• The North Georgia Health District offices in Dalton and Health Departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties will be CLOSED on Monday, April 24th for a State Holiday. This also applies to all Environmental Health, WIC and Children's Medical Services. Normal hours of operation will resume the following day.


  • Two more companies recall peanut products


    Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin is alerting consumers to the recall of more products that may contain peanut ingredients supplied by Peanut Corporation of America which is the subject of an FDA investigation concerning recent Salmonella outbreaks.

    Read the document attached to this Media Release for more information. 
  • Ralcorp Frozen Bakery Products recalls Wal-Mart Bakery Brand Peanut Butter Cookies


    Recall -- Firm Press Release

    FDA posts press releases and other notices of recalls and market withdrawals from the firms involved as a service to consumers, the media, and other interested parties. FDA does not endorse either the product or the company.

    Ralcorp Frozen Bakery Products Recalls Wal-Mart Bakery Brand Peanut Butter Cookies Because Of Possible Health Risk

    Contact:
    Scott Monette
    314-877-7113


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Downers Grove, IL, January 18, 2009 -- Ralcorp Frozen Bakery Products, Inc. announced that it has taken the precautionary measure of voluntarily recalling all Wal-Mart Bakery brands of PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES, PEANUT BUTTER NO BAKE COOKIES and PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE NO-BAKE COOKIES because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. The cookies contain peanut butter supplied by Peanut Corporation of America which is the subject of an FDA investigation concerning recent Salmonella outbreaks. No illnesses have been reported in connection with the recalled cookies and no other type of Wal-Mart Bakery brand cookies are being recalled.
  • North Georgia AIDS Task Force Meeting, February 9th


    When: Monday, February 9 Noon—1:30 PM. Lunch Provided.*
     
    Where: Whitfield County Health Department Education Room Member Orientation to Follow for those interested.*
     
    *RSVP to Marie Dockery @ 706-281-2391 or mdockery@dhr.state.ga.us
     
    Highlights
    • Review af World AIDS Day 2008
    • Recognition of World AIDS Day Volunteers
    • Update of North Georgia AIDS Project, Inc.
    • Committee Reports
  • Volunteers Needed in Cherokee County

    When the community is hit by a health crisis such as pandemic flu, storms, or other disasters, the community will need to work together to get back to normal as quickly as possible.

     The North Georgia Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a volunteer organization dedicated to responding to local public health emergencies, and they are joining with Cherokee County Emergency Management and the county public health department to recruit volunteers in the area.  Please read the related documents above for more information.
  • 2nd Case of Rabies Reported in Fannin County

    According to the the Fannin County Environmental Health Department, another case of rabies has been confirmed in a raccoon in Fannin County, making it the second case of confirmed rabies in the county this year.
     
    Shannon Bradburn of the local environmental health office stated, “We received a phone call on the afternoon of January 7th from residents of That Lane off Kelly Ridge Road who stated that their three dogs, which are current on their rabies vaccinations, had fought and killed a raccoon. Our office arranged for Animal Control to pick up the carcass of the raccoon and keep it in cold storage until we could take possession of the raccoon.

    On the following day, January 8th, we picked up the raccoon and took it to a veterinarian to be processed and shipped to the state lab for rabies testing. On January 9th, we received the results that the raccoon was positive for rabies. We notified the owners who said that they had already taken their three dogs for booster shots and will restrain and observe for 45 days.”
     
    Environmental health officials continue to remind the public that they can help prevent the spread of rabies  by making sure pets and livestock are up to date on their vaccinations, and by avoiding contact with unfamiliar animals.  Officials further recommend that residents have their pets spayed or neutered to help
    reduce the number of unwanted animals.
     
    If bitten by a potentially rabid animal, individuals are advised to thoroughly wash the wound with soap and water, and seek immediate medical attention. If a pet is bitten, the owner should seek veterinary assistance for the animal right away. The health care provider and/or the veterinarian will need to report exposure to local environmental health officials who will use the following criteria to assess the risk of rabies exposure:
    • The geographic location of the incident
    • The type of animal that was involved
    • How the exposure occurred (provoked or unprovoked)
    • The vaccination status of the animal(s)
    • Whether the animal can be safely captured and tested for rabies
    For more information about rabies and rabies exposure prevention, please contact the
    Fannin County Environmental Health Office at (706) 632-3024, or log onto the Centers for
    Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov.
  • First Fannin Rabies Case in 2009

    The first confirmed animal rabies case of the new year for Fannin County has been reported by the Fannin County Environmental Health Office.  Residents of Harper Valley Road in Mineral Bluff called county environmental health staff late on December 31 and stated that a neighborhood dog had fought with a raccoon.
     
    Some of the neighbors confined the raccoon in a wildlife cage and took it to a veterinarian who euthanized the animal and prepared it for rabies testing.  County environmental health shipped the remains to the state laboratory in Decatur on Monday, January 6, and the results confirming that the raccoon had been positive for rabies came in late on Wednesday, January 7.  

    Residents said the dog that had fought with the raccoon was a free roaming animal in the neighborhood and was not owned by any one individual. However, they stated one family living in the area had maintained the dog’s rabies vaccinations. The residents who reported the incident stated that they would be responsible for the costs of the shipping of the remains of the raccoon for testing, and they would also be responsible for the dog’s booster shot and 45-day restraint and observation period.
     
    Individuals can help prevent the spread of rabies by making sure pets and livestock are up to date on their vaccinations, and by avoiding contact with unfamiliar animals.  Officials further recommend that residents have their pets spayed or neutered to help reduce the number of unwanted animals.  If bitten by a potentially rabid animal, individuals are advised to thoroughly wash the wound with soap and water, and seek immediate medical attention. If a pet is bitten, the owner should seek veterinary assistance for the animal right away. 

    The health care provider and/or the veterinarian will need to report exposure to local environmental health officials who will use the following criteria to assess the risk of rabies exposure:
    • The geographic location of the incident
    • The type of animal that was involved
    • How the exposure occurred (provoked or unprovoked)
    • The vaccination status of the animal(s)
    • Whether the animal can be safely captured and tested for rabies
    For more information about rabies and rabies exposure prevention, please contact the
    Fannin County Environmental Health Office at (706) 632-3024, or log onto the Centers for
    Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov.
  • Cherokee Health Officials Report Confirmed Rabies in Raccoon

    Officials of the Cherokee County Environmental Health Department reported that a raccoon, which has now tested positive for rabies, was picked up on Highway 20, west of Canton on January 6, 2009. This is the first confirmed of case of rabies reported in the county for 2009.
     
    Officials said the raccoon came into a residential yard in the Fox Hills subdivision at about 2 p.m. and died in a fight with the homeowner’s dog. The raccoon’s head was shipped off to the state laboratory in Decatur for rabies testing on January 7, and the positive test results were received on January 8.
     
    The dog involved in the fight is current on its rabies vaccinations, so it only needed a rabies booster shot and will be observed under a 45-day quarantine at home.  To avoid rabies exposure and to help prevent the spread of rabies, residents are urged to stay away from unfamiliar animals and to make certain all pets and livestock are current on their rabies vaccinations.
     
    The recommendation for a possible rabid animal bite is to thoroughly wash the wound
    with soap and water, and then seek immediate medical attention with the following information on
    hand:
    • The geographic location of the incident
    • The type of animal that was involved
    • How the exposure occurred (provoked or unprovoked)
    • The vaccination status of any pets involved
    • Whether the aggressive animal can be safely captured and tested for rabies
    For more information about rabies and its prevention, please call the Cherokee County
    Environmental Health Department at (770) 479-0444. General information about rabies can be
    found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov.
  • Legislators attend Better Health Forum

    A Building Partnerships for Better Health forum was held at the Whitfield County Health Department on Monday, January 5, 2009 at 6 p.m.  Community health stakeholders shared with state legislators, Senator Don Thomas, and Representatives Tom Dickson and Roger Williams the Assessment of Disparities with Tobacco Use.  Better Health Forum

    The East Tennessee State University (ETSU) College of Public Health and the Building Partnerships for Better Health initiative conducted the assessment. ETSU Research Assistant Rachel Swafford, who provided support in preparation of the assessment, said that this report was part of efforts to gather valuable data for theTennessee Stroke Registry. Ms. Swafford attended the meeting on behalf of Tim Aldrich, Ph.D, MPH and Varaprasaad Ilapogu, MD, MPH, the authors of the study.  

    Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Georgia and the nation, and there is a clear connection between tobacco use and chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease - a major cause of stroke. Other chronic diseases related to tobacco use include cancer (lung, cervix, kidney, and bone marrow), respiratory diseases, osteoporosis, and poor pregnancy outcomes.  

    Building Partnerships for Better Health is a regional public health initiative established to address tobacco-related disparities in North Georgia. The assessment revealed that the population in this area uses tobacco at higher rates than do other populations in Georgia. It has also been found that tobacco users in North Georgia have utilized the services of the free Georgia Tobacco Quit Line at lower rates than in other parts of the state....

    View the Media Release PDF at the top of this article for the Full Story

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