NORTH GEORGIA HEALTH DISTRICT

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    NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Now that the recent flood waters in our area have receded and the most immediate safety hazards have passed, it’s time to address the secondary health issues that can develop as the result of floodwater pollutants.

Be sure to protect your home, family and business by following these easy guidelines from Gilmer County Environmental Health.

CONTACT WITH FLOOD WATERS - Swimming and similar recreational water activities are not advised at this time. Flood waters contain large amounts of contaminants of all kinds. Many thousands of dead chickens have been washed into the streams and rivers. These fast flood waters will carry these contaminants downstream quickly but for now do not have contact with flood waters. Fishing and other non-contact activities are not affected by this advisory.


SANITIZING FLOODED AREAS
– Floors, walls, equipment and furniture that have been covered with flood waters should be cleaned and sanitized to kill any disease bacteria or viruses. Flood waters usually have sewage from over-running sewers and septic systems, manure and other contaminants. Wear gloves, eye protection and boots when working with contaminated areas and items. An easy sanitizing solution is made from a quarter cup of household bleach and one gallon of water. Items should be cleaned with soap and water, rinsed and then sanitized with the bleach solution. This will kill any disease germs and help prevent mold. Do not mix bleach with any ammonia product and work in well-ventilated areas.

Blackberry Falls in Ellijay via 11Alive NewsPublic health officials are cautioning against swimming and other recreational water activities in Gilmer County’s Coosawattee, Ellijay and Cartecay Rivers and their tributaries.  Flooding washed large amounts of manure, sewage and thousands of dead chickens into these waters.  Fast flood waters will wash these contaminants downstream very quickly, but for now avoid activities that would put you into direct contact with these waters.  Fishing and non-contact activities are not affected by this advisory. 

Wells and springs that were covered by flood waters, even temporarily, should be considered contaminated and not used for drinking.  Contact the Gilmer County Environmental Health Office for directions in disinfecting and testing your well water.

Mold will grow in almost any home materials that were flooded.  Remove all wet materials such as sheetrock and allow wood studs to dry completely before replacing. 

Throw out any foods that were touched by flood waters.  It is not worth the risk.

Treat temporary pools left by flood waters for mosquito larvae using Mosquito Dunks available at any home supply or hardware store.

Click here for more details on our website on how to Prevent Potential Health Problems from Recent Flooding or go to Emergency Preparedness and Response information for Flood Water After A Disaster or Emergency from the CDC. 

THE WHITFIELD COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT AT 800 PROFESSIONAL BOULEVARD IN DALTON WILL CLOSE EARLY FOR MAJOR AIR CONDITIONER REPAIR ON WEDNESDAY, JULY 31 THROUGH FRIDAY, AUGUST 2, 2013. PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICES WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE WHITFIELD COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT ON WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY FROM 7:30 A.M. UNTIL NOON. NORMAL OPERATING HOURS AT THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT ARE EXPECTED TO RESUME ON MONDAY, AUGUST 5.

Back to School Immunization ChildDalton (GA) - The Whitfield County Health Department is encouraging parents to get vaccines and health screenings needed for their children this month to beat the back-to-school rush! These services are offered on a walk-in basis, no appointment necessary, at the Whitfield County Health Department.

Children enrolling in any Georgia school, Pre-K, Kindergarten, or Child Care program must present a Certificate of Immunization (Form 3231). In addition, children enrolling in Pre-K, Kindergarten and any Georgia school must present Form 3300 (Certificate of Eye, Ear, and Dental Exam).

The health department’s Children’s Clinic Supervisor Angie Callaway, RN, BSN, stated, “The vaccine requirements differ depending on the age of the child. It is very important to check now to determine if your child needs vaccines and/or a certificate for school or child care entry.”

For example, children under five (5) who attend child care facilities (including Pre-K) must have two (2) doses of Hepatitis A (Hep A) vaccine or laboratory proof of immunity. All children entering sixth grade must have two doses of Measles vaccine, two doses of Mumps vaccine, and one dose of Rubella vaccine or laboratory proof of immunity against Measles, Mumps and Rubella and have two doses of Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine or provider diagnosed documentation of disease or laboratory proof of immunity.

Contact the Whitfield County Health Department at 706-226-2621 or your health care provider to obtain needed vaccinations, health screenings and required certificates.