NORTH GEORGIA HEALTH DISTRICT

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    NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Rabies VirusEllijay (GA) - A six-month old, mixed breed puppy has been euthanized after a rabid raccoon attacked it at a residence on Roy Road in east Gilmer County. The incident occurred about ten miles from the Fannin County line.

No human exposure to the virus occurred.

According to Gilmer County Environmental Health Manager Andrea Martin, the puppy was attacked by the raccoon on the evening of May 8 while the dog sat on the front porch of its owner’s home. The owner shot the raccoon. It was then prepared for rabies testing by VCA Appalachian Animal Hospital.

Martin shipped the specimen to the Georgia Public Health Laboratory on May 9, and the raccoon was reported as positive for rabies on May 10.

The puppy had received its first rabies vaccination on April 20, however, the initial shot takes 28 days to become fully protective; therefore, the dog was considered to be unvaccinated. The owner chose to have the dog euthanized instead of placing it under a six-month quarantine, due to the severity of the dog’s injuries and level of exposure.

Recently, thousands of passengers aboard a pleasure cruise ship were sickened with a stomach virus transmitted through their foods. While not all such outbreaks can be stopped, there is a public health professional dedicated to protecting you and your family from these and many other types of diseases.

As Earth Day approaches on April 22, the North Georgia Health District and health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties celebrate the positive impact environmental health specialists have on our daily lives.

What if no one inspected the restaurants where your family dines? Or, imagine if no one inspected and sampled the pool where your children swim. Where would you go with a complaint about an environmental health or safety hazard? What if your child was found to have elevated levels of lead? Who makes sure your septic system is properly sized and installed? These are only some of the services provided by your local public health environmental specialists. They are part of your county health department but are the unseen professionals making your world a healthier and safer place to live and work. Their primary task is to prevent diseases and conditions that could affect your health and ensure a safe and healthy environment through education, policy development, and regulation.

Dalton, (GA) – National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is April 20 - 27, 2013. The North Georgia Health District (NGHD), part of the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), urges residents in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties to remember their little ones by speaking with a healthcare provider or doctor to make sure their babies are up-to-date on their vaccinations.

“Young children need champions in their lives to keep them protected,” said Marie Smith, district immunization and child health coordinator. “Parents think of car seats, safety locks, baby gates and external ways to keep our babies safe, but forget that one of the best ways to protect our children is to make sure they have all of their vaccinations.”

Originally recognized in 1994, NIIW provides an invaluable opportunity for our community to remind people how important it is for children to be vaccinated. It is a call to action for parents, caregivers and healthcare providers to ensure that infants are fully vaccinated against 14 vaccine-preventable diseases.

 

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

*Two doses given at least four weeks apart are recommended for children aged 6 months through 8 years of age who are getting a flu vaccine for the first time and for some other children in this age group.

§Two doses of HepA vaccine are needed for lasting protection. The first dose of HepA vaccine should be given between 12 months and 23 months of age. The second dose should be given 6 to 18 months later. HepA vaccination may be given to any child 12 months and older to protect against HepA. Children and adolescents, who did not receive the HepA vaccine and are at high risk, should be vaccinated against HepA. 

April is STD Awareness Month, a time to get yourself tested for STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), and it's time for people both young and old to understand the importance of getting tested.

Some of the most common STDs are chlamydia, herpes and gonorrhoea.  Around 3 million new cases of chlamydia are  reported each year, with adolescent women being the most commonly affected.

But STDs like chlamydia are passed through unprotected sex, and can often be prevented by using condoms.    

While chlamydia can be treated with the use of antibiotics, STDs like HIV/AIDS are for life and will require continual treatment.  

It is thought 1 in 5 Americans living with HIV don’t know they have it, and that’s why it’s so important to know early HIV symptoms and get tested.

At the STD Awareness Month website there is a whole host of resources to provide clinics with posters and leaflets that will give patients all the information they need, from ongoing HIV research to the benefits of condoms.

And at the It's your sex life website you can find out everything you need to know about STDs, condoms and the dangers of unprotected sex.

Both websites will give you the facts and clear up any questions you might have. But of course, there is no better time to visit your healthcare provider or local health department and get yourself tested, so get checked today.  Why not go to the link below and find out by entering your ZIP code where you can access your nearest HIV or STD testing locations? Log on today to http://www.national-awareness-days.com/std-awareness-month.html!