NORTH GEORGIA HEALTH DISTRICT

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    NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

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 http://nghd.org/Media-Releases/rabid-cat-bites-two-murray-county-residents-neighbors-urged-to-report-bites-scratches-from-strays.html), 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 www.cdc.gov/rabies.

Dalton (GA) The New Year is just beginning, and with the holidays behind us, many people think the time has also passed to get a flu shot. However, the peak of the flu season is still ahead and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu activity continues to increase across the nation (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/summary.htm).

 

The predominant strain of the flu virus that is now circulating in the U.S. is the influenza A (H1N1) virus that created a pandemic in 2009. Protection against that strain of the flu virus is included in this season’s influenza vaccine – the vaccine also protects against influenza A (H3N2) and influenza B viruses.

 

Influenza can cause mild to severe illness, and at times, it can lead to death. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often have a fever (but not always), 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.

 

Officials of the North Georgia Health District, part of the Georgia Department of Public Health, stated that getting a flu shot is the best defense against the flu, and anyone 6 months and older who has not yet gotten a flu vaccine this season should get one now at their local health department, through their healthcare provider or at a pharmacy that provides flu vaccine.

Chatsworth (GA) – Murray County Environmental Health officials announced today that on Tuesday, December 24, 2013, a stray cat bit and scratched two persons who live in the 5700 block of Old Federal Road South, Chatsworth, Georgia.

One of the persons bitten took the cat to Murray County Animal Control where Jason Osgatharp, environmental health county manager, made the determination to have the cat tested because it exhibited abnormal behavior.

The cat was submitted to the Georgia Public Health Laboratory and positive test results for rabies were received today.

According to the persons bitten, the cat would “show up” at their home about once a month.

The rabid cat was black with a white chin, weighed about ten pounds, and appeared otherwise healthy. Those living in or near the 5700 block of Old Federal Road South should report any bites or scratches from stray cats which occurred within the past month, especially if the stray fits this description. Call the Murray County Environmental Health Office at 706-695-0266, extension 8.

The persons who were bitten will start post-rabies exposure treatment today or tomorrow.

Five other cats at the residence, all of which are unvaccinated, will be euthanized.

For more information about rabies and its prevention, log onto the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/.

Dalton (GA) During this joyous season of social gatherings and holiday cheer, it is easy to forget that hazards could happen at any moment. If a public health hazard such as a bioterrorism event or widespread disease outbreak were to happen in this area, delivery of vaccines, medications and antidotes to the public would be critical.

 

The North Georgia Health District, part of the Georgia Department of Public Health, has a public health hazard response plan for each county in the district.

 

David Huskey, health district Director of Emergency Preparedness, said, “In the event of a public health crisis that would require many people to rapidly receive preventive medication, our health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties are prepared to open a temporary Point of Dispensing, also called a POD.”

 

For years, the health district and county health departments have planned with community partners, first responders and volunteers to operate temporary Points of Dispensing, and since 2007, these plans have been exercised each fall when the county health departments conduct their drive-by flu shot clinics. Plans include the possibility that supplies from the federal Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) may be requested and transported to the POD if local and state supplies become depleted. The SNS has large quantities of medicine and medical supplies to protect the American public if there is a public health emergency (terrorist attack, flu outbreak, earthquake) severe enough to cause local supplies to run out (http://www.cdc.gov/phpr/stockpile/stockpile.htm).