Author Archives: SC DHEC

DHEC in the News: HPV, flu, critical need for more emergency medical professionals

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

This virus causes 31,500 cancers annually but few complete the vaccine to prevent it

Vaccination rates against HPV remain low in South Carolina, according to the national Blue Cross Blue Shield association, despite a wide acceptance by doctors as a key in preventing cervical and other types of cancer.

Gardasil had been administered in three doses until 2016, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended two doses of the same vaccine for adolescents. The Blue Cross study examined the percentage of children who got the first dose by the time they were 10 and the percentage who had gotten the final dose three years later.

Urgent care chain expanding as flu cases spike

As flu cases and related deaths continue to increase in South Carolina ahead of the peak flu season, urgent care facilities like American Family Care are rapidly expanding and opening more clinics in the Upstate.

American Family Care opened its newest location on Friday in Boiling Springs to help meet the surge in patients dealing with the flu or flu-like symptoms.

Fire chief: Critical need for medic professionals in York Co.

YORK COUNTY, S.C. — A local fire chief is speaking out about the lack of medical resources in the area.

City of York Fire Chief Domenic Manera tells NBC Charlotte his firefighters are also licensed EMTs, because the closest hospital is more than 20 minutes away. …

Chief Manera says there is a critical need for medic professionals in the western York County.

DHEC in the News: Flu

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

Flu claims 22 more lives in SC, but there is some good news on the flu front

The flu remains widespread in South Carolina, but for the second straight week the number of confirmed cases fell statewide.

Health Officials: 22 more die from flu in South Carolina

State health officials say 22 more people have died from flu in South Carolina in the past week.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control said Wednesday that the latest report shows that 128 people have died from the flu in South Carolina since the season started in October.

Upstate hospitals combat IV bag shortage amid flu season

In the midst of what health officials say is shaping up to be the worst flu season in nearly a decade, three of the region’s largest hospital systems are struggling to provide intravenous (IV) bags for incoming patients.

The bags, which are used to administer fluids and medications, have been in short supply since Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico in September, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The storm not only knocked out the island’s electrical grid but also damaged a number of manufacturing facilities responsible for the production of IV bags.

Two more die of the flu in Beaufort County. Here’s what we know.

Two more flu-related deaths were reported in Beaufort and Jasper counties the week of Feb. 5, according to local healthcare officials.

One person died at Beaufort Memorial Hospital and another at Coastal Carolina Hospital. The hospitals did not disclose the age or gender of the victims.

From Other Blogs: Vaccination and cancer, ALS, Winter Olympics & more

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

Vaccination Nation: A Real Shot at Preventing Cancer

Suppose someone tells you there are quick, easy ways to help keep people from getting some kinds of cancer. Would you believe it?

Luckily, you can. You already know vaccines stop you from getting dangerous diseases from bacteria and viruses. You don’t even realize you have some viruses because they may not cause any symptoms. But a few of them can lead to cancer if left untreated. — From The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) The Topic Is Cancer blog

National ALS Biorepository – A Component of the National ALS Registry

The National ALS Biorepository is a component of the National ALS Registry that will increase the number of biological samples from persons with ALS available for research.  These samples, along with the extensive epidemiologic data collected by the National ALS Registry, are a valuable resource in the fight to identify the causes of ALS. — From the CDC’s Your Health — Your Environment blog

Traveling to South Korea for the Olympics? Bring Back Great Memories, Not a Pest or Disease

The Winter Olympics begin shortly in South Korea, bringing us two weeks of incredible athletic performances. While many of us will watch the games from our TVs, computers or phones, some lucky individuals will travel to witness the games in person. And when traveling, people often bring back items as souvenirs or as gifts for those of us at home. If you are traveling to the Olympics (or anywhere outside the country), keep in mind there are rules about agricultural products being brought into the U.S. — From the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) blog

USDA Agencies Band Together to Assist Producers Impacted by 2017 Hurricanes

Just as families, friends and communities came together to respond to damages that occurred during the hurricanes of 2017, so did government agencies.

When hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria made landfall, the Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Risk Management Agency (RMA), Rural Development (RD), and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) worked together, along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other intergovernmental groups, to provide information and recovery resources to agricultural producers who experienced losses. — From the USDA blog

DHEC in the News: Opioids, HIV, flu

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

What’s new with the opioid epidemic? You!

LEXINGTON, SC (WIS) – It’s a story that keeps making headlines – the opioid addiction problem.

Every few days a news story highlights the growing number of those addicted and the deaths that come as a result.

A doctor at Lexington Medical Center says there is something new in the fight against the opioid problem. It’s you.

Lowcountry AIDS Services tested a record number of HIV positive people in January

A local nonprofit that provides free HIV testing is warning that it tested more people positive for the virus in January than in any other month in its 20-year history.

North Charleston-based Lowcountry AIDS Services says seven people tested positive in the month of January, the largest number in a single month. In contrast, no one tested positive in January 2017.

General Interest

Widespread flu causing large shortage in blood donations in South Carolina

The Blood Connection is appealing for donors because the flu is keeping regular donors at home.

“When donors are unable to keep their scheduled appointments because of the flu, the community blood supply drops,” said Dr. Robert Rainer, medical director at the agency.

DHEC in the News: American Heart Month, HIV, injury prevention in children and teens

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

“80% of heart disease is preventable, know your numbers.” Get heart healthy this month!

Columbia, S.C. (WACH) – February is heart health awareness month.

Heart disease is the number one cause of death for women in the nation. It is also the second leading cause of death for all women in South Carolina.

It is the leading killer of African-American women in the Palmetto State according to results from the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

Highest number of positive HIV tests in a single month reported by North Charleston agency

More patients tested positive for HIV at Lowcountry AIDS Services in January than during any other month in the group’s 27-year history.

The support clinic tested roughly 130 people last month and seven of those tests were positive — an abnormally high number.

“People think HIV and AIDS are a thing of the past,” said Adam Weaver, prevention program manager for Lowcountry AIDS Services. “It’s really not.”

General Interest

Injury Prevention in Children & Teens

This week Bobbi Conner talks with Dr. Keith Borg about injury prevention during childhood.