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Public Health Department
Published on October 17th, 2014 by Sandy Ellington @ 8:25 am

The Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services is alerting residents that a raccoon found on Kearns Avenue in High Point tested positive for the rabies virus on October 16, 2014.  This is the ninth confirmed case of animal rabies in 2014. The raccoon exposed one dog.
North Carolina law requires that all domestic pets (cats, dogs and ferrets), whether living inside or outside, age four months or older be vaccinated.  Even animals that are confined in outdoor fenced areas should have current rabies vaccinations, because wild animals can get into these areas and attack your pets.
Rabies continues to circulate within our wildlife population. The best way to protect your family and your pet’s safety is to vaccinate your pets against rabies.  Guilford County Animal Control is offering a low-cost rabies vaccination clinic at:
Saturday, October 18, 2014, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Jamestown Town Hall, 301 East Main Street, Jamestown, NC  27282
The rabies vaccination will be five dollars ($5.00) per shot.  Cash and personal checks will be accepted.
For your pet’s safety and the safety of others at these clinics, dogs must be leashed and cats must be in carriers.
For more information or to schedule an educational program, please contact the Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services at (336)641-7777, Guilford County Animal Control at (336) 641-5990 or visit www.guilfordhealth.org

 

Published on October 8th, 2014 by Sandy Ellington @ 9:58 am

The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa.  More recently, the first travel-associated case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on September 30, 2014, an event that has understandably led to an increased level of concern in the general public.
Although the risk of an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. is very low, the CDC, the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) and the Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services (GCDHHS), along with key community partners, are taking steps to keep this from happening.
For instance, GCDHHS (Division of Public Health) in conjunction with state and federal agencies, local health care systems, and Guilford County Emergency Services are actively monitoring for cases using a variety of methods, including surveillance of hospital emergency department visits and outpatient clinic visits.  Guilford County Public Health has been working closely with local hospitals and other public health partners, including healthcare providers and emergency responders throughout the county to coordinate a comprehensive management plan in the event that an Ebola case were to occur in the area. Therefore, if an Ebola case occurred in Guilford County, state and local public health professionals would rapidly identify everyone who was potentially exposed and take immediate measures to prevent further spread. Both state and local public health professionals have extensive training and experience with this type of investigation and response. To date, no cases of Ebola have been identified in North Carolina.
So what do you need to know about the Ebola virus?  Dr. Laura Bachmann, Public Health’s Medical Director and a Professor of Infectious Diseases at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, stresses the following reminders:
• A person infected with Ebola cannot spread the disease until symptoms appear.  Symptoms or signs of the disease appear from 2 to 21 days after exposure though the average time from exposure to symptoms is 8 to 10 days.
• Symptoms of Ebola include fever, severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea or unexplained bleeding or bruising.
• Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or through mucous membranes such as can be found in the eyes, nose or mouth) with blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with Ebola, and through direct contact with objects like needles or syringes that have been contaminated with the blood and body fluids of a person sick with Ebola.
• Ebola is NOT spread through the air, through water or through food.
What can you do to protect yourself from Ebola? Dr. Bachmann endorses the current CDC guidance which includes the following steps:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Do not touch the blood or body fluids (for example, urine, feces, saliva, vomit, sweat and semen) of people who are sick.
• Do not handle items that may have come in contact with a sick person’s blood or body fluids and do not touch the body of someone who has died of Ebola.
Finally, Dr. Bachmann advises the following, “Keep in mind that we are getting into cold and flu season and that many people will have similar symptoms from much more common illnesses – not Ebola!  Get your flu shot and other recommended vaccinations.  Do not go to work or school if you are sick. Check in with your health care provider should you become ill and make sure to tell your health care provider if you have traveled recently from a country where the Ebola outbreak is ongoing or if you have possibly had contact with a person infected with Ebola.”
For more information and updates, contact Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health at (336) 641-6500.

 

Published on September 30th, 2014 by Sandy Ellington @ 7:39 am

Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services (Public Health Division) has received its 2014-15 seasonal influenza “flu” vaccine for children and adults, and is now making appointments. To make an appointment for a seasonal flu vaccination at either the 1100 E. Wendover Avenue location in Greensboro or the 501 E. Green Drive High Point location, call (336)641-3245.  Please have your health insurance, Medicaid or Medicare and Medicare Supplement card, if you have one, ready when you call to make your appointment.  Please bring all insurance cards with you to your appointment.  “The best way to protect yourself and those around you from the flu is to get vaccinated annually,” states Merle Green, Health Director. “Help our community fight this year’s flu by getting the vaccination.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the NC Division of Public Health are recommending an annual seasonal flu vaccination for everyone aged 6 months of age and older.  Children age 8 and younger who have not had a flu shot previously will need two doses.

The following is the cost schedule for this year’s seasonal flu vaccination:

Adults and children with UnitedHealthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, or Medicaid and adults with Medicare and/or a Medicare Supplement will receive the flu vaccine at no out of pocket expense. Adults who have no insurance or some other type of health insurance will pay the entire vaccination fee at the time of the service. The Department of Health and Human Services (Public Health Division) will file claims for immunizations for clients who have other major insurance providers.

For children who qualify for the Vaccine for Children (VFC) Program, the vaccine will be at no cost to the parent.  VFC-eligible children are those who are age birth to the 19th birthday and meet one or more of these criteria: Medicaid-eligible; American Indian or Alaskan native; uninsured or underinsured. Underinsured children are those whose insurance does not cover vaccines because a wellness plan cap has not been met, or only certain vaccines are covered.

We accept cash, personal checks with a NC address, debit card, and VISA, Mastercard, and Discover credit cards.  The vaccination is $30.

In addition to getting a seasonal flu vaccination, the Public Health Division recommends these infection-reducing measures:

• frequent and thorough hand washing and/or the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers;
• coughing and sneezing into your bended elbow or sleeve;
• staying home when you are sick;
• staying away from others who are sick;
• eating healthy foods; and
• getting enough rest to avoid flu and other viruses and colds.

For more information about seasonal flu or the flu vaccine, contact your health care provider or the Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services (Public Health Division) at (336) 641-7777, visit the US Department of Health and Human Services website at www.flu.gov or www.flu.nc.gov for flu information specific to North Carolina.

 

Published on September 22nd, 2014 by Sandy Ellington @ 9:36 am

49 children killed in a bus accident – a horrific, front page headline and international news!  Fictional for the purposes of this article, but how sad that Guilford County lost 49 babies last year, and this is widely unknown except to the families impacted by such a tragic loss. During the month of September, the Guilford County Coalition on Infant Mortality is drawing attention to infant mortality, which is the death of a live child before his or her first birthday. On September 24th between the hours of 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., 49 empty strollers will be pushed through downtown Greensboro, ending in Center City Park, to represent each baby that died before their first birthday last year.  The Coalition is partnering with the Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services, March of Dimes, Nurse Family Partnership, the Children’s Home Society and One Main Financial for this event.  Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughn will kick off the event with opening remarks.

This event allows the community to memorialize these precious lives cut short, and vow to keep infant mortality awareness at the forefront, not only in September, but all year long in the effort to save our babies.

For more information on reducing infant mortality including programs and services for women, contact Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services at
336-641-6775.

 
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