Healthy people, families, and communities.


Jasper (GA) - A Talking Rock (Pickens County) resident is now undergoing post-rabies exposure treatments after breaking up a fight between the resident’s two dogs and a raccoon that has now tested positive for rabies. The dogs were not vaccinated; therefore, the owner decided they would be euthanized.

The positive rabies test result for the raccoon was returned by the Georgia Department of Public Health Laboratory on January 22.

According to Jan Stephens, manager of Pickens County Environmental Health, the fight between the dogs and the raccoon occurred early in the morning of Saturday, January 18 at a residence off of Talking Rock Road about two miles from where two previous rabies cases were found within the past three years - one was a raccoon and the other was a fox.

"In this incident, the dogs were bitten on their noses while fighting the raccoon," Stephens said. "Both dogs had to be put down because they’d had a definite exposure and had never been vaccinated for rabies."

Buckle Up Right, Every Trip, Every Time 

Dalton (GA)County health departments in North Georgia Health District 1-2, based in Dalton, were awarded the 2014 Car Seat Mini-Grant by the Georgia Department of Public Health, Office of Injury Prevention. Through the Mini-Grant, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield County Health Departments will educate parents and caregivers on how to properly install and use car seats, offer car seat inspections and provide car seats and booster seats to financially eligible families.

happybabyseatThe Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and the Maternal and Child Health Program fund the Car Seat Mini-Grant to help ensure Georgia’s children are safe while riding in motor vehicles. 

As a result, since 2007, at least 262 children in Georgia who were involved in crashes were saved from serious injury or death by car seats, booster seats, and education provided through the Mini-Grant. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car seats reduce fatal injuries by 71 percent among infants and by 54 percent among children ages 1 to 4 years in passenger cars. Car seats offer the best protection for children in the event of a crash, and they are most effective when installed and used correctly. Nearly three out of every four car seats are not used properly, placing children at unnecessary risk. 

Keeping children safe is paramount and the Car Seat Mini-Grant is a great opportunity to work with communities in protecting children from serious injuries or death in motor vehicle crashes. 

Through the Car Seat Mini-Grant, agencies supporting more than 130 counties are working to keep Georgia’s children safe. These programs help families get their children buckled up right, every trip, every time. 

For more information about the 2014 Car Seat Mini-Grant in Georgia, please contact the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Child Occupant Safety Project via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (404) 679-0500.

     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