• Happy Thanksgiving from the North Georgia Health District! Our district offices in Dalton will be closed Thanksgiving Day and Friday, November 23 and 24. All our Public Health Departments and services in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties will also be closed both days. Best wishes from us to you for a healthy and safe holiday!


  • World AIDS Day 2012 web photoDalton (GA)- The North Georgia Health District, based in Dalton, Georgia and comprised of Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray,Pickens and Whitfield Counties, joins health agencies and organizations worldwide in celebrating World AIDS Day 2012 on December 1.

    The theme for World AIDS Day 2012 is "Getting to Zero." Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related deaths.

    HIV is the human immunodeficiency virus that damages a person's immune system by destroying blood cells that help fight against diseases. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is the late stage of HIV infection where the immune system is severely damaged, leaving the person susceptible to infections and tumors. HIV is spread by contact with infected bodily fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal fluids and breast milk.

    According to the Georgia Department of Public Health HIV/AIDS Statistics and Reports online, Georgia is ranked sixth highest in the nation for its cumulative reported number of AIDS cases through December 2009, and in 2010, the number of persons living with HIV/AIDS in Georgia was over 40,000 (http://health.state.ga.us/epi/hivaids/.)

    UNAIDS is a global strategy adopted for years 2011 to 2015 that aims to advance progress in halting and reversing the spread of HIV worldwide by 2015. 
  • The North Georgia Health District office in Dalton and health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties will be closed Thursday, November 22 and Friday, November 23 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

    These offices will resume their regular business hours on Monday, November 26.

    Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!
  • Dalton (GA)- Turkey is such the favorite staple of most Thanksgiving feasts that Thanksgiving Day is often fondly referred to as Turkey Day. But, given that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that 80 percent of food borne illnesses are linked to meat and poultry, proper handling and cooking of your holiday turkey is essential. 

    Below are important turkey safety tips to practice this holiday season: 

    1. IMPROPER THAWING: If a turkey is not completely thawed it will not get done in the middle allowing Salmonella to survive.
    • Whenever possible, thaw turkeys in the refrigerator. However, it takes 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey. A 20 pound frozen turkey can take 4 to 5 days to thaw in a refrigerator.
    • Frozen turkeys can be thawed by sealing in a food-grade plastic bag and submerging in cold tap water. Change the water every thirty minutes. This method takes approximately 30 minutes for each pound of turkey. Using a small stream of running water is an even better method but the water must drain at the same time.  An ice chest is a good container for these methods although a kitchen sink may suffice.
    • NEVER thaw turkeys out at room temperature! Bacteria will grow on the outside of the turkey before the middle is thawed.      
    • Microwave thawing is a possibility but most whole frozen turkeys won’t fit inside most microwave ovens. Cook the turkey immediately after removing from microwave.

    2. IMPROPER COOKING: The middle of the turkey must reach 165ºF in order to kill all Salmonella and other bacteria. Don’t guess! Use a meat thermometer. Cook dressing separately - don’t stuff the turkey. Whether you bake, smoke or fry a turkey, the middle must reach 165°F.


    3. IMPROPER COOLING: Never let a turkey sit out at room temperature for more than one hour after cooking. Many cases of Salmonella food poisoninghave happened because the turkey was not thoroughly cooked and then allowed to sit out at room temperature all morning or all night. If the turkey is not served the day of cooking, it should be carved and placed in the refrigerator.

    4. LEFTOVERS: Don’t leave leftovers sitting out a room temperature. After the meal, freeze or refrigerate leftovers in convenient smaller portions. Leftovers can be as or more dangerous than freshly cooked turkey. Your home refrigerator should be no higher than 41°F.

    Just follow these tips, and have a very happy and SAFE Thanksgiving!Turkey cartoon - Nov 2012 for web
  • The North Georgia Health District and health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Veterans-Day-Happy-Memorial-DayMurray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties will be closed on Monday, November 12 in honor of Veterans Day.

    Offices will open at the regularly scheduled time on the following day, Tuesday, November 13.

    In the USA, Veterans Day annually falls on November 11. This day is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which ended the World War I hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany in 1918. Veterans are thanked for their services to the United States on Veterans Day.
  • Dalton, GA -Carol Hendrix was recently announced as the Carolyn Wetzel Continuum Award Winner for 2012 by the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia. This award recognizes volunteers and health professionals who contribute to the health and well being of Georgia's families.

    Carolyn Wetzel Continuum Award 2012 Winner Carol Hendrix for webCarolyn Wetzel Continuum Award Winner for 2012 is
    Carol Hendrix, Breastfeeding Coordinator, WIC, North Georgia Health District. Pictured left to right: Karen Rutledge, Nominator; Carol Hendrix, Winner, Pat Swan, HMHB Board of Directors
    Hendrix truly embodies the spirit of the award as both a volunteer and a health professional. In addition to serving as the Breastfeeding Coordinator for North Georgia Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Hendrix volunteers for the Northwest Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition, the Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition and the Southeastern Lactation Consultant Association.


    Hendrix played an integral part in the production of the highly successful Northwest Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition's DVD titled "Breastfeeding: A Guide for Success".

    Additionally, Hendrix manages fourteen Loving Support Peer Counselors. These Peer Counselors are mothers who have personal experience with breastfeeding and are trained to help women initiate and continue breastfeeding.

    Through Hendrix's collaboration with Theresa Brown, Lactation Consultant at Hamilton Medical Center of Dalton, the Peer Counselors are able to spend time at the hospital providing breastfeeding support to new mothers.

    Hendrix and Brown presented their unique collaboration at recent International Lactation Consultant Association and Atlanta Emory conferences.

    Also this year, Hendrix and Brown gave a presentation of their Northwest Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition collaborations at the National Breastfeeding Coalition Conference in Washington, DC.
  • Dalton, GA- The Whitfield County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) recently received an Whitfield County EMA Director Claude Craig displays AED that was recently purchased for the agency's mobile command vehicle- webWhitfield County EMA Director Claude Craig displays AED that was recently purchased for the agency's mobile command vehicle.Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to place on board the agency's mobile command vehicle. The AED was provided with federal funds through the North Georgia Health District's Emergency Preparedness Department.

    According to Claude Craig, director of Whitfield County EMA, "I was concerned we did not have an AED in the mobile command vehicle and there is not always anEMS unit or Fire unit in the area of the mobile command post. Considering budget restrictions, we are pleased our local public health district could positively respond to our request for the AED. We and our other community partners train together, respond together and exercise together, and this is just another way we are making our community better prepared for emergencies."

    AEDs improve defibrillation response to sudden cardiac arrests experienced by adults and children. Chances of full recovery from sudden cardiac arrest decrease with each minute the patient goes without defibrillation; therefore, having this AED readily available in the mobile command vehicle is a potentially life-saving provision.
  • Dalton, GATwoWhitfield County residents are undergoing rabies post-exposure treatments as a result of exposure to a pet cat that the Georgia Public Health Laboratory has now confirmed as positive for rabies.

    rabies virusRabies virus: characteristically bullet shaped virion. Rabies is an extremely dangerous disease, often transmitted by the bite of an infected animal.The 15-year old cat had bitten its owner and exposed the owner’s fiancé to the disease before it died. The positive test result for rabies was returned on October 26, 2012.

    The cat was reported to have had rabies vaccinations in the past but was not currently vaccinated. Because of its age and since the animal was an indoor cat, it was thought that the probability of rabies was very small. In fact, the cat’s owner could not recall an incident when the cat may have been exposed to rabies.

    The owner lives in the Middle Summit Drive area of Dalton between Cleveland Highway and Waring Road, which is a highly developed area of condominiums and apartments; therefore, public health officials went door-to-door delivering rabies notices. 
  • On Thursday, Governor Deal will renew Georgia's commitment to preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, developing and delivering more effective treatment, and finding a cure, by proclaiming December 1, 2011 to be World AIDS Day in Georgia. Georgia will join countries around the world to recognize World AIDS Day. The first ever global health day, World AIDS Day unites people in the fight against HIV, shows their support for people living with HIV, and commemorates those who have died.

    The North Georgia Health District's Living Bridge Center is observing World AIDS Day this year by providing free HIV Testing and Counseling on December 1st from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the lower level of the Pope Student Center at Dalton State College. This particular testing will involve no needles. Instead, the Orasure, or oral test method, will be used. In addition to free HIV testing and counseling, the Living Bridge Center staff will provide participants with goody bags in recognition of World AIDS Day.

  • raccoonTwo Woodstock residents are undergoing post-exposure rabies treatment after each may have come into contact with rabies during separate incidents last week.

    Glen Gordy of Cherokee County Environmental Health stated that in the first incident, a person was feeding bread to geese in Dupree Park on October 30 at about 3 p.m. when two stray dogs approached and started fighting over the bread. The person tried to stop the fight and was bitten on the hand. The dogs then ran off and have not been seen since.

  • Healthy Family Fall Festivalclick image for full-size poster

    Saturday November 12, 2011 from 11am to 3pm

    at the Creative Arts Guild in Dalton, GA

    This event will be fun for the whole family! 

    Among the events will be an inflatable bounce house and healthy snacks will be served!

    North Georgia WIC

  • World AIDS Day 2009 PosterWorld AIDS Day is celebrated worldwide each year on December 1 to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and to halt the spread of this pandemic disease. This year, the North Georgia Health District and the North Georgia Task Force HIV Prevention Committee invite the public to commemorate and honor those who have died and those who are living with HIV/AIDS at a special service. The service will be held on Tuesday, December 1 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the First Baptist Church of Dalton Fellowship Hall. The church is located at 311 Thorton Ave. in Dalton.
  • turkeyTurkeys usually come to the consumer frozen and as a whole bird. The fact that it is frozen, a large amount of poultry, and can carry Salmonella create special hazards.
  • A second Pickens County cat has been confirmed by the State Public Health Laboratory as having rabies. Earlier in the year, a rabid raccoon attacked several unvaccinated cats belonging to a family living on Paradise Lane in Jasper, Georgia. On September 16, the first cat tested positive for rabies. The remaining cats were either destroyed or placed in a double enclosure pen for a quarantine period of six months. Two family members received a series of post-exposure rabies treatments at a local hospital.

  • Vision of Hope Youth Advocates - Promoting the Georgia Tobacco Quit LineThe Great American Smokeout is November 19. We of the North Georgia Health District are working with our Visions of Hope Committee this year and next to promote the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line (1-877-270-STOP) and, more specifically, to create Tobacco Free campuses at our schools in both Murray and Whitfield Counties through a Tobacco Prevention Community Capacity Building Grant provided to the district. Though these schools already have no-tobacco policies, we will be working with the youth and school boards to create better enforcement of these policies by doing such things as having a Youth Summit in February, posting Tobacco-Free Campus signs and by using a grassroots approach through our Visions of Hope Youth Advocates to recruit other youths to aid in this effort. Please note the attached photo of VOH Youth Advocates (from left to right) Kaila White, David Ramos and Karen Garcia holding a poster promoting the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line. . . this is just one of the many materials we have in both English and Spanish that are available to the public and they can be obtained by calling or emailing Jennifer Moorer at (706) 272-2342, x346 or jamoorer@dhr.state.ga.us
  • SO YOU THINK YOU WANNA QUIT

    LET US HELP YOU WITH A FREE INTRODUCTORY DISCUSSION, TIPS, USEFUL INFORMATION, AND SUPPORT TO REACH YOUR GOAL: TO BE SMOKE-FREE!

    MURRAY COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
    NOVEMBER 17, 2009
    8:00 - 10:00 A.M.
    LIMITED SPACE - CALL TO REGISTER (706)695-4585
  • OFFICIALS OF THE NORTH GEORGIA HEALTH DISTRICT ANNOUNCED TODAY THAT THEIR COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENTS’ HOURS OF OPERATION WILL CHANGE BEGINNING MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2009. ON THAT DATE, PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT CLINICS IN CHEROKEE, FANNIN, GILMER, MURRAY, PICKENS AND WHITFIELD COUNTIES WILL OPERATE FROM 8 A.M. TO 5 P.M. MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL YOUR LOCAL COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT.
  • North Georgia Health District officials announced today the arrival of their first shipment of H1N1 influenza injectable vaccine, which totaled 4,100 doses. H1N1 vaccine will be administered to the priority groups through the health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties beginning Tuesday, November 3. The health departments will provide the vaccine during their normal operating hours, which are from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays except on Fridays when the clinics close at 11:30 a.m.

    The Cherokee County Health Department will conduct a special H1N1 Flu Shot Clinic on Tuesday, November 3 at the Cherokee County Recreation Center from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The recreation center is located at 7545 Main Street in Woodstock. (Google Map Driving Directions)
  • youth-advocates
    L to R: Markette Hambrick, Jessica Headrick,
    David Ramos, Kaila White and Karina Garcia.

    The Visions of Hope (VOH) Coalition recently announced that Whitfield and Murray County youths who were selectively chosen to participate inGeorgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (G-CAPP) Youth AdvocacyTraining sessions in Washington, D.C. have now returned and are ready to share theirexperiences and newly acquired skills with area youths and adults.



  • Murray & Whitfield Counties

    Come and bring your children and enjoy being with other breastfeeding mothers, their babies, and new mothers-to-be!

    Next Meeting Date: December 16, 2008

    A healthy lunch will be provided as we learn about and discuss such topics as:
    • Preparing to breastfeed
    • Breastfeeding in public
    • Getting a good start in the hospital
    • Dealing with pressure from family and friends

    The Breastfeeding Luncheon is scheduled from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, located at 121 W. Market Street in Chatsworth.

    For more information call Patty at Murray County Health Department at 706-695-4585.

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