Category Archives: Prevention

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, Clemson’s solar-powered mobile health clinic, minimizing breast cancer risks

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

You should get a flu shot now, SC health officials say; here’s where you can go

As the temperature dips in York, Lancaster and Chester counties, it’s time to get a flu vaccination, say experts with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

According to DHEC and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccinations are recommended annually for everyone six months or older. Those who are older than 50, pregnant or have chronic medical conditions such as asthma or heart disease are at an increased risk of complications from influenza, according to DHEC.

Clemson’s mobile health clinic powered by the sun

The mission of Clemson University’s new mobile health clinic is to improve the health of the underserved community while providing a teaching experience for public health students.

But as “the world’s first 100-percent solar powered clinic,” it’s also tasked with improving the environment.

The specially designed 23-by-16-foot truck is outfitted with eight solar panels on the roof that charge the entire clinic, eliminating polluting exhaust fumes and noise, said health extension agent Logan McFall.

Healthy eating, exercise help women minimize breast cancer risks

In my role as a breast imaging physician, I am asked frequently what increases my patients’ breast cancer risk. … Although many factors are not in a woman’s control, adopting as healthy a lifestyle as possible is the common sense approach for women’s breast health.