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

Flu Shot for the Holidays Banner for webIt’s NATIONAL INFLUENZA VACCINATION 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.

Whitfield County Health Department Tuesday hours change November 27

clockDalton (GA) – Hours of operation for the Whitfield County Health Department will change by half an hour only on Tuesdays, beginning November 27. The new hours will be from 7:30 AM to 6:30 PM on Tuesday, which remains the longest day of operation for the health department each week. The Whitfield County Health Department extended operational hours on Tuesdays in 2010 to provide residents with better access to public health clinical services.

All hours for the Whitfield County Health Department will be as follows: 

 

    • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday - 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM 
    • Tuesday - 7:30 AM – 6:30 PM 
    • Friday - 7:30 AM - 1:00 PM

 The dental clinic is open Monday through Thursday from 8 AM to 5 PM, except for lunch from 1 PM to 2 PM., and from 8 AM to 2 PM on Friday, with no lunch.

The Whitfield County Health Department is located at 800 Professional Boulevard in Dalton. To learn more about the health department and the wide variety of public health services provided there, log onto http://nghd.org/locations/health-depts/whitfield-health.html.

You can QUIT during the Great American Smokeout®, Nov. 16th!

Great American SmokeOut Button for November 16North GeorgiaReady to quit? You can do it for at least one day this Thursday, November 16th during the Great American Smokeout®! Every year on the third Thursday of November, many Georgians join tobacco users across the nation in giving up using tobacco and electronic cigarettes for the entire day during this Great American Smokeout® event, initiated by the American Cancer Society[1]. Quitting for just one day is an important step toward a healthier you, especially if that one day can lead to many more. 

The Georgia Smokefree Air Act[3], passed in 2005, has reduced exposure to secondhand smoke by prohibiting smoking in all enclosed facilities, including buildings owned, leased, or operated by the State or local governing authorities.

Now, it’s your turn to reduce tobacco-related health hazards by quitting the use of tobacco and electronic cigarettes during the Great American Smokeout®.

Here in Georgia, we can help. The Georgia Tobacco Quit Line[4] is a free resource that can help tobacco users reach their goal of quitting. The Georgia Tobacco Quit Line (1-877-270-STOP; Spanish speakers call 1-877-2NO-FUME; TTY: 1-877-777-6534 for the hearing impaired) provides counseling for Georgia tobacco users ages 13 and older. Callers speak with tobacco cessation counselors who help to develop a unique quitting plan for each person.

 

North Georgia Health District 1-2 of the Georgia Department of Public Health, health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counites, Drug Free Cherokee, Cherokee Focus, and the Cherokee Youth Council encourage Georgians to go tobacco-free during the Great American Smokeout®, and beyond!

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1 https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/great-american-smokeout.html

2 https://dph.georgia.gov/tobacco

3 https://dph.georgia.gov/sites/dph.georgia.gov/files/SmokeFree%20Act_Booklet.pdf

4 https://dph.georgia.gov/ready-quit

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