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Infant Recently Traveled from Overseas

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is confirming the state’s first reported case of measles since 2012. The infected infant arrived in Atlanta from outside of the U.S. and is being cared for at Egleston at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA). DPH is working with CHOA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to identify anyone who may have been exposed to the patient and to prevent further spread of measles.

Measles is a highly contagious, serious respiratory disease. It is particularly dangerous for infants who cannot be immunized until they are at least six months old and young children who have only received one dose of measles vaccine.

Measles spreads when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes and respiratory droplets travel through the air. Measles virus can live in the air and on surfaces for two to three hours. Almost everyone who has not been vaccinated will get measles if they are exposed to the virus.

Symptoms of measles include:

- Fever (can be very high)

- Cough, runny nose and red eyes

- Tiny white spots on the inner lining of the cheek – also called Koplik’s spots

- Rash of tiny, red spots that start at the head and spreads to the rest of the body (spots may become joined together as they spread)

Measles generally can be prevented through vaccination. The measles vaccine (MMR) is highly effective, in most cases about 97 percent effective.

Click here for the full article on DPH's website.

Don’t forget to drive by and arm yourself against the flu quickly and  conveniently at Murray County Health Department’s Drive-by Flu Shot Clinic!

The clinic will be held on Tuesday, September 23rd from 8 A.M. to 6 P.M. at the Murray County Recreation Center located at 651 Hyden Tyler Road in Chatsworth.

This year, the Drive-by Flu Shot Clinic will offer the 4-in-1quadrivalent flu vaccine that protects against four strains of flu in one shot!

Cost of the flu shot is $25, and cash, checks, Medicare and Medicaid plus Aetna and BlueCross BlueShield Health Insurance will be accepted.

The best way to arm against the flu is with a flu shot -- the most convenient way to get that shot is at the Drive-by Flu Shot Clinic in Chatsworth!

For more information, call (706) 695-4585 or log onto www.nghd.org.

District and County Staff Members
North Georgia Health District 1-2

December 20, 2013

To all employees of the North Georgia Health District,

I would like to extend my warmest Christmas and New Year greetings to each of you and to your families. It is my wish that this Christmas season will bring you much joy, cheerfulness and peace.

In the months I have had the pleasure to work with you, I have come to admire your immense capabilities and strong work ethic. The health district has had some challenges in 2013, but your resilience, resolve and unwavering desire to serve the residents of the North Georgia Health District have taken us wonderfully far toward achieving our public health mission.

I hope you all have a very successful year ahead.

Happy holidays!



Jack Kennedy
John D. Kennedy, M.D., M.B.A.
Interim District Health Director
North Georgia Health District 1-2



Dalton (GA) As you lovingly serve roasted turkey, baked ham, delicious casseroles and decadent desserts to family and friends this holiday season, don’t let food-borne illness be one of your secret ingredients.

Festive times are for giving and sharing, but that should never include sharing food-borne illness. Here are some tips from the USDA's Meat and Poultry Hotline (1-888-674-6854) to help you have SAFE holiday festivities.

Safely handle food. Always wash your hands before and after handling food – especially raw meat and poultry – and keep your kitchen, dishes and utensils clean, as well.

Cook thoroughly. Be sure to cook food thoroughly to safe minimum internal temperatures. To learn more about safe temperatures for various foods, log onto www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/How_Temperatures_Affect_Food/index.asp.

Use shallow containers. Divide cooked foods into shallow containers to store in the refrigerator or freezer until serving. This encourages rapid, even cooling. Reheat hot foods to 165 °F. 

Follow the two-hour rule. Foods should not sit at room temperature for more than two hours. Discard anything that has been sitting out for two hours or more.

Keep hot foods HOT and cold foods COLD. Hot foods should be held at 140 °F or warmer and cold foods should be held at 40 °F or colder.

According to the USDA, bacteria are everywhere but food-borne bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium perfringens and Listeria monocytogenes) are especially likely to crash holiday parties because they tend to frequent people's hands. Unlike microorganisms that cause food to spoil, harmful bacteria cannot be smelled or tasted; therefore, the best prevention of spreading food-borne bacteria is safe food handling.

If illness occurs, however, contact a health professional and describe the symptoms.

For more information about food-borne illness and its prevention, log onto www.fsis.usda.gov/fact_sheets/Focus_On_Holiday_or_Party_Buffets/index.asp.

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