Tag Archives: death

From Other Blogs: Falls in construction, Public Health Preparedness and Response National Snapshot, communities near forests & more

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

5th Annual National Stand Down to Prevent Falls in Construction

Falls remain the leading cause of death in construction. In 2016, there were 370 fall fatalities out of 991 total fatalities in construction. There were more fatal injuries in construction than any other industry in the United States in 2015, accounting for 20% of the nation’s 4,836 work-related deaths that year. — From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) NIOSH Science blog

Moving the Dial on Preparedness: CDC’s 2018 National Snapshot

Every year, CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response publishessnapshot_thumb_index_2018 the Public Health Preparedness and Response National Snapshot, an annual report that highlights the work of CDC and our partners. No matter the type, size, or cause of a public health emergency, we must work together to respond to the best of our ability. — From the CDC’s Public Health Matters blog

Where Your Front Door Meets the Forest

More and more communities are now near or within forests. In fact the area where unoccupied land and human development meet has a name and it’s called the Wildland Urban Interface, or WUI.

The WUI is the most challenging area of the forest for wildland firefighters to suppress fire. Here fire transitions from trees and brush to homes and vehicles. This transition creates increased risks and costs for all involved. — From the US Department of Agriculture blog

Have it Your Way: Exploring Data on the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network

“Have it your way.” Remember that old marketing promise from a fast food chain? In this case, rather than a hamburger, the phrase is in reference to the treasure trove of environmental and health data on CDC’s Environmental Public Health Tracking Network (Tracking Network).

There are currently 450 environment and health measures accessible in a variety of ways…which brings us back to having it your way.

As the Tracking Network has grown over the years, so has the recognition that users require a variety of ways to ask for and consume the information they are seeking from the Tracking Network.  In the same way that not everyone likes mayo and tomatoes on their hamburger, not everyone who is trying to learn about the environmental health of their community wants to access and use Tracking data in the same way. — From the CDC’s Your Health — Your Environment blog

Active flu season: A Case Study In How DHEC Works Year Round To Protect S.C.’s Health

By Lilian Peake, MD
Director, Public Health

The current flu season, one of the most active in recent years, has commanded the attention of our entire state and nation. And for good reason: The flu can be a serious threat. This contagious respiratory illness can cause mild to severe illness, with potentially serious complications resulting in hospitalization or death.dr-lilian-peake-dhec

That’s why it is so important to have a strong public health system not only working to prevent disease, but also monitoring the health and well-being of the people of South Carolina and responding as situations arise.

As South Carolina’s lead public health and environmental agency, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control is responsible for protecting and promoting the health of our community. Our public health system must be well prepared to address a variety of health threats to our citizens. These threats may be infectious diseases, such as West Nile virus, whooping cough, and flu, or disasters, such as hurricanes. DHEC employs skilled public health and environmental control professionals who work every day to improve the health of South Carolinians and maintain readiness to respond to any public health threats to our community.

DHEC public health professionals work year round to provide education and surveillance to prepare for seasonal flu as well as the threat of pandemic flu. DHEC staff collaborate with other public health professionals, health care providers and community partners each year, both before and during flu season, to help our state better respond to flu, no matter how severe the season.

Prevention is the first place to start. Getting vaccinated is the best way South Carolinians can prevent the spread of influenza. Yearly vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older. DHEC provides flu vaccination at its health clinics across the state, in schools, and in other community settings. Health care providers, pharmacies and others also provide flu shots. This season DHEC was a partner in a Palmetto Health initiative to provide flu vaccine clinics in churches in the Midlands.

DHEC shares prevention messages and other information on its website and through news releases, interviews, blog posts, social media and public service announcements. This helps keep the public up-to-date on the flu season and inform them of the important steps they can take to protect themselves, their families, and vulnerable members of their community.

Monitoring (or conducting surveillance) of influenza plays an important role in understanding the spread of the flu, the severity of the season and its impact on South Carolina.  It helps detect novel influenza strains, measure the effects of influenza, determine where the flu is spreading in the state and the nation, and identify unusual clustering of cases or outbreaks. Detecting flu early in the season provides more opportunity to encourage members of high-risk groups to get vaccinated before the virus becomes widespread.

Certain influenza data are required to be reported to DHEC to allow for monitoring, including confirmed cases, hospitalizations and deaths. These data are used to produce FluWatch, a weekly summary of influenza activity in South Carolina. Outbreaks of flu in schools, child care centers, health care facilities and elsewhere must also be reported, and DHEC provides guidance to help stop the spread of influenza.

DHEC also partners with hospitals to help respond to flu. During this year’s active season, hospitals across the state put their medical surge plans into operation to successfully handle the increased number of patients. Working with hospitals and the South Carolina Hospital Association, DHEC facilitated a process in which bed availability and emergency room status were gathered daily. By working together, there was assurance that patients got the care they needed.

Such collaboration supports DHEC’s vision of healthy people living in healthy communities. It is good to know that when the public health is threatened, South Carolina is ready to respond.

DHEC in the News: Flu

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

Flu claims 22 more lives in SC, but there is some good news on the flu front

The flu remains widespread in South Carolina, but for the second straight week the number of confirmed cases fell statewide.

Health Officials: 22 more die from flu in South Carolina

State health officials say 22 more people have died from flu in South Carolina in the past week.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control said Wednesday that the latest report shows that 128 people have died from the flu in South Carolina since the season started in October.

Upstate hospitals combat IV bag shortage amid flu season

In the midst of what health officials say is shaping up to be the worst flu season in nearly a decade, three of the region’s largest hospital systems are struggling to provide intravenous (IV) bags for incoming patients.

The bags, which are used to administer fluids and medications, have been in short supply since Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico in September, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The storm not only knocked out the island’s electrical grid but also damaged a number of manufacturing facilities responsible for the production of IV bags.

Two more die of the flu in Beaufort County. Here’s what we know.

Two more flu-related deaths were reported in Beaufort and Jasper counties the week of Feb. 5, according to local healthcare officials.

One person died at Beaufort Memorial Hospital and another at Coastal Carolina Hospital. The hospitals did not disclose the age or gender of the victims.

Here Are Some Actions You Can Take To Help Protect You Against The Flu

No doubt, you’ve heard the reports of widespread flu activity. It’s important to know that there are some things you can do to help protect yourself.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends taking three actions:

1) Get a flu vaccine.

DHEC and the CDC recommend that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine, which can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu. Getting vaccinated annually is the No. 1 way to combat this contagious disease that can lead to hospitalization — and even death.

It is especially important for high-risk persons to be vaccinated to reduce the risk of severe illness. People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with certain chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.

2) Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you are sick, limit contact with others.
  • If you are sick with flu symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs such as the flu.

3) Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them.

If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can be used to treat your illness. Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. These drugs are different from antibiotics; they are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) and are not available over-the-counter.

Visit CDC’s website to find out more about the flu and the three actions it recommends to fight it.

DHEC in the News: Flu, America Recycles Day, more sand for beach

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

First Flu-Related Death Confirmed In South Carolina, How To Protect Yourself

Columbia, SC (WOLO) – The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control confirmed the first flu-related death of the season.  The individual that passed away because of the flu was in the upstate, but DHEC says people can never be too cautious when it comes to the nasty virus. They said young children, pregnant women, people 65 years or older and those with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, or heart and lung disease are the ones most at risk.

Solid Waste Authority hosts America Recycles Day

In celebration of America Recycles Day, the Solid Waste Authority, in conjunction with SC DHEC and the SC Commerce Department hosted an America Recycles Day/Don’t Waste Food Day. The outreach event is being held to help educate Horry County about food waste and how to reduce their waste personally.

Most people do not realize that food waste is the number one item thrown away across America. The amount of food wasted in a year is a staggering 38.4 million tons, it accounts for over 20% of our country’s waste. South Carolina, itself produced over 600,000 tons of food waste last year.

Looking for a better beach? This popular one has been approved for some TLC

More sand will be coming to Hilton Head Plantation after taking “a major hit” from Hurricane Matthew and Tropical Storm Irma, according to the November newsletter for the plantation.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the plantation’s application to place additional sand on Pine Island Beach, and to install a boardwalk from the Dolphin Head Recreation area to the Pine Island Ithmus, the newsletter said.