Healthy people, families, and communities.


School Immunization Requirements Take Effect in Georgia

North GA – 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 February 22-28, 2015, to serve as a reminder for parents to talk with their preteens and teens about getting immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases.

“Our Preteens and teens are branching out. They go to overnight camps, attend parties and play team sports – they are becoming increasingly social. While these are all fun parts of being a teenager, they can also increase their risk for contracting potentially life-threatening diseases,” said Sheila Lovett, acting director for the Georgia Department of Public Health Immunization Office. “Let’s help our children grow and protect them every way we can – including their future health and those around them with immunization against vaccine-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 -12th grades in Georgia need proof of an adolescent pertussis (whooping cough) booster vaccination (called “Tdap”) AND an adolescent meningococcal vaccination (MCV4). 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 homeschool).

BCCP ladies

North GeorgiaTimely Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening and diagnostics are being provided to women ages 50 to 64 at public health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties.


 Currently, North Georgia Health District 1-2 of the Georgia Department of Public Health is offering Clinical Breast Exams, Mammograms and Follow-up Consultations at LOW or NO cost to all women ages 50 to 64 who have limited annual income, limited health insurance or no health insurance.


  • Let us help you know your personal risks and risks based on family history.
  • Screening includes family health history, self-breast exam, clinical breast exam and mammography.
  • Learn how to know your own breasts through periodic self-examination and breast observation.
  • Discover how you can make healthy lifestyle choices, including diet, exercise and tobacco cessation.


Learn more by calling your county health department. [Please note: Our county health department phone numbers can be found by clicking on the LOCATIONS tab at the top of our home page.]

Infant Recently Traveled from Overseas

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is confirming the state’s first reported case of measles since 2012. The infected infant arrived in Atlanta from outside of the U.S. and is being cared for at Egleston at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA). DPH is working with CHOA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to identify anyone who may have been exposed to the patient and to prevent further spread of measles.

Measles is a highly contagious, serious respiratory disease. It is particularly dangerous for infants who cannot be immunized until they are at least six months old and young children who have only received one dose of measles vaccine.

Measles spreads when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes and respiratory droplets travel through the air. Measles virus can live in the air and on surfaces for two to three hours. Almost everyone who has not been vaccinated will get measles if they are exposed to the virus.

Symptoms of measles include:

- Fever (can be very high)

- Cough, runny nose and red eyes

- Tiny white spots on the inner lining of the cheek – also called Koplik’s spots

- Rash of tiny, red spots that start at the head and spreads to the rest of the body (spots may become joined together as they spread)

Measles generally can be prevented through vaccination. The measles vaccine (MMR) is highly effective, in most cases about 97 percent effective.

Click here for the full article on DPH's website.

County will be the first in Georgia to hold such an event, which aims to help residents get better prepared in case of disasters

By MITCH TALLEY, Whitfield County Director of Communications

If a disaster hit Whitfield County tomorrow, would you be ready?

Less than a third of us could answer yes to that question now, based on a recent federal survey.

But that figure could change dramatically in the coming months, thanks to the Whitfield County Emergency Management Agency and several partners who announced today they will be sponsoring the first-ever Whitfield County’s PrepareAthon! in April.

In fact, Whitfield will become the first county in Georgia to hold such a PrepareAthon!, with three days of special events slated April 24-26 to increase community emergency preparedness and resilience through hazard-specific drills, group discussions, and exercises.

“The goal of Whitfield County’s PrepareAthon! is simple,” Whitfield County EMA Director Claude Craig said Monday morning during a press conference at the Dalton Fire Department on School Street to kick off the special event. “Build a more resilient community by increasing the number of individuals who understand which disasters could happen in their community, know what to do to be safe and mitigate damage, take action to increase their preparedness, and participate in community resilience planning.”

Also speaking at the press conference were Terry Thomas, Federal Emergency Management Agency Region IV Individual and Community Preparedness Division; Gary Kelley, Georgia EMA deputy director; Keith Stellman, meteorologist, National Weather Service, Peachtree City; and Patrick Core, chief meteorologist with Chattanooga’s WDEF-TV, which has agreed to partner with Whitfield EMA and promote the PrepareAthon! during its newscasts.