NORTH GEORGIA HEALTH DISTRICT

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    NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Chatsworth Mayor Don Penland, with wife Barbara, rolls up his sleeve for a flu shot at last year's Drive-by in Murray CountyHealth departments throughout the North Georgia Health District will start conducting drive-by flu shot clinics in September.

The drive by flu shot clinics are specially designed to serve people safely, quickly and conveniently as they remain in their vehicles.

These clinics also offer an opportunity for North Georgia Health District health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield counties to test their ability to administer medications to the public quickly during a widespread public health crisis, such as pandemic influenza.

In addition to regular influenza vaccine, the high-dose form of Fluzone vaccine for people 65 and older will be offered at the drive-by clinics.

The cost for the regular flu shot will be $22, and the Fluzone high-dose shot will be $50. Cash, checks, Medicare, Medicaid and State Cigna and State United Healthcare Insurance will be accepted.

For assistance with well-water, septic systems and mold issues related to floods in Gilmer and Pickens Counties, call Gilmer County Environmental Health at 706-635-6050 and Pickens County Environmental Health at 706-253-0900.

public health advisoryIf you have dead animals on your property as the result of recent flooding, public health officials recommend that you do the following:  If you know the animal owners, contact them and ask that the animals be picked up.  If you do not know who owns them, you may bury dead animals on your property under at least two feet of cover and at least 200 feet away from any wells, springs, lakes and streams.  Use rubber gloves when handling carcasses and wash your hands using a disinfectant soap.  For more information, contact Danny Green with the Georgia Department of Agriculture at 770-535-5955.

For all persons involved in floodwater clean-up efforts, public health officials recommend that you make sure you are current on your Tetanus vaccine, which is contained in the Tdap shot (Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis).

Tetanus is a serious infection caused by bacteria that affects the muscles and nerves. It enters the body through breaks in the skin, such as cuts and puncture wounds. It can lead to “locking” of the jaw so the victim cannot open his mouth or swallow. Tetanus can be fatal.

A Tetanus shot is recommended every 10 years. Protection against tetanus is especially needed if you have worked or are working in flooded areas.

Please be sure to check your immunization history prior to asking for the vaccine, as you may already be protected. You may check with your medical provider, county public health department, workplace employee health service, etc.

For children under age 19, contact your child’s pediatrician.

Pregnant women can be protected against tetanus but should consult with their prenatal healthcare provider prior to receiving the vaccine.

Tetanus vaccine should not be administered to people who have had a severe reaction to the vaccine. This is very rare, and if you are not protected, working on this clean-up effort should be done with caution. The vaccine information sheet (VIS) provides complete information about the vaccine and is available when you get the vaccine.

For more information on tetanus and the Tdap vaccination, log onto CDC’s website at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/tetanus/ or contact your local public health department.