Lovett, Immunization Program director for the Georgia Department of Public Health. “Vaccinating your child is the single best way to protect them from these preventable diseases, so we urge parents to make this a priority.”

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 -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 homeschool).

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 CDC currently recommends the following vaccines for preteens and teens:

  • Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (Tdap)
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • 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 physician today to find out if your preteen is up-to-date.
For more information, click here.

Free HIV Testing in Griffin, GA

Free HIV testing will be offered in Griffin, GA March 15th & 16th. Free gift card will be provided to the first 10 people to get tested!

Friday, March 15th: 1:00 -2:30 pm  at The IRIS | 859 Park Pointe Rd| Griffin, GA and 2:45 – 4:00pm at The Terraces | 854 Westbrook St | Griffin, GA

Saturday, March 16th: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm  at Fairmont | 211 Quincy Ave | Griffin, GA and 12:15 – 1:00 pm at The Oaks | 420 Park Rd | Griffin, GA

The only way to know for sure whether you have HIV is to get tested. CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information to help you take steps to keep you and your partner healthy. Here’s where you can get more information about testing.

 

Heart-Healthy Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s Day celebrate love and life with your heart in mind.

  1. Instead of tempting your sweetie with sweets show off your creative side. Buy a variety of naturally sweet fresh fruits of your choice that are in season. Cut the fruit into pieces and dip them into melted dark chocolate. Dark-chocolate covered fruit are a great alternative to a traditional box of chocolates and are full of vitamins & antioxidants.
  2. Quality time is one of the most meaningful gifts. Plan to do something together that keeps you both moving. Go for a walk, bicycle ride or plan something more adventurous.
  3. Cooking at home is an excellent way to control what and how much you eat. Heart-healthy and recipe ideas.
  4. Have little Valentine’s? Take a few minutes to make fruit & cheese kabobs. All you need is cut fruit, low-fat cheese, toothpicks, and sweet little love quotes to assemble a deliciously colorful fruit and cheese kabob for your sweetheart. Stick a little paper love note at the top of each kabob to make each one special.
  5. Give to one another by giving back. Ask your love to volunteer with you at a local organization. Giving back is a healthy habit that can boost your mood and help beat stress.
  6. Use this day as an opportunity to tell your loved one how important they are to you, and share ways that you can support each other’s health and wellness. Get started by learning your numbers and why they are important.
  7. Sharing is caring – if you go out for a romantic dinner date, order one entrée to share or ask for a to-go box up front. Many restaurant servings are enough for two – splitting will keep you from overdoing it.
  8. Take it slow – if you receive an indulgent box of chocolates from your sweetie, stick it in the freezer and enjoy in moderation over the next several weeks.
  9. Technology for your heart – There are so many wearable fitness monitors on the market right now.
  10. Instead of buying a traditional bouquet of grocery store flowers, visit the produce section and create a colorful bouquet of edible flowers and plants that promote good health and may be given as a gift option.

FREE HIV Testing

Free HIV testing will be offered 10am-1pm & 2pm-4pm on February 14, 2019 at the Henry County Health Department. Free gift cards will be provided to the first 30 people to get tested!

The only way to know for sure whether you have HIV is to get tested. CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information to help you take steps to keep you and your partner healthy. Here’s where you can get more information about testing.

Henry County Health Department
135 Henry Parkway
McDonough, GA 30253

 

Severe Weather Preparedness Week

Although west Georgia has some of the most beautiful weather in the country year-round, it is also susceptible to a wide variety of natural disasters. During Severe Weather Preparedness Week, Feb. 4-8, 2019 Georgians are encouraged to learn about possible severe weather threats and how to prepare for them. Each day has a different focus.

Family Preparedness/NOAA Weather Radio Day – Monday, Feb. 4
• If a disaster struck, would your family know what to do? What if you were separated? Sit down with your family to decide how you will get in contact with each other, where you will go and what you will do in an emergency.
• Also on Feb. 4, take a few minutes to program your NOAA Weather Radio. If you don’t have a weather radio, consider purchasing one. They are the most reliable way to learn about storms before they hit.

Thunderstorm Safety – Tuesday, Feb. 5
• Thunderstorms are common, and they shouldn’t be underestimated. They can produce strong winds, lightning, tornadoes, hail and flash flooding.
• Remember to tie down loose outdoor items before severe thunderstorms. Postpone outdoor activities and stay inside.
• Severe thunderstorms are defined as thunderstorms that produce 1 inch hail or larger and/or strong wind gusts of 58mph or greater. Severe hail that is 1 inch in diameter is roughly the size of a quarter.

Tornado Safety drill to occur at 9 a.m. – Wednesday, Feb. 6
• Tornadoes are some of nature’s most violent storms, generating wind speeds that can exceed 250 miles per hour.
• A tornado watch means a tornado is possible in your area. A tornado warning means a tornado has been spotted, and you should take shelter immediately.
• It’s important for everyone in the family to know the safest place to go during a tornado. Storm cellars and basements provide the best protection. If underground shelter is not available, go to an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.

Lightning Safety – Thursday, Feb. 7
• Lightning can strike from several miles away. If you can hear thunder, you are in danger of being struck by lightning. Stay indoors until 30 minutes after you hear the last clap of thunder.
• Avoid showering or bathing during thunderstorms, as plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity from lightning.

Flood Safety – Friday, Feb. 8
• Nearly half of all flood-related deaths occur when people drive into floodwaters and their vehicle is swept away. It only takes two feet of water to sweep away a vehicle. Remember: turn around, don’t drown.
• Protect your important documents from flooding by making copies and placing them in a waterproof container, like a plastic bag.

Be Informed. Make a plan. Build a kit. Get Involved. Learn more.

Georgia WIC is operating as usual.

At this time, Georgia WIC is operating as usual. Vouchers are being issued and redeemable at WIC authorized stores. Participants should keep their appointments at WIC clinics. The Georgia Department of Public Health is monitoring developments daily in the federal government shutdown. If you have questions, please call your local WIC office or (800) 228-9173.

To make an appointment call our appointment line: 706-298-6080 or 770-722-0633. You can also make an appointment here.

The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Program is a federally-funded health and nutrition program for:

*Infants and Children age 1 to 5 years (including foster children)
*Pregnant Women
*Breastfeeding Mothers (up to 1 year)
*Postpartum Women (up to 6 months)

Click here for WIC Income Guidelines.

 

Enhanced Infectious Disease Surveillance during Super Bowl

Background:
On Feb. 3, 2019, the City of Atlanta will host the NFL Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz
Stadium. There will be multiple Super Bowl events at venues across the city and an influx of an
estimated 1 million people to the area from Jan. 26, 2019 through Feb. 4, 2019. General
information and schedules of events can be found at https://atlsuperbowl53.com/.

Action Steps for Healthcare Providers

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