Monthly Archives: August 2019

Prepare Your Child Before School Starts: New Changes in Vaccination Recommendations for the 2019-2020 School Year

The new school year is around the corner. Now is the time to schedule your child’s annual checkup with their primary care provider. Make sure your child is up-to-date with all recommended vaccinations.

We encourage you to speak with your child’s doctor about all recommended age-appropriate vaccines.  South Carolina students in grades 5K to 12 in both public and private schools must be up-to-date on the following shots based on their grade level:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Polio
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • DTaP (tetanus, whooping cough)
  • MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)
  • Tdap (whooping cough booster required before 7th grade)

“Unfortunately, vaccine-preventable diseases, such as chicken pox, whooping cough, mumps and measles still affect many children in South Carolina,” said Dr. Teresa Foo, DHEC Immunization Division medical consultant. “Up-to-date vaccinations are the best protection for our children against these diseases.”

You can also get your child’s vaccines at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) health departments. Call 855.472.3432 to schedule an appointment. For more information about school-related vaccinations, visit:  https://scdhec.gov/health/vaccinations/childcare-school-vaccine-requirements.

Cancer on the Decline in South Carolina

A recent report by the South Carolina Cancer Alliance (SCCA) and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC) announced that cancer mortality rates in South Carolina have declined by 17.6% in the past 20 years.  According to the report, the most prevalent cancers in our state are: lung cancer, melanoma (skin cancer), breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and prostate cancer.

Cancer specialists contribute the decline in cancer mortality rates to primary prevention strategies such as decreasing the prevalence of smoking, early detection and improved cancer treatments.

Although specific risk factors are relative to specific types of cancers, general risk factors include:

  • tobacco usage,
  • being overweight, and
  • an unbalanced diet.

It is important to understand that although cancer mortality rates have declined, health disparities still exist among minority populations and in rural communities. More than 26,000 people are diagnosed with an invasive cancer and nearly 10,000 people die from cancer each year.

“We are moving in the right direction for a state our size, but we are still behind the rest of the country,” said Dr. Gerald Wilson, chair of the South Carolina Cancer Alliance. “The best course of action people can take is to speak with their doctors about cancer screenings and lifestyle changes.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in South Carolina and ranks 1st for cancer deaths.
  • The rate of all cancers in women increased by 5.5%.
  • The death rate for black women with breast cancer is 43.5% higher than for white women.
  • Skin cancer increases of 21.2% among white men and 24.6% among white women mirror national trends.
  • The death rate for black men with prostate cancer is three times higher than white men.

For more information or to view the full report, visit:  https://www.sccancer.org/media/1348/20-year-cancer-report_spread-w-bleed.pdf.

DHEC In the News: Hepatitis A Vaccinations, Back-to-School Vaccinations, DHEC Receives Grant for Congenital Heart Defects Studies

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

 

DHEC wants high-risk groups to get hepatitis A vaccine

CAMDEN, S.C. (Chronicle-Independent.com) The hepatitis A outbreak in South Carolina is driven by infections among people in high-risk groups, and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is asking organizations and individuals who serve those populations to help prevent a more serious outbreak that could affect the general public.

 

DHEC encourages parents to get students vaccinated now in preparation for school

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WYFF.com) The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control issued a reminder for parents Monday to vaccinate their children before the school year begins, saying it’s one of the most important items on a child’s back-to-school list.

 

DHEC and partners awarded $2 million national grant for congenital heart defects studies

CHARLESTON, S.C. (MoultrieNews.com) The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control along with several partners are one of six groups in the nation to be awarded a $2 million grant for studying how congenital heart defects impact patients throughout their lives and identifying ways to support impacted families.

From Other Blogs: Treating Minor Burns, Summer Safety, and Preventing Swimmer’s Ear

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs.

How to Treat a Minor Burn

We have all done it – remembered to put sunscreen on the kids but not on ourselves. Or thought the cookie sheet pan was cool when it wasn’t. All ending in a burn.  Prisma Health Nurse Practitioner Katie Schill said most burns will resolve in 1–2 weeks with some at-home treatment.

– From Flourish, Prisma Health’s Blog

 

Six Ways to Ruin Your Summer Fun!

Ahhh, summer… when the weather’s nice, the birds are singing and the ways to endanger your health are many. Here are six things that can ruin your summer fun and simple steps that you can take to prevent them from happening. – From Public Health Matters, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Blog

 

How to prevent and treat swimmer’s ear

Summer is a great time for fun in the water, unless you end up with swimmer’s ear, a common type of outer ear infection.  Prisma Health Nurse Practitioner Katie Schill said, “Despite its name, swimmer’s ear is not necessarily caused by swimming. It’s caused by any introduction of bacteria into the ear canal. This can happen by scratching the ear canal when removing wax or just scratching an itchy ear.”  To prevent swimmer’s ear, Katie offers this advice. – From Flourish, Prisma Health’s Blog