Monthly Archives: October 2017

SIDS Awareness Month: Tips To Protect Babies

The death of even one child to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is too many. Sadly, we lose many more than that. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes on its website that about 3,700 infants died of SIDS or other sleep-related causes in the US in 2015.

October is SIDS Awareness Month, which presents a good opportunity for parents and others to learn more about SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths in an effort to reduce the risk to babies.

CDC recommends the following tips to protect your child:

  1. Place your baby on his or her back for all sleep times — for naps and at night.
  2. Use a firm sleep surface, such as a mattress in a safety-approved crib or bassinet, covered only by a fitted sheet.
  3. Have the baby share your room, not your bed. Your baby should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch, or on a chair alone, with you, or with anyone else.
  4. Keep soft objects, such as pillows and loose bedding out of your baby’s sleep area.
  5. Do not allow smoking around your baby. Smoke in the baby’s surroundings is a major risk factor for SIDS.

Visit the CDC’s website for more details and information on SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths.

DHEC in the News: West Nile, Flu, mold complaint involving food

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Case of West Nile virus confirmed in city of Spartanburg

A case of a person infected with West Nile virus has been confirmed within the Spartanburg city limits, according to the city of Spartanburg.

It hasn’t been determined whether the person contracted the mosquito-borne infection in Spartanburg, according to an announcement sent out by the city Monday afternoon.

Dr. Kenneth Perry joins ‘Good Morning Charleston’ to talk flu prevention

With flu season just underway, DHEC reported flu numbers in Charleston are more extensive than past numbers; 93 cases of influenza in over 22 counties as of October 7.

Today on “Good Morning Charleston,” Dr. Kenneth Perry from Trident Medical Center sat down with Tessa Spencer to talk flu prevention.

DHEC investigating mold complaint involving food at Marlboro County school

Marlboro County, S.C. (WPDE) — The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) said it’s investigating after receiving a complaint about mold found on a banana at Bennettsville Intermediate School (BIS), according to Tommy Crosby, Public Information Officer S.C. Dept. of Health & Environmental Control.

Marlboro County School Board has heard growing concerns from parents and some teachers at BIS since this past Spring.

DHEC in the News: Flu, prenatal care, obesity

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Influenza on the rise in Charleston County this season

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — Doctors across the nation have warned, that the 2017-2018 flu season could be a harsh one.

And with the flu season just underway, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has some early numbers showing the spread of the virus and areas where confirmed cases are more prevalent.

In South Carolina, pregnant women are increasingly giving birth without prenatal care

More than 860 pregnant women gave birth in South Carolina last year having received no prenatal care — the highest number in more than 20 years, new health department data show.

By comparison, in 2013 the number of women receiving no prenatal care was much lower: 579.

General Interest

Nearly 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. are now obese, a new high 

Americans’ obesity rates have reached a new high-water mark. Again.

In 2015 and 2016, just short of 4 in 10 American adults had a body mass index that put them in obese territory.

In addition, just under 2 in 10 American children — those between 2 and 19 years of age — are now considered obese as well.

When Is The Best Time To Get Your Flu Vaccine? Now.

The flu season is upon us and now is the time to get vaccinated to protect yourself and your family from the viral disease.

DHEC and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated against the flu every year. Vaccination to prevent flu is particularly important for people who are at increased risk of complications from flu, including young children, adults aged 50 years and older, pregnant women and people with certain chronic medical conditions, like asthma, heart disease and diabetes.

Flu shots key to fighting the flu

Even if you got vaccinated last year, you should do so again this year because protection provided by last season’s vaccine decreases over time; also, the flu vaccine is updated each year to keep up with changing flu viruses.

“The flu vaccine is still the best way to prevent serious illness this fall and winter,” said Teresa Foo MD, MPH, DHEC Immunization Medical Consultant. “You should get a flu vaccine before flu begins spreading in the community. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against flu. South Carolinians should act now to protect themselves and their families.”

“Flu vaccine is available from many local providers-including doctors’ offices, clinics, pharmacies, schools and workplaces,” Dr. Foo said. “Beginning October 16, DHEC county public health departments will also be offering flu vaccine.”

The flu can be serious

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Symptoms may include a sudden onset of fever, cough, headache or muscle aches, tiredness, sore throat and nasal congestion or stuffiness. The flu is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death.

Flu vaccines offered at DHEC Health Department clinics will be available by appointment. Call 1-800-868-0404 to make an appointment or go to www.scdhec.gov/Flu/FluClinics/ to find the location closest to you. To find a non-DHEC flu vaccine provider near you, go to flushot.healthmap.org.

Watch the video below for basic information about the flu.

DHEC in the News: Flu, West Nile, Narcan

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

DHEC to start offering flu vaccines Monday

Now is a good time to get a flu shot, according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Beginning Monday, DHEC county public health departments will begin offering the flu vaccine.

It takes about two weeks after vaccination for the antibodies to develop in the body that protect against the flu, Dr. Teresa Foo, DHEC immunization medical consultant, said in a statement.

Richland County facing most active West Nile season in more than a decade

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – The most active West Nile season in at least half a decade – maybe even more than a decade – is how the director of Richland County Vector Control describes 2017 in her county.

“This has been the most intense activity since it arrived here in around 2003,” said Tammy Brewer, the director.

Wednesday, the county office put out an urgent plea to citizens. West Nile is out there, so protect yourself.

Officers being armed with life-saving drug

From a routine traffic stop to medical emergency in someone’s home, law enforcement officers are confronted with deadly drugs routinely.

“The drugs are more prominent on the street,” Mt. Pleasant Chief of Police, Carl Ritchie, explained.  “It can kill an officer by just touching it.”

That’s why Chief Ritchie says the Town of Mt. Pleasant approved police to carry nasal spray Narcan this week.