Better Health Starts Here
NGHD Employees Intranet
UPDATE: DUE TO HAZARDOUS ROAD CONDITIONS, THE NORTH GEORGIA HEALTH DISTRICT OFFICE AND ALL HEALTH DEPARTMENTS IN CHEROKEE, FANNIN, GILMER, MURRAY, PICKENS AND WHITFIELD COUNTIES WILL BE CLOSED TODAY, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 11TH. FURTHER UPDATES WILL BE POSTED TO THIS WEBSITE.
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.
John D. Kennedy, M.D., M.B.A.
Interim District Health Director
North Georgia Health District 1-2
It's not too late to arm against the flu, and a flu shot can help provide protection.
According to the latest CDC Flu activity report, influenza levels are currently increasing across the country. And since flu activity doesn't usually peak until February in the United States and can last as late as May, it is important for anyone who has not been vaccinated to get a shot now.
Flu vaccine is available at all county health departments in the North Georgia Health District, including Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties. For office hours, call the health department nearest you (phone numbers are listed below) or log onto the North Georgia Health District website at www.nghd.org and click on the 'Locations' tab.
In addition to protecting yourself against the flu by getting vaccinated, the Georgia Department of Public Health urges you to also wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub. Avoid rubbing your eyes or nose with your hands, and cover your coughs and/or sneezes with a tissue or cough into your sleeve, not your hands.
If you do get the flu, get plenty of rest, drink lots of liquids, reduce fever with a non-aspirin pain reliever, and stay home to avoid spreading the flu to others.
For more flu information, log onto http://health.state.ga.us/epi/flu/whatyouknow.asp.
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.