Category Archives: Disease Control

South Carolina Health at a Glance: Chronic Disease and Risk Factors (Part 2)

Our next installment of the 2018 Live Healthy State Health Assessment summaries covers chronic disease and risk factors.  Because this section lists many chronic diseases that affect South Carolina, we will summarize in three sections. In our first section we summarized South Carolina findings on obesity, prediabetes, diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, heart disease, and stroke. Our next section will cover nutrition, physical activity, and cigarette smoking. Check out our previous posts:  overview of the reportSouth Carolina demographicsleading causes of death and hospitalizationcross-cutting, access to healthcare, and maternal and infant health.

Nutrition

A healthy diet is essential to reducing the risk of chronic diseases and other health conditions, including obesity, malnutrition, iron-deficiency anemia, and some cancers.

  • The percent of adults who consumed vegetables less than one time per day was higher in those with an annual household income of less than $15,000 (37.8%) compared to those with an annual household income of $50,000 or higher (16.1%).
  • Men (52.3%) in South Carolina had a higher prevalence of not eating fruits than women (42.5%) in 2015.
  • The prevalence of adults who consumed vegetables less than one time per day did not statistically change from 2011 to 2015.

Physical Activity

  • The rate of adults who met physical activity guidelines for both aerobic and muscle training increased from 18.9% in 2011 to 23.0% in 2016, and surpassed the Healthy People 2020 objective of 20.1%.
  • In 2015, 23.6% of South Carolina high school students met the federal physical activity guidelines for aerobic physical activity.
  • The prevalence among non-Hispanic White students who met the federal physical activity guidelines for aerobic physical activity was higher than non-Hispanic Black students.

SC Adult Cigarette Smoking_Assessment

  • Adult cigarette smoking decreased from 23.7% in 2011 to 20.6% in 2016 in South Carolina.
  • In 2015, 9.6% of high school students (grades 9-12) reported cigarette use on at least one day during the past 30 days.
  • The prevalence of adult women (50%) attempting to quit cigarette smoking within the past year was higher than adult men (41.0%).

SC Second handsmoke_assessment

  • In South Carolina in 2015, 22.4% of adults reported being exposed to secondhand smoke while at the workplace.
  • The five counties in South Carolina with the highest prevalence of secondhand smoke exposure while a work were: Colleton, Hampton, Bamberg, Clarendon, and Marlboro.
  • In 2015, the prevalence of adolescents who reported being exposed to secondhand smoke in homes or vehicles was 40.8%.

In our last section about South Carolina’s chronic diseases and risk factors, we will summarize information about all cancers. For more detailed information about chronic diseases and risk factors that affect our state, visit https://www.livehealthysc.com/uploads/1/2/2/3/122303641/chronic_disease_and_risk_factors_sc_sha.pdf.

Food Safety During and After a Storm

USDA Offers Food Safety Tips for Areas Affected by Hurricane Dorian

When hurricanes such as Dorian have significant impact on a state or region, they present the possibility of power outages and flooding that can compromise the safety of stored food.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued food safety recommendations for those who may be impacted by Hurricane Dorian. FSIS recommends consumers take the following steps to reduce food waste and the risk of foodborne illness during this and other severe weather events.

Steps to follow in advance of losing power:

  • Keep appliance thermometers in both the refrigerator and the freezer to ensure temperatures remain food safe during a power outage. Safe temperatures are 40°F or lower in the refrigerator, 0°F or lower in the freezer.
  • Freeze water in one-quart plastic storage bags or small containers prior to a hurricane. These containers are small enough to fit around the food in the refrigerator and freezer to help keep food cold. Remember, water expands when it freezes, so don’t overfill the containers.
  • Freeze refrigerated items, such as leftovers, milk and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately—this helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
  • Know where you can get dry ice or block ice.
  • Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power will be out for more than four hours.
  • Group foods together in the freezer—this ‘igloo’ effect helps the food stay cold longer.
  • Keep a few days’ worth of ready-to-eat foods that do not require cooking or cooling.

Steps to follow if the power goes out:

  • Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. A refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours if the door is kept closed. A full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half-full).
  • Place meat and poultry to one side of the freezer or on a tray to prevent cross contamination of thawing juices.
  • Use dry or block ice to keep the refrigerator as cold as possible during an extended power outage. Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep a fully-stocked 18-cubic-feet freezer cold for two days.

Steps to follow after a weather emergency:

  • Check the temperature inside of your refrigerator and freezer. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40°F for two hours or more.
  • Check each item separately. Throw out any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture or feels warm to the touch.
  • Check frozen food for ice crystals. The food in your freezer that partially or completely thawed may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is 40°F or below.
  • Never taste a food to decide if it’s safe.
  • When in doubt, throw it out.

Food safety after a flood:

  • Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water—this would include raw fruits and vegetables, cartons of milk or eggs.
  • Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into contact with flood water. Food containers that are not waterproof include those packaged in plastic wrap or cardboard, or those with screw‐caps, snap lids, pull tops and crimped caps. Flood waters can enter into any of these containers and contaminate the food inside. Also, discard cardboard juice/milk/baby formula boxes and home-canned foods if they have come in contact with flood water, because they cannot be effectively cleaned and sanitized.
  • Inspect canned foods and discard any food in damaged cans. Can damage is shown by swelling, leakage, punctures, holes, fractures, extensive deep rusting or crushing/denting severe enough to prevent normal stacking or opening with a manual, wheel‐type can opener.

FSIS will provide relevant food safety information as the storm progresses on Twitter @USDAFoodSafety and Facebook.

FSIS’ YouTube video “Food Safety During Power Outages” has instructions for keeping frozen and refrigerated food safe. The publication “A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms and Hurricanes” can be downloaded and printed for reference during a power outage.

If you have questions about food safety during severe weather, or any other food safety topics, call the USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888MPHotline or chat live with a food safety specialist at AskKaren.gov. These services are available in English and Spanish from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. Answers to frequently asked question can also be found 24/7 at AskKaren.gov.

From Other Blogs: National Watermelon Month, Pet Preparedness During Hurricane Season, Cancer Statistics

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs

The Science Behind a Favorite Summertime Treat

Many people consider watermelon a delicious summer treat — whether in granitas, salads or simply freshly sliced. It’s not surprising that July is National Watermelon Month.  Watermelons, which originated in Africa, have been grown in the North America since the 1600s and are an important U.S. crop. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, the United States produced 4,494,000 pounds of watermelon in 2016. – From The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Blog

 

Pet Preparedness:  10 Items You’ll Need for Your Pet’s Hurricane Emergency Kit

Amid rushed evacuations, strong winds, and approaching floodwaters of a disaster, chaos often ensues, forcing families to make impossible decisions about the animals that are part of their families.  It’s never easy to leave a pet behind but often, there is no choice. These situations may not always be preventable but having a plan in place can give your pets their best chance.  Keep that plan, and the tools needed to implement it, within an emergency kit tailored specifically to your pet. – From the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s Blog

 

Four Reasons Why You Should Use the US Cancer Statistics Tools

US Cancer Statistics, the official federal cancer statistics covering the entire US population, has been updated with new data and new ways to analyze the data by demographics and risk factors. Learn more about how you can explore and use the latest US cancer data. – From The Topic is Cancer, A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Blog

5 Fast Facts About Sickle Cell Disease on World Sickle Cell Day

Today is World Sickle Cell Day.  Sickle cell disease affects millions of people worldwide and is particularly common among people originating from sub-Saharan Africa, Saudi Arabia, India, South America and Central America, and Mediterranean countries, such as Turkey, Greece, and Italy.

  1. Sickle cell disease is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. The red blood cells become hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a “sickle” and the cells die early, which causes a constant storage of red blood cells. Healthy red blood cells are round and move through small blood vessels to carry oxygen to all parts of the body.
  2. SCD affects approximately 100,000 Americans and occurs in about 1 out of every 365 African-American births.
  3. To get SCD, the trait must be inherited from both parents who already have the SCD trait. People with the trait usually do not have any of the signs of the disease and live a normal life, but they can pass the trait to their children.
  4. SCD is diagnosed with a simple blood test. It is most often found at birth during routine newborn screening tests.  Early diagnosis and treatment are important.
  5. The only cure for SCD is a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. These transplants are very risky, and can have serious side effects, including death.  For the transplant to work, the bone marrow must be a close match (usually a brother or sister).

sickle-cell-checklist-rect

The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC)’s Sickle Cell Program helps people who have SCD pay for medical services, supplies, equipment and medications.  To learn more about the program visit:  https://www.scdhec.gov/health/child-teen-health/services-children-special-health-care-needs/18-and-older-sickle-cell.

DHEC In the News: Smoking Ban Expansion, HopeHealth Team Recognition, & Limiting the Spread of Hepatitis A

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

Columbia Bans Vaping in Bars and Restaurants, Expands Smoking Ban

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Free Times) – After months of discussion, Columbia City Council has approved an extensive update to its smoking ordinance, prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes in places — like bars and restaurants — where traditional smoking was already banned.

 

HopeHealth dietitians/lifestyle coaches earn state recognition

FLORENCE, S.C. (SC Now) – Three of HopeHealth’s Diabetes and Nutrition Institute team members were among a dozen individuals recently recognized by the South Carolina Public Health Association as recipients of the Voice of Public Health Award.

 

DHEC working to limit spread of hepatitis A

SUMTER, S.C. (The Sumter Item) – Although South Carolina is experiencing a hepatitis A outbreak, it is mild compared with the widespread outbreaks in other states, some of which have reported cases in the hundreds and even thousands.