Category Archives: Public Health

Don’t Forget to Thank A Nurse This Week: National Nurses Week is May 6-12

Officially recognized in 1993, National Nurses Week was founded to celebrate nurses and their contributions to society as well as encourage more people to join the nursing profession.

Whenever there is someone in need of care, you can count on a nurse to show compassion in tending to their needs.  Nurses are critical in safeguarding individual and public health.

“We celebrate our DHEC nurses for protecting our communities one individual at a time,” said Rebecca Morrison, APRN, MSN, FNP-BC, director, Public Health Nursing.  “Nurses Week is a time to celebrate their dedication and commitment to Public Health nursing.”

CDC Nurse Photo JPG

DHEC nurses provide care for clients in several programs, including:  immunizations, sexually transmitted disease (STD) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing, tuberculosis, family planning, children’s health and more.  They are also in local schools and childcare centers.  For a full list of services we provide statewide, visit:   https://www.scdhec.gov/health/health-public-health-clinics/services-we-provide.

The nursing profession was founded to protect, promote, and improve health for all ages.  Take time this week to thank a nurse for all they do.

Clean Hands Count: 3 Hand Hygiene Myth Busters in Recognition of World Hand Hygiene Day

World Hand Hygiene Day is Sunday, May 5.  Even though it may seem trivial to review facts about hand-washing, there are many little known facts about proper hand sanitation.

Myth #1:  Soap and water is better than alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is more effective and less drying than soap and water.  Sanitizers reduce bacterial counts on hands and are effective against multidrug-resistant organisms.  Sanitizers generally cause less skin irritation than frequent use of soap and water as well.

Myth #2:  Alcohol-based hand sanitizers eventually cause antibiotic resistance.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers kill germs quickly and in a different way than antibiotics.  There is no change for the germs to adapt or develop resistance.

Handwashing CDC Photo

Myth 3:  The amount of product you use does not matter.

Use enough alcohol-based hand sanitizer to cover all surfaces of your hands.  Rub your hands together until they are dry.  Your hands should stay wet for around 20 seconds if you used the right amount.

Proper hand sanitation does not have to be difficult.  Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is an efficient way to keep your hands healthy.  Remember public surfaces such as gas pumps handles, door knobs, money, and toilets may carry highly contaminated microbes.

For more information about hand hygiene visit:  https://www.cdc.gov/handhygiene/index.html

 

Food Recall Alert: Ben & Jerry’s Coconut Seven Layer Bar Bulk and Chunky Monkey Pint due to Undeclared Tree Nut

Unilever voluntarily recalled a limited quantity of Ben & Jerry’s Coconut Seven Layer Bar bulk and Chunky Monkey pints on April 17 due to tree nuts, including almonds, Brazil nuts, and hazelnuts.  Tree nuts are not declared on the ingredient list or allergy information list.  If you are allergic to tree nuts and consume these products, you may run the risk of a serious or life-threatening reaction.

No reports of illness yet.

For more information, including the UPC codes of the products, click HERE.

Reduce Your Risk of Stroke: Take Action Now During National Stroke Month

May is National Stroke Month.  Did you know that up to 80% of strokes in the United States are preventable?  Use this month to prioritize healthy lifestyle choices that lower your risk.

Stroke is the number five killer and leading cause of disability in America.  While there are some risk factors that are beyond your control (i.e. age, family health history, race, gender, etc.), take the necessary steps to pay attention to what you can control.  According to the American Stroke Association, these are the risk factors to watch:

  • High Blood Pressure/Hypertension
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Diet
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Obesity
  • Carotid Artery Disease
  • Peripheral Artery Disease
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Other Heart Disease
  • Sickle Cell Disease

If you have some of these risk factors or are unsure of your risk, take the Stroke Risk Quiz now.

South Carolina had the sixth highest stroke death rate in the nation and is part of the “Stroke Belt,” a group of Southeastern states with high stroke death rates.  Stroke was the fifth leading cause of death in South Carolina, resulting in 2,627 deaths in 2016.  Although stroke deaths have decreased from 53.3 to 45.5 per 100,000 (see below), South Carolina had a substantially higher rate than the United States.

May 1 2019 Stroke Death Table

Take the time to educate your loved ones about stroke prevention.  Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s website:  www.cdc.gov/stroke.  For more information about South Carolina health statistics, view the 2018 State Health Assessment Report.

From Other Blogs: Heart failure Symptoms, Addressing Obesity Health Disparities, When Cancer Runs in the Family

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

Heart failure symptoms you shouldn’t ignore

One out of every five people over the age of 40 will develop heart failure at some point in their lifetime. Right now, around 6 million Americans have heart failure, and another 900,000 people will develop it each year. Heart failure is a big issue, so it’s important to know the facts in case it happens to you or someone you love. – From Flourish, Prisma Health’s blog

Addressing Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities in Adult Obesity and Encouraging Physical Activity this National Minority Health Month

Every person should be able to reach his or her full health potential. I’m proud of the work we do in CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) to support Americans’ journey to good health—especially among people most vulnerable to chronic disease. We protect the health of Americans at every stage of life by encouraging regular physical activity and good nutrition, helping to prevent obesity in children and adults, and addressing barriers to treating obesity in children. – From Conversations in Equity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Blog

When Cancer Runs in the Family

I remember watching her pack a footlocker and suitcase for her first year of college. As I sat there on her purple crushed velvet bedspread, I wondered how long she would be gone. My Aunt Pat was the first woman in our family to go to college, so I didn’t exactly know how this was supposed to work. All I knew was that I would really miss her while she was gone and that I definitely wanted to go to this “college” place when I grew up. – From The Topic is Cancer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Blog