Healthy people, families, and communities.



 Hunting Lead Poisoning

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There are more than 15 million hunting license holders in the United States, with Georgia ranking 5th among the states at approximately 625K.

Over the centuries, hunting has largely evolved from necessity to sport; however, one of the lesser known potential dangers of both hunting and fishing remains: The risk for lead poisoning through lead ammunition and fishing weights.

Lead is a heavy metal that occurs naturally and is used to this day in many everyday objects as well as things that are used in certain occupations and popular hobbies.

Lead poisoning occurs when people are exposed to lead and it enters the body. People and even animals can be lead poisoned by being exposed to lead just one time. Most of the time, however, lead exposure is chronic. Lead enters the body when food or paint chips are swallowed, or when lead dust is inhaled.

When hunting, people are exposed to lead through lead ammunition fragments in the game meat. Also, lead residue is produced and breathed in when lead ammunition is fired. This happens with hunters or anyone else who enjoys the shooting lead ammunition. This means that hunters are both eating and breathing lead. But hunters are not the only ones affected by this lead. When game meat is taken home to be eaten, the family is now also exposed to the lead fragments in the meat. There are terrible effects of lead poisoning in adults, but consequences of lead poisoning in a child can be life changing.

Lead poisoning in unborn babies and children under the age of six is particularly dangerous. Lead affects the central nervous system, which includes the brain. Other organs can also be damaged. It is particularly dangerous in young children because it damages the brain and can cause developmental and physical delays as well as behavioral issues. The damage caused by lead poisoning is permanent and sometimes severe. Severe lead poisoning can also lead to death.

Closed for ThanksgivingAll our public health departments and services in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield counties will be CLOSED for Thanksgiving, Thurs., Nov. 24th & on Fri., Nov. 25th. MAKO Medical COVID-19 Testing in Dalton is also closed. Happy Thanksgiving! Find our Public Health Services on our home page at

These are CDC Healthy Eating Holiday Tips

Full Homemade Thanksgiving Dinner

Savor a serving of the foods you really love.

Here’s your recipe for staying on track no matter what’s cooking.

‘Tis the season for family, festivity, and food—lots of food. Temptations are everywhere, and parties and travel disrupt daily routines. What’s more, it all goes on for weeks.

How do you stick to your diabetes meal plan when everyone around you seems to be splurging? Here are 5 tips that can help:

1. Holiday-Proof Your Plan

You may not be able to control what food you’re served, and you’re going to see other people eating tempting treats. Meet the challenges armed with a plan:

  • Eat close to your usual times to keep your blood sugar steady. If your meal is served later than normal, eat a small snack at your usual mealtime and eat a little less when dinner is served.
  • Invited to a party? Offer to bring a healthy dish along.
  • If you have a sweet treat, cut back on other carbs (like potatoes and bread) during the meal.
  • Don’t skip meals to save up for a feast. It will be harder to manage your blood sugar, and you’ll be really hungry and more likely to overeat.
  • If you slip up, get right back to healthy eating with your next meal.
Holiday Hacks
  • Have pumpkin pie instead of pecan pie. Even with a dollop of whipped cream, you’ll cut calories and sugar by at least a third.
  • Break physical activity up into smaller chunks so it’s easier to schedule, like walking 10 minutes several times a day.
  • Schedule some “me” time every day—a nap, dog walk, or hot bath to get your energy back for the next celebration.

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North GA – Get a Free HIV Test on World AIDS Day, Thursday, December 1st, anytime from 8 AM to 4 PM by The Living Bridge Center in Canton or Dalton.

Testing locations will be at The Living Bridge Center South at 130 Riverstone Terrace, Suite 102 in Canton and at the Whitfield County Health Department’s Adult Health Clinic (formerly known as MAC) at 800 Professional Boulevard in Dalton.

The Living Bridge Center staff will hand out goody bags, t-shirts, and treats at both sites to anyone who gets a free HIV test that day.

Why is HIV testing so critical?

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 700,000 American lives have been lost to HIV since 1981. More than 1.1 million Americans are currently living with HIV and many more are at risk of HIV infection.

While new HIV diagnoses have declined significantly from their peak, further reduction has stalled as an estimated 38,000 Americans are newly diagnosed each year. Without intervention, nearly 400,000 more Americans will be newly diagnosed over 10 years despite the tools currently available to prevent transmissions.

World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV as we show support for people living with HIV and their loved ones, and as we commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.

Let’s stop HIV together. GET TESTED!

For more information about HIV prevention, World AIDS Day, or the free HIV testing being offered that day, call The Living Bridge Center in Canton at (470) 863-5700 or in Dalton at (706) 281-2360.

To order a free HIV self-test kit, go to and click on the red triangle.

Per the following press release from the Georgia Department of Public Health, all public health departments in the North Georgia Health District, which includes Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield counties, provide flu vaccine during regular clinic hours... no appointment is needed - walk-ins are welcome! A flu vaccination is either no or low cost, depending on a client's healthcare plan or if paying out-of-pocket. Please click on the name of the health department nearest you to find the address and hours of operations, and get your flu shot right away!
DPH News Release banner
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                               
Nov. 11, 2022
Flu Vaccination: The Best Protection Against the Flu
Don’t Make Flu a Guest for the Holidays

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is urging Georgians to get vaccinated against flu right now. Flu activity is already widespread in Georgia – earlier than we’ve seen in recent years. With Thanksgiving just two weeks away, you have time to protect yourself and your family and friends by not waiting another day to get vaccinated.

 “The single most effective way to prevent the flu is the flu vaccine. Everyone over the age of six months should get a flu vaccine,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, commissioner, Georgia Department of Public Health. “The holidays bring gatherings with family and friends and increase the likelihood of spreading the flu. Now is the time to get vaccinated.”

It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu, so it’s important to take preventive measures now.

New for this season, there are three flu vaccines recommended for individuals 65 years and older. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist about which vaccine is best for you. However, if you can’t get one of the quadrivalents, don't delay getting vaccinated. Any flu vaccine is preferably to no flu vaccine.

Flu vaccine is available at public health departments, doctors’ offices, grocery stores, neighborhood clinics and pharmacies. To find a location near you, click on Flu vaccine can be administered at the same time as  COVID vaccine, so it’s a good time to get your updated booster, too.



All our public health departments and services in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens & Whitfield counties will be CLOSED for Veterans Day, Fri., Nov. 11th. Will reopen Monday! Find all our Public Health Services for you and your family HERE.