Category Archives: Uncategorized

Baby Poultry and Salmonella

Baby chicks and ducklings (poultry) are cute and especially popular this time of year, but they can carry Salmonella. Salmonella is a germ that can make people sick with diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal cramps.

So, it’s important to know that there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from getting Salmonella.

Steps to Reduce the Risk of Salmonella Infection

  • Always wash hands immediately after touching live poultry.
  • Adults should help children with washing their hands.
  • Give live poultry their own space to live, outside of your home.
  • Clean any equipment or material associated with raising or caring for live poultry outside your home.
  • Don’t snuggle or kiss live poultry, or eat or drink around live poultry.
  • Children younger than 5 years of age and other high-risk individuals including pregnant women, older persons and persons with weak immune systems, should not handle or touch chicks, ducklings and other live poultry. These animals should not be kept as pets in households with these high-risk individuals.

If your child is younger than five years of age, consider giving your child a stuffed animal rather than a live animal.

For more information, please visit this CDC web site, www.cdc.gov/features/salmonellababybirds/

World TB Day: “Unite to End” Tuberculosis

DHEC joins local, state, national and global efforts to control and eliminate tuberculosis by observing World Tuberculosis Day on today, March 24, 2017. This annual event commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that causes tuberculosis (TB).

The purpose is to work together and celebrate the efforts of people all over the world that have found new ways to stop tuberculosis.

South Carolina TB rates below national average

Through increased awareness, prevention efforts, public health interventions, improved methods for early diagnosis, and assuring completion of treatment the number of TB cases in South Carolina has consistently remained below the national average for the six-year period covering 2011-2016.

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TB is preventable, treatable, and curable

Tuberculosis is a disease of the lungs, but it can affect other parts of the body. Persons with TB of the lungs can spread TB to other people by coughing, sneezing or speaking. Untreated active tuberculosis is a serious public health threat.

TB is treatable and preventable.  You can play an important role in eliminating tuberculosis in our community by understanding the signs and symptoms and helping to educate others.

The general signs and symptoms of TB disease include feelings of sickness or weakness, weight loss, fever, and night sweats. The signs and symptoms of TB disease of the lungs also include coughing, chest pain, and the coughing up of blood. The signs and symptoms of TB disease in other parts of the body depend on the area affected.

People with TB disease are most likely to spread the germs to people they spend time with every day, such as family members or coworkers. If you have been around someone who has TB disease, you should go see your family doctor, or call the public health department and ask to speak to a TB nurse.

World TB Day efforts

DHEC TB Control is focusing on three groups to commemorate World TB Day: the community, community partners, and public health professionals. The following activities are scheduled for World TB Day:

  • Community – The TB Control webpages have been updated with information regarding tuberculosis education, resources and activities in the community. For more information on TB and other public health issues, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SCDHEC.
  • Community Partners – The second component of the initiative is partnering with various public health agencies representing HIV/AIDS, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, psycho-social issues, substance abuse and other illnesses to distribute information to the clients they serve. There are 31 external and three internal partners participating.
  • Public Health Professionals – Dr. Eric Brenner will give a public lecture titled, Tuberculosis: Local, National, and Global Public Health Perspectives from Noon to 1 p.m. in Room 331 of the Discovery Building, located at 915 Greene St. on the University of South Carolina’s Columbia campus. The lecture will focus on TB from the complementary perspectives of biology and medicine, epidemiology, biostatistics, health services and policy, health promotion and education, environmental health, exercise science, and national and global public health.

It’s Game Time: Healthier Super Bowl Food

By Adrianna Bradley

The Super Bowl, coming up this weekend, is often a time to indulge in chicken wings, pizza and alcoholic beverages.  While tasty, many of these foods are high in fat, sugar, salt and calories. We have some nutritious alternatives to satisfy your taste buds, and still walk away a winner.

Also, here’s some healthy tips from our Office of Nutrition to help you enjoy game day.

  • Start your day with exercise: It is easy to skip exercise on game day. Score a touchdown by starting the day off with a little exercise. Go for a brisk 30-minute walk, jog or run, or pop in an exercise DVD.  It does not matter what you, just that you do it!
  • Eat before the party: Take a timeout to eat a healthy meal before the party. If you show up hungry you are more likely to overeat.
  • Focus on fruits and veggies: Intercept calories from fat and sugar, and reduce your salt intake by filling your plate with fresh fruits and veggies. If you are hosting, provide healthy alternatives to your guests to provide balance on the plate.
  • Monitor your portion sizes: Stay inbounds with your calories for the day.  Make a plate of snacks and walk away from the table. Avoid mindlessly eating more than you need.
  • Remember beverages count too: Drink water or provide a fruit-flavored water to your guests as an alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda and sweet tea. If you are consuming alcoholic beverages, practice proper portion sizes: Limit your alcoholic beverages to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men.

This week at DHEC

DHEC continues to spread the message about radon and free test kits. Richelle Tolton, DHEC’s Radon Coordinator, spoke with South Carolina Public Radio about how to look out for this silent killer.

Neal Martin, with our Division of Injury and Violence Prevention, shared our message about another silent killer, carbon monoxide. He shared prevention tips with WOLO and The Aiken Standard.

Spare the Air Awards

Do you know someone who has voluntarily helped to improve air quality in South Carolina? Encourage them to apply for the Spare the Air Awards for a chance to be recognized by the state! Entries are due by February 1, 2017. Click here to learn more about the award, past winners, and to get information on how to enter.

Employee Spotlight

Congratulations to Stacie Walling, who is the new Operations Director in the Lowcountry. 

DHEC Helps South Carolinians Kick the Habit

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reminds smokers and tobacco users that the Great American Smokeout (GASO) on November 17 offers the perfect opportunity to take advantage of cessation resources available through the S.C. Tobacco Quitline.

Sponsored by the American Cancer Society, GASO encourages smokers to quit for 24 hours and to make a plan for quitting permanently. DHEC’s S.C. Tobacco Quitline, which is celebrating its 10-year anniversary, can help South Carolinians with one-on-one telephone coaching, web-based and text message support, assistance developing a personalized quit plan, and free nicotine replacement therapy to eligible callers.

“For a decade, DHEC’s statewide Quitline has provided free tobacco treatment and cessation counseling services to nearly 100,000 tobacco users in South Carolina,” said Sharon Biggers, director of DHEC’s Division of Tobacco Prevention and Control. “Our agency is committed to promoting and protecting the health of all South Carolinians by helping tobacco users quit, preventing tobacco use and reducing the exposure to secondhand smoke.”

S.C. residents get free help

All South Carolinians who call the Quitline are guaranteed at least one free session with a trained quit coach and receive a Quit Kit. Callers who are uninsured, underinsured, are on Medicare or Medicaid, or are under age 18 are eligible for up to five free sessions with a quit coach, and pregnant/postpartum tobacco users can get up to 10 free sessions.  Online enrollment and 24/7 hours of operation have been introduced this year to increase accessibility.

“Anytime is a good time to quit, but the Great American Smokeout is the perfect opportunity to turn over a new leaf,” said Biggers. “Call today and quit for keeps.”

Smokers seeking assistance can reach the S.C. Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), or for services in Spanish, call 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569).

 10 Years of Quitline Success:

  • 110,841 calls received
  • 37% had no health insurance
  • 21% had Medicaid
  • 32% remained tobacco-free after 7-months
  • 52% were tobacco users with a chronic condition, such as asthma, COPD, diabetes, coronary artery disease or cancer
  • 45% had a co-occurring mental health condition, like depression or anxiety, or a substance use disorder

For more information on the S.C. Tobacco Quitline, visit the DHEC website.