Tag Archives: crisis

DHEC in the News: Air quality alert tips, opioids, invisible public health crisis in rural South

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

Safety tips when under an air quality alert

COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) — Fighting off the heat is typical at this time of year but the battle can be extra hard for some people.

Wednesday, DHEC issued an air quality alert between 10 a-m and 8 p-m. Those most at risk for getting sick were small children, older adults and people with respiratory problems. And because it’s likely there will be more alerts this summer health officials have these tips:

Opioid crisis: Tega Cay police offer new way residents can safely dispose of meds

TEGA CAY – Local residents who have unused or expired prescription drugs can now safely dispose of them at home.

Misuse of opioid-based drugs continues to impact communities across the country.

So far this year, there have been 13 overdose deaths in York County, eight of which were related to opioids, said York County Coroner Sabrina Gast. Other deaths that are presumed to be overdoses are awaiting toxicology results. There were 550 drug overdose deaths involving opiates in South Carolina in 2016, a 7 percent increase from 2015 and an 18 percent increase from 2014, according to S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control

General Interest

The rural South’s invisible public health crisis

When Pamela Rush flushes her toilet, the waste flows out the back of her sky blue mobile home through a yellowing plastic pipe and empties just a few yards away in a soggy pit of mud, weeds, and dead grass.

On a hot day in mid-May, Rush walked around her yard in rural Lowndes County, Alabama. Flies and mosquitoes swarmed her as she tiptoed near the pit. The smell of sewage was overwhelming.

Rush, 48, a soft-spoken woman with striking brown eyes, has straight-piped her family’s waste into her yard for almost two decades. Her home is on the edge of clay dirt road in the dense Alabama forest, miles from a municipal sewer system. …

In the rural South, these conditions aren’t uncommon.

DHEC in the News: Opioids, free HIV testing, poison ivy

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

S.C. moving to address opioid crisis

In December, Gov. Henry McMaster, calling opioid abuse a “silent hurricane going on in our state,” took several actions including limiting opioid prescriptions under two state programs.

He declared a statewide public health emergency that allows authorities to more easily coordinate emergency management, health care and law enforcement resources. …

Six months later, McMaster says the state has made progress in a dual crisis – for health care and law enforcement.

LRMC offers free HIV testing at local Walgreens

Little River Medical Center (LRMC) is working with Walgreens to help provide free HIV testing and information on National HIV Testing Day Wednesday, June 27, between 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Free testing will be available in Conway at Walgreens located at 1601 Church Street.

Free, confidential and fast test results will be available without the need to schedule an appointment. LRMC counselors will be on hand to answer questions about HIV prevention and treatment options.

General Interest

Test your poison ivy knowledge before the plant ruins your summer

(CNN)It was a close encounter in 2012 that made microbiologist John Jelesko take an interest in poison ivy.

The Virginia Tech associate professor was cutting up a downed tree with an electric chainsaw. What he didn’t realize was that his power cable had been dragging through poison ivy. …

“Within 48 hours, I had your classic case of poison ivy on my arm. And as a scientist, I said, ‘This is interesting, how bad can it be? I’ll just leave this untreated,'” he recalled, sheepishly. “In about two weeks, I had learned just how uncomfortable poison ivy rash could be.”

DHEC in the News: National STD Awareness Month, rabies vaccination clinics, opioids

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

DHEC to provide free STD testing for Awareness Month

(WIS) – In honor of April being National STD Awareness Month, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will be offering free STD testing on April 18.

The tests will be conducted at DHEC’s public health clinics. Appointments are encouraged.

Rabies vaccination clinics set for April

Veterinarians across South Carolina are joining forces with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control this spring to help owners protect themselves, families, communities, and pets against rabies.

Florence Rotarians hear all about the war on drugs

FLORENCE, S.C. – The national opioid problem is a crisis that involves heroin and an epidemic that involves prescription pain medicine.

But the biggest enemy in an epic war on drugs is fentanyl.

DHEC in the News: Flu, opioids, adenovirus

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

People are really worried about the flu in SC. What about our schools?

Out of 22 students in Scott Jaillette’s daughter’s kindergarten class, only 10 showed up to school one day this week.

“I know the school officials are doing what they can,” the Columbia father of three said. “The flu is very bad this season. But I can’t keep her out of school and protect her from everything. I mean, she’d never go to school.”

S.C. DHEC still urging people to get flu vaccines

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is still urging people to get a flu shot; 46 people have died in South Carolina as of Jan. 20, according to a press release.

The best protection against the flu is to get a flu shot, and since it takes about two weeks for the body to build up protection, the sooner you get the vaccine, the better, according to the release.

Teens raise awareness about opioid epidemic in the lowcountry

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C., (WSAV) — It’s tearing apart families and killing more than 100 people every single day. Experts say our nation is in an opioid crisis and it’s affecting people of all ages right here at home.

Local leaders and experts in the lowcountry met with members of the community to work toward a real, life-saving solution.

General Interest

There’s another bad virus going around that is not the flu

It looks like flu. It feels like flu. It even puts patients into the hospital like flu can.

There’s another virus out there that could be adding to the seasonal misery, but it’s not being identified.

The virus is called adenovirus, and it can cause very severe flu-like symptoms. It’s so risky that the U.S. military vaccinates recruits against two major strains.

DHEC in the News: Flu, opioids, child vaccine rates

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

9 Died from Flu in South Carolina Last Week Alone

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – State health officials say nine people have died from the flu in South Carolina in the past week.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control said the deaths during the second of January mean that two dozen people have died from influenza this season, which started in October.

General Interest

Walmart is giving away free opioid disposal kits

Walmart is trying to help curb America’s opioid crisis.

The retail chain said Wednesday that its pharmacies will offer a free kit that allows patients to safely throw out unused opioid prescription pills at home. The packet, called DisposeRx, dissolves pills into a biodegradable gel.

Child vaccine rates higher in South Carolina than national average even as more parents refuse

More than three-quarters of South Carolina children insured by BlueCross BlueShield received their recommended vaccines for measles, mumps, hepatitis B and other infectious diseases between 2010 and 2016, even as a growing number of parents refuse to vaccinate their children, a new national report shows.

In this state, 77.8 percent of these children were appropriately vaccinated, compared to 73.5 percent nationally.