Free Blood Pressure Screening at Fannin County Health Dept., Dec. 18

Guard against the “Silent Killer” 

Blood pressure screeningFannin County Health Department is offering Free Blood Pressure Screening on Monday, December 18 from 9 to 11 AM. The health department is located at 95 Ouida Street in Blue Ridge, GA. No appointment is necessary. High blood pressure raises your risk for heart disease and stroke, which are leading causes of death in the United States.1 High blood pressure is called the “silent killer” because it often has no warning signs or symptoms and many people do not know they have it. The only way to know is to have your blood pressure checked by a healthcare professional. If it is too high, then steps can be taken to control it through diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes or, if needed, with medication. For more information, call the Fannin County Health Department at (706) 632-3023.

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1 https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/about.htm

Stray beagle in Gilmer County tests positive for rabies

Health officials urge neighbors to seek assistance if possibly exposed 

rabies warningEllijay (GA)A Gilmer County couple learned today that a stray beagle that had been near their home tested positive for rabies; however, county environmental health officials determined neither the couple nor their pets had been exposed to the virus the dog carried.

“We’re constantly reminding the public to avoid contact with both stray and wild animals,” said Andrea Martin, Gilmer County Environmental Health Manager. “If you don’t know the rabies vaccination status of an animal, you’re putting yourself at risk just by handling it. But in this case, we ascertained that the couple and their pets had not been licked, scratched or bitten by the dog.”

The couple, who lives alone in a residence near the intersection of Flat Branch and Weeks Roads in Ellijay, noticed the beagle on their property on November 25 and saw that it exhibited signs of illness, including lethargy and the inability to walk. They tried to tend to the animal but were concerned it could be rabies-infected, so they contacted the local veterinarian hospital.

The dog was prepared for rabies testing and the specimen was sent to the Georgia Public Health Laboratory on November 29. The positive test result was reported to local officials on December 1.

Martin urges anyone living near the intersection of Flat Branch and Weeks Roads, who thinks it is possible that they or their children could have been exposed to the beagle at any time since November 11, to call either the Gilmer County Environmental Health office at (706) 635-6050 or the Georgia Poison Control Center at 1 (800) 222-1222 for a free rabies exposure consultation.

Anyone who may have lost the beagle should contact officials immediately to be evaluated for possible rabies exposure.

If there are pets in the area that have never been vaccinated or are not currently vaccinated against rabies, they should be vaccinated or given a booster vaccination right away.

“Rabies is nearly 100 percent fatal in humans,” warned Martin. “Once rabies symptoms are present, it is too late to treat the human victim for rabies. If, however, exposure is known, then rabies post-exposure vaccinations are given to prevent the onset of rabies, saving the person’s life.”

Don't Let the Flu Catch Up to You this Holiday!

Flu Shot for the Holidays Banner for webIt’s NATIONAL INFLUENZA WEEK - Dec. 3-9!

North GeorgiaThe 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.

 


[1] http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/hospital.htm 

OPEN HOUSE Dec 1st at The Living Bridge Center in Dalton for World AIDS Day

Open House World AIDS Day FB PicThe Living Bridge Center1 has moved and is holding an Open House in observance of World AIDS Day2 on Friday, December 1st from 10 AM to 2 PM. The new location for The Living Bridge Center (which had been housed in the Whitfield County Health Department) is 1200 W. Waugh Street in Dalton, at the corner of W. Waugh Street and Broadrick Drive. FREE HIV and Hepatitis C Testing will be offered during the Open House, and staff will provide tours of the new facility. Light refreshments will be served. Come join us! For more information, call (706) 281-2360. 

 

1  The Living Bridge Center, provider of Ryan White Part B and Part C, serves those living with HIV within North Georgia Health District 1-2 of the Georgia Public Health. Funded services include: outpatient HIV ambulatory care including HIV, primary care, and sub-specialty medical care; medical case management and adherence; oral health; non-medical case management; individual and group level mental health and substance abuse outpatient counseling; consumer advisory services; laboratory and nutritional services; pharmaceutical assistance; linguistic services; medical transportation; and HIV counseling, testing, and prevention services.

 

2 World AIDS Day, designated on December 1st every year since 1988, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and mourning those who have died of the disease. Government and health officials, non-governmental organizations and individuals around the world observe the day, often with education on AIDS prevention and control.

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