Health impacts of sexually transmitted diseases highlighted during STD Awareness Month

Health, Press Release

DALTON, Ga. – Nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections (STIs) occur in the United States every year, costing the American healthcare system nearly $16 billion in direct medical costs alone, according to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

America’s youth shoulder a substantial burden of these infections. CDC estimates that half of all new sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the country occur among young men and women aged 15 to 24.

Sherry Gregory, Infectious Disease supervisor for North Georgia Health District 1-2 of the Georgia Department of Public Health, said, “April is STD Awareness Month, so we’re placing a special emphasis on how to prevent STDs and on the importance of getting tested and treated for these diseases.”

The high incidence of sexually transmitted infections in the general population suggests that many Americans are at risk of exposure to STDs, underscoring the need for prevention.

Despite this news, there are effective ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat STDs. STD screening and early diagnoses are essential in preventing transmission and the long-term health consequences of STDs.

“We will be conducting STD testing and awareness campaigns at our county health departments and at various community events throughout April, such as HIV and Hepatitis C testing at the Northwest Day Reporting Center in Dalton on April 3 and 17, and at Dalton State College Gilmer Campus in Ellijay on April 19,” said Gregory. “Details about these and other events will be posted to our website at www.nghd.org/pr.”

Contact information for county health departments in the North Georgia Heath District is:

Cherokee County Health Department: 1219 Univeter Road, Canton, GA 30115, 770-345-7371 and 7545 North Main Street, Suite 100, Woodstock, GA 30188, 770-928-0133;

Fannin County Health Department: 95 Ouida Street, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, 706-632-3023;

Gilmer County Health Department: 28 Southside Church Street, Ellijay, GA 30540, 706-635-4363;

Murray County Health Department: 709 Old Dalton-Ellijay Road, Chatsworth, GA 30705, 706-695-4585;

Pickens County Health Department: 60 Health Way, Jasper, GA 30143, 706-253-2821; and

Whitfield County Health Department: 800 Professional Boulevard, Dalton, GA 30720, 706-279-9600.

The Living Bridge Center, located at 1200 West Waugh Street in Dalton, is the provider of Ryan White Part B and C in the North Georgia Health District and will also participate in the district-wide STD Awareness Month campaign.

Abstaining from sex, reducing the number of sexual partners, and consistently and correctly using condoms are all effective prevention strategies. Safe, effective vaccines are also available to prevent hepatitis B and some types of the human papillomavirus (HPV) that cause disease and cancer. And for all individuals who are sexually active – particularly young people – STI screening and prompt treatment, if infected, are critical to protect a person’s health and prevent transmission to others.

More information about STDs is available at all the above county health departments in north Georgia and on the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/std.

Author

Jason Beck

Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.

Several north Georgians receive no-cost-to-client flu shots

Press Release

DALTON, Ga. – Since health departments in north Georgia began providing flu shots at no cost to clients this week, 640 residents have taken advantage of the offer and others are urged to do the same while supplies last. This number contrasts favorably to the total of 190 flu shots provided by the health departments during the previous week.

Flu activity continues to be widespread in the U.S., and last week, the number of flu-related deaths in Georgia sharply increased, prompting public health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties to begin providing flu shots at no cost to residents who have not yet been vaccinated. Healthcare plans are billed for clients who have coverage, and there is no charge to anyone who is not insured. No appointment is necessary – “walk-ins” are welcome.

The current flu vaccine is highly effective against most influenza strains that are now circulating, and county health departments in north Georgia also have a high-dose flu vaccine for people ages 65 and older, providing them with increased protection.

It is not too late to get a flu shot. This flu season has not yet peaked, and it could last several more weeks. Once vaccinated, it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to reach its full protective potential. Therefore, it is important to receive a flu shot right away.

Locations and phone numbers for the no-cost-to-client flu shots at county health departments in
north Georgia are:

  • Cherokee County Health Department: 1219 Univeter Road, Canton, GA 30115, 770-345-7371
    and 7545 North Main Street, Suite 100, Woodstock, GA 30188, 770-928-0133;
  • Fannin County Health Department: 95 Ouida Street, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, 706-632-3023;
  • Gilmer County Health Department: 28 Southside Church Street, Ellijay, GA 30540, 706-635-4363;
  • Murray County Health Department: 709 Old Dalton-Ellijay Road, Chatsworth, GA 30705, 706-695-4585;
  • Pickens County Health Department: 60 Health Way, Jasper, GA 30143, 706-253-2821; and
  • Whitfield County Health Department: 800 Professional Boulevard, Dalton, GA 30720, 706-226-
    2621.

Health officials also remind the public that flu is extremely contagious and can spread easily from person to person; therefore, anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms – such as fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches, headaches, fatigue or nausea – is urged to stay home during the severest symptoms and for at least 24 hours after fever is gone. Parents should keep children who are sick with the flu at home from school, and anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms should stay away from places such as hospitals and long-term care facilities where people are more at risk for developing severe complications if sick with the flu.

More information about preventing the spread of flu, such as frequent handwashing and covering coughs and sneezes, is on the North Georgia Health District website at http://nghd.org/pr/34-/938-widespread-flu-in-georgia.html.

Author

Jason Beck

Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.

Flu shots available at county health departments

Press Release

DALTON, Ga. – Flu Shots are now available at NO COST to residents at public health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties. Healthcare plans will be billed on behalf of clients who have coverage, and there is no charge to anyone who is not under a healthcare plan. No appointment is necessary – “Walk-ins” are welcome. Residents are urged to take advantage of these no-cost to client flu shots while supplies last.
It is not too late to get a flu shot. In fact, the time is crucial. Georgia, along with 48 other U.S. states, is experiencing widespread influenza activity, with 37 flu-related deaths currently reported in Georgia, including four in north Georgia – and those numbers are expected to increase since the flu season has not yet peaked.

The current flu vaccine effectively protects against three of the four influenza virus strains that are circulating.

Locations and phone numbers for the participating north Georgia county health departments are:

  • Cherokee County Health Department: 1219 Univeter Road, Canton, GA 30115, 770-345-7371 and 7545 North Main Street, Suite 100, Woodstock, GA 30188, 770-928-0133;
  • Fannin County Health Department: 95 Ouida Street, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, 706-632-3023;
  • Gilmer County Health Department: 28 Southside Church Street, Ellijay, GA 30540, 706-635-4363;
  • Murray County Health Department: 709 Old Dalton-Ellijay Road, Chatsworth, GA 30705, 706-695-4585;
  • Pickens County Health Department: 60 Health Way, Jasper, GA 30143, 706-253-2821; and
  • Whitfield County Health Department: 800 Professional Boulevard, Dalton, GA 30720, 706-226-2621.

Health officials also remind the public that flu is extremely contagious and can spread easily from person to person; therefore, anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms – such as fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches, headaches, fatigue or nausea – is urged to stay home during the severest symptoms and for at least 24 hours after fever is gone. More information about preventing the spread of flu, such as frequent handwashing and covering coughs and sneezes, is on the North Georgia Health District website at http://nghd.org/pr/34-/938-widespread-flu-in-georgia.html.

Author

Jason Beck

Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.

Widespread Flu in Georgia – Protect Yourself and Prevent the Spread of Flu

Health

Don’t Let The Flu Catch Up To You

Health

Don’t Let The Flu Catch Up To You:

Georgia Dept. of Public Health Encourages Yearly Flu Shot

North Georgia – The 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.

Parents, make-a-date to vaccinate your preteen

Featured, Health

For Immediate Release

March 3, 2017

 

Contact: Jennifer King, (706) 529-5757, ext. 3191 / Jennifer.King@dph.ga.gov

 

Parents, make-a-date to vaccinate your preteen

 

North Georgia – Let’s face it – nobody likes getting shots – but a shot lasts a second: diseases last much longer.

 

In an effort to protect every adult and child, the Georgia Department of Public Health established Georgia Preteen Vaccine Awareness Week, observed March 13-17, 2017, to serve as a reminder for parents to talk with their preteens and teens about getting immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases.

 

“Preteens are at an age when they are becoming more independent and social. They spend more time out with friends, playing sports, going to sleepaway camps and attending parties. While this is a fun part of growing up, these activities could increase their risk for contracting potentially life-threatening diseases,” said Sheila Lovett, director for the Georgia Department of Public Health Immunization Program. “Parents, make it a priority to vaccinate your preteen against these preventable diseases.”

 

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 through 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 home schools).

 

These vaccines are available at county public health departments in the North Georgia Health District. Our public health department locations and phone numbers are as follows:

 

Cherokee: 1219 Univeter Road, Canton, GA 30115 – (770) 345-7371 / 7545 North Main Street, Woodstock, GA 30188 – (770) 928-0133

 

Fannin: 95 Ouida Street, Blue Ridge, GA – (706) 632-3023

 

Gilmer: 28 Southside Church Street, Ellijay, GA 30540 – (706) 635-4363

 

Murray: 709 Old Dalton-Ellijay Road, Chatsworth, GA 30705 – (706) 695-4585

 

Pickens: 60 Health Way, Jasper, GA 30143 – (706) 253-2821

 

Whitfield: 800 Professional Boulevard, Dalton, GA 30720 – (706) 226-2621

 

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 question parents often ask about vaccinations for their preteen or teen is ‘Why does my child need this vaccine?’,” said Ashley Ridley, RN, BSHA, Immunization Coordinator for the North Georgia Health District. “The answer is simple. Vaccinations are the best way to prevent diseases such as meningitis, which can cause shock, coma and even death within hours of the first symptom, and the Human Papillomavirus, also known as HPV, the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. HPV can lead to cervical cancer in women, as well as other oral and genital cancers in men and women; therefore, it is recommended that, ideally, the vaccine be given to girls and boys before they become sexually active and exposed to HPV.”

 

The CDC currently recommends the following vaccines for preteens and teens:

 

  • Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (Tdap)
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) – three doses
  • 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 healthcare provider or county public health department today to find out if your preteen is up-to-date and if not, make a date to vaccinate.

 

For more information, click here.

 

###

 

 

About Us: The North Georgia Health District is part of the Georgia Department of Public Health. One of 18 health districts in the state, the North Georgia Health District (District 1-2) is comprised of six counties: Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens, and Whitfield. Many public health programs and services exist throughout the district, all of which are designed to meet the needs of the people of North Georgia. Learn more about us at www.nghd.org, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

To access this press release on our website, please log onto  http://nghd.org/pr/34-/843-parents-make-a-date-to-vaccinate-your-preteen.html

 

Attached: Press Release in PDF

 

Thank you,

 

Jennifer King
Public Information Officer and
Risk Communicator
North Georgia Health District 1-2 of the

Georgia Department of Public Health
1710 Whitehouse Court
Dalton, GA 30720
(706) 529-5757, x3191 (Office)
(706) 280-9115 (Cell)
(706) 529-5740 (Fax)
Jennifer.King@dph.ga.gov

Website: nghd.org
Facebook: facebook.com/N.GA.Health
Twitter: twitter.com/NGAHealthDist

Author

North Georgia Health District Closed Early Today

Featured

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 6, 2017

North Georgia Health District Closed Early Today

The office of North Georgia Health District 1-2 of the Georgia Department of Public Health based in Dalton is Closed this afternoon due to the potential for dangerous winter road conditions. Environmental Health Offices in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties are closed, as well. Public Health Departments in each of these counties close by 1 PM every Friday.

For further updates, log onto http://www.nghd.org.

####
Jennifer King
Public Information Officer and
Risk Communicator
North Georgia Health District 1-2 of the
Georgia Department of Public Health
1710 Whitehouse Court
Dalton, GA 30720
(706) 529-5757, x3191 (Office)
(706) 280-9115 (Cell)
(706) 529-5740 (Fax)
Jennifer.King@dph.ga.gov

Website: nghd.org
Facebook: Facebook.com/N.GA.Health
Twitter: twitter.com/NGAHealthDist

Author

Rabies Alert: Health officials urge residents to vaccinate their animals.

Featured

 

                                For Immediate Release         

rabies-skunkDecember 16, 2016

Another Whitfield County Skunk Tests Positive for Rabies

Health officials urge residents to vaccinate their animals

 

Dalton (GA) – A Whitfield County resident observed stray dogs interacting with a skunk on Boyles Mill Road in the northeast section of the county on Monday, December 12 and contacted officials the next day after seeing a media report about rabies in the area. The resident was not close enough to the stray dogs to give a specific description.

Whitfield Animal Control responded to the call and found a dead skunk in about the same location. Since the skunk almost certainly had contact with the stray dogs it was shipped to the Georgia State Public Health Laboratory, which confirmed on Wednesday, December 14 that the skunk had rabies.

There was no human exposure to rabies in this incident.

Residents in the northern parts of Whitfield and Murray Counties are strongly advised to be aware of wild mammals behaving aggressively, appearing sick or otherwise behaving in an abnormal manner. Children should be taught to avoid stray dogs, cats and wild mammals.

Pet owners should make sure their cats and dogs are currently vaccinated against rabies. When rabid wild animals come near a home, pets usually have first contact with them. So when pets are vaccinated against rabies, pet owners and their families are also better protected. Unvaccinated dogs or cats that have been bitten by a rabid animal are recommended to be destroyed or placed in very strict quarantine for six months.

Persons who own livestock in these areas should have farm animals with which they have close contact vaccinated against rabies and be aware that all livestock are susceptible to rabies. A cow in another part of north Georgia was recently found to have rabies, resulting in anti-rabies treatments for several persons.

For more information about rabies and its prevention, contact your local Environmental Health office (contact information is at www.nghd.org) or log onto www.cdc.gov/rabies.

About Us: The North Georgia Health District is part of the Georgia Department of Public Health. One of 18 health districts in the state, the North Georgia Health District (District 1-2) is comprised of six counties: Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens, and Whitfield. Many public health programs and services exist throughout the district, all of which are designed to meet the needs of the people of North Georgia. Learn more about us at www.nghd.org, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

To access this press release directly online, go to our website at  http://nghd.org/pr/34-/827-another-whitfield-county-skunk-tests-positive-for-rabies.html

Thank you,

Jennifer King
Public Information Officer and
Risk Communicator
North Georgia Health District 1-2 of therabies2

Georgia Department of Public Health
1710 Whitehouse Court
Dalton, GA 30720
(706) 529-5757, x3191 (Office)
(706) 280-9115 (Cell)
(706) 529-5740 (Fax)
Jennifer.King@dph.ga.gov

Website: nghd.org
Facebook: facebook.com/N.GA.Health
Twitter: twitter.com/NGAHealthDist

Author

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