• Our offices in Dalton as well as health departments and environmental health offices in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties will be closed in observation of Memorial Day on Monday, May 29. This also includes WIC and children's health services.

Whitfield Woman bitten, scratched by Rabid Cat

rabies-alertDalton, GA A Whitfield County woman was attacked on her front porch by a cat that has now tested positive for rabies.

On Tuesday, February 28, the cat bit and scratched the woman’s foot as she tried to shoo away the animal from her home in the Dawnville area of Dalton.

Whitfield County Animal Control was called and asked the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office to send an officer to the home. The cat became excessively aggressive with the responding officer, so he had to kill it. The officer was not exposed.

The cat was sent to the Georgia Public Health Laboratory for rabies testing and the positive results were provided to Whitfield County Environmental Health officials on Friday, March 3.

The woman has now begun post rabies exposure treatment, which consists of a series of shots over a two-week period.

Other cats that live on the premises were present at the time of the attack and are unvaccinated against rabies, but it is not yet known if they had any contact with the rabid cat.

Health officials continue to advise residents to make sure all pets are kept current on rabies vaccinations. All livestock that have regular human contact, such as horses, should also be vaccinated.

Officials warn the public to be wary of unfamiliar animals, wild or tame, that exhibit unusual behaviour. These type animals should be reported to animal control or the county environmental health office.

The public is also urged to report to them any attacks or bites by a stray or wild animal.

If bitten, thoroughly wash the wound with soap and water and seek immediate medical attention. If a pet is bitten, seek veterinary assistance for the animal right away. The health care provider and/or the veterinarian will need to know the following 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

  • Whether the animal can be safely captured and tested for rabies

For more information about rabies and its prevention, contact the local county environmental health office or log on to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov/features/rabiessafefamily.

Parents, make-a-date to vaccinate your preteen!

Georgia Preteen Vaccine Awareness Week is March 13-17 

Teens and Pre-Teens Vax Image-smallerNorth 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.

HPV Vax Graphic“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.”

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Hours change for Pickens County Health Department

New Hours ImageJasper, GA – Hours of operation will soon change at the Pickens County Health Department. Beginning Monday, March 13, 2017, the new clinic hours at the health department will be:


Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Friday: 8:00 AM – 1:30 PM


For more information about the Pickens County Health Department and local public health services, please contact the health department at 60 Health Way in Jasper, call (706) 253-2821 or log onto www.nghd.org and click on the LOCATIONS tab. 

FREE Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives for Teens!

FP Social Media Ad for teens


North Georgia Health District Public Health Departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties offer FREE Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARC) to Teens 19 and under!

FP Poster for web sm

Our services include:

  • A full range of birth control options, including Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC)
  • Screening and treatment for STDs/HIV
  • Reproductive life planning
  • Health history and physical examination
  • Pregnancy testing and counseling


Click on the LOCATIONS tab above to find the contact information for each of our County Health Departments.

Contact the nearest health department today!


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