Healthy people, families, and communities.


     Dalton (GA) – It is time for all Georgia women to say, “Cervical Cancer? Not On My Watch!

     Only through routine screenings can cervical cancer be detected early. Close to 100% of women diagnosed in a pre-cancerous stage will survive this disease. However, an estimated 134 women in Georgia will still die this year from cervical cancer. Therefore, during January, Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, the North Georgia Health District has joined the Georgia Department of Public Health Office of Cancer Screening & Treatment and the American Cancer Society in asking everyone to help fight against cervical cancer by spreading information about the importance of getting a Pap test.  

     Cervical cancer is a concern for all women. Even though white women are diagnosed more frequently with cervical cancer, black and Latina women have a higher risk of dying from the disease due to later detection. Women who live in rural areas and women who have economic challenges also tend to have a high mortality rate due to their lack of resources.

     Early detection through routine screenings in the United States has reduced cervical cancer to less than one percent of cancer deaths since the introduction of the Pap test in 1943. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Georgia Breast & Cervical Cancer Program – commonly known as BreasTEST & MORE – and the American Cancer Society recommend women to start having Pap tests at age 21.

Dalton (GA) – The Georgia Department of Public Health has confirmed two flu-related deaths in North Georgia. Of the current 20 confirmed flu-related deaths in Georgia, these are the only two that have been reported thus far for the North Georgia Health District, comprised of Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties.


Both of the deceased were middle-aged, and there is no evidence in the Georgia Registry of Immunization Transactions and Services that either of them had received an influenza vaccination.


Health officials continue to stress the importance of getting a flu shot and that anyone 6 months and older who has not yet gotten a flu vaccination this season should get one now at their local health department, through their healthcare provider or at a pharmacy that provides flu shots.


Symptoms of the flu come on quickly and often include a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue and some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.


Also to prevent flu and to prevent spreading viruses, use good, common sense hygiene practices such as avoiding people who are sick, stay home if experiencing flu-like symptoms, cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue then throw the tissue in the trash, wash your hands often and thoroughly with warm, soapy water, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands, and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.


For more information about the flu and flu prevention, log onto to the CDC’s website at

What are YOUR New Year's resolutions? The Georgia Tobacco Quit Line can help you with one of them -- Call 1-877-270-STOP today!


What is the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line?

The Georgia Tobacco Quit Line is a public health service funded by the Georgia Department of Public Health through the Georgia Tobacco Use Prevention Program (GTUPP). GTUPP partners with a national tobacco cessation vendor to provide telephone and web-based counseling services in accordance with the United States Public Health Service Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence Clinical Practice Guideline.



- Professional assistance is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

- Any tobacco user 13 years or older living in Georgia.


Who Should Call the Quit Line?

 Anyone can call the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line; not only tobacco users. The general public, relatives, friends, as well as healthcare and public health professionals.


Health Improves Within 20 Minutes After Quitting

- 20 minutes after quitting, your heart rate drops.

- 2 weeks to 3 months, after quitting heart attack risk begins to drop. Lung functions begins to improve.

- 1 to 9 months, after quitting coughing and shortness of breath decrease.

- 1 year after quitting, added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's.

- Within 5 years, of quitting risk of cancer of the month, throat and bladder is cut in half.

- 10 years, after quitting risk of dying from lung cancer drops by half.


Get more information at


Quit Line rolling web banner for web


dog being vaccinatedChatsworth (GA) - In response to a recent case of rabies in a cat on Old Federal Road South in Chatsworth (see story at, the Murray County Humane Society is hosting a rabies clinic this Saturday, January 4, from 10 A.M. until 3 P.M. at 5599 Old Federal Road South, the Sampler Home place. Cost is $10. For more information call 706-264-7739.


Jason Osgatharp, manager of Murray County Environmental Health, stated, “This is an excellent service the humane society is providing to the public, so we encourage everyone with pets that need to be vaccinated for rabies to please take advantage of this opportunity and get that done now.”


According to the North Georgia Health District, rabies is always present to one degree or another in wild animal populations such as raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, etc., so pets must be vaccinated annually whether there has been a positive case in the area or not. An owner cannot know if their dog or cat may have been exposed to rabies.


Also, maintaining current rabies vaccinations in pets is required as a matter of public health law.


For more information about rabies and its prevention, log onto