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National Influenza Vaccination Week is December 7-13, 2014

North GeorgiaThe holidays are here, and that means decorating, cooking and vaccinating. What is commonly referred to as a “flu shot” is the single most important step for protecting yourself and others against influenza. National Influenza Vaccination Week is December 7-13, and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is encouraging all Georgians to get their flu vaccine.

Flu season can begin as early as August and could last through May, according to officials of the North Georgia Health District (comprised of Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties). It is important that Georgians understand the best way to protect against influenza is to receive an annual flu vaccine. As long as the virus is circulating, it’s never too late to vaccinate.

Influenza can be a serious disease that leads to hospitalization and sometimes death. On average, more than 200,000 people in the United States are hospitalized each year for illnesses associated with seasonal influenza virus infections1, and it is estimated that more than 36,000 Americans die each year from influenza-related illness.2

Dalton (GA)  – “Getting to Zero” is a rededication to the goal of entirely eliminating HIV transmission, and that is the vision for the World AIDS Day Celebration at First Baptist Church of Dalton on Monday, December 1, 2014 from 11:30 A.M. to 1 P.M.

“Getting to Zero”, the theme for World AIDS Day, held annually worldwide on December 1 since 1988, is about reducing new infections, increasing awareness of HIV and AIDS, decreasing prejudice against those whose lives are touched by this epidemic, and improving access to care and support for people living with the virus, including people who are infected with the virus and their loved ones.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV infection, and almost 1 in 6 (15.8%) are unaware of their infection. In 2010, over 15,500 people diagnosed with AIDS in the U.S. died, and approximately 636,000 people in the U.S. with an AIDS diagnosis have died overall*.

The World AIDS Day Celebration in Dalton is an opportunity to show support for people in this community who are living with HIV/AIDS and to commemorate people who have died. Reverend Rodney Weaver will preside over the ceremony and Dr. Mark Elam will be the guest speaker. Deanna Baker of the Living Bridge Center will present a Time of Remembrance, and there will be musical performances and testimonials.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend. First Baptist Church of Dalton is located at 311 North Thornton Avenue, Dalton, GA 30720.

For more information, please call (706) 281-2370.


*References: CDC website:

 "My Life. My Health. My Decision."

- 2014 Healthy Youth Summit theme

Holly Springs (GA) Cherokee Youth Council members James Lindsey, Jasmine Lewis and Caleb Ductant recently attended the 2014 Healthy Youth Summit with adult leader Kirby Lewis-Hobba to launch a tobacco-free environment partnership with the Georgia Department of Public Health’s (DPH) North Georgia Health District 1-2.

Sponsored by DPH’s Chronic Disease Prevention Section and Georgia SHAPE, the Governor’s initiative to increase physical activity in Georgia schools, the 2014 Healthy Youth Summit was attended by over 130 teenagers on October 24 through 26 at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia.

Dalton (GA) – Public health departments in the North Georgia Health District counties of Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield have placed special emphasis on the importance of early breast cancer detection as part of their recent Breast Cancer Prevention Awareness campaign.

Staff have demonstrated through printed materials, breast exams, discussions, photos (see below) and a proclamation that breast cancer treatment is most effective when the cancer has been diagnosed at an early stage and before it has spread to other parts of the body.

Typically, the focus is on women because nearly 40,000 women die of breast cancer annually.