Category Archives: Disease Control

DHEC In the News: SC Has its First Green Ribbon School, Rock Hill Water Spill Update, MUSC Proposal for New Health Facilities

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

Dutch Fork Elementary school is first Green Ribbon School in SC

IRMO, S.C. (goupstate.com) There are honeybees in the library, trout in the classrooms and vegetables in the yard at Dutch Fork Elementary. The school’s focus on the environment, sustainable practices, and conservation education recently earned it the first Green Ribbon in South Carolina.

 

SC Health Officials on Rock Hill Water Spill

ROCK HILL, S.C. (heraldonline.com) DHEC officials in South Carolina talk about the Rock Hill water spill that interrupted service across York County. They discuss how to keep it from happening again.

 

MUSC requests state’s permission to build and renovate facilities across SC

CHARLESTON, S.C. (postandcourier.com) The Medical University of South Carolina is hoping to build three new health facilities, as well as upgrades and renovations to other centers across the state. And they need five separate approvals from the state to do it.

 

Global Handwashing Day: What You Need to Know

Celebrated each year on October 15, Global Handwashing Day is an opportunity to create awareness about how proper handwashing affects your health. Proper handwashing can prevent infectious diseases like norovirus and the flu.

Here are 3 fast facts about handwashing:

  • Key times to always wash your hands with soap and clean water are: after using the bathroom, preparing food, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available.
  • Hand sanitizers do NOT get rid of all types of germs.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), follow these steps to wash your hands the correct way:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from the beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

For more information about proper handwashing techniques, visit https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html

 

5 Ways to Protect Yourself While Visiting the SC State Fair Animal Exhibits

Each October, families from all over South Carolina visit the South Carolina State Fair. Celebrating 150 years, the fair has food, rides, exhibits, and entertainment. The animal exhibits have always been some of the more popular attractions.

Some animals and livestock may carry germs and diseases that can be harmful. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here are some tips to help prevent the spread of disease while visiting the livestock exhibits.

  • Wash Your Hands.
    • Find a handwashing station and wash your hands right after touching animals or anything in the areas where they live, roam, or eat.
    • Wash your hands after leaving animal areas, even if you didn’t touch the animals.
    • Running soap and water is best, but if not available, make sure that the sanitizer contains at least 60 percent alcohol and wash your hands with soap and running water as soon as you can.
  • Keep food and animals separate.
    • Do not eat or drink around animals.
    • Keep food and drinks away from animal areas.
    • Do not share your food with them, even if you think the food is part of their diet.
  • Do not consume raw products. Raw (unpasteurized) products made or sold at animal exhibits may include: milk, cheese, cider, or juice.
  • Always keep a watchful eye on children around animals.
    • Children 5 years or younger should not have contact with reptiles, amphibians, or live poultry because these animals are more likely to make them sick.
    • Do not let children sit or play on the ground in animal areas.
  • Leave items such as strollers, pacifiers, cups, and toys outside animal areas.

Even healthy animals can carry germs that might make visitors sick. Every year, many people get sick after visiting an animal exhibit. People have reported E.coli, cryptosporidium, and salmonella infections. Those at greatest risk of becoming ill are children 5 years and younger, people with weakened immune systems, and adults over 65 years.

For more information about the livestock competitions and petting zoo at this year’s fair, visit scstatefair.org.

From Other Blogs: Risk Factors for Heart Disease, Emergency Preparedness Month, Food Waste Behavior

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

5 Key Risk Factors for Heart Disease

Heart disease is common among Americans. In fact, it’s the leading cause of death in the United States. The good news is there are things you can do to prevent this from happening to you. – From Flourish, Prisma Health’s blog

 

Welcome PrepTember: The Readiest Time of the Year

September is a busy month, and not just because that’s when all things pumpkin spice start showing up on store shelves and coffeehouse menus. Here are few reasons why September is possibly the busiest time of year for emergency and risk communicators, including those of us here at the Center for Preparedness and Response (CPR). – From Public Health Matters, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) blog

 

The Psychology of Food Waste: An Interview with Brian Roe and Laura Moreno

What’s the psychology behind food waste and what can we do to change our behavior? This interview features insights from Brian Roe, Professor and Faculty Lead at The Ohio State University’s Food Waste Collaborative and Laura Moreno, who received her Ph.D. studying food waste at the University of California, Berkeley. – From U.S. Department of Agriculture’s blog

Be a Food Safety Hero During National Food Safety Education Month

September is National Food Safety Education Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from eating contaminated food.

Follow these tips from the CDC to protect yourself and your loved ones from foodborne illness:

  • Clean: Wash hands, utensils, and kitchen surfaces often when you cook. Germs are everywhere.
  • Separate: Keep fresh produce separate from raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs. Use separate cutting boards and plates.
  • Cook: Always use a food thermometer to know when food is safely cooked.
  • Chill: Refrigerate perishable food and leftovers within two hours.

DHEC plays an important part in South Carolina’s food safety, including inspections, food grades, and education. Visit https://scdhec.gov/food-safety to learn more about DHEC’s role.