Tag Archives: emergency

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: Rooftop air pollution sensors, National Health Security Preparedness Index, Isle of Palms renourishment project

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

Rooftop sensors on U.S. embassies are warning the world about ‘crazy bad’ air pollution

In October 2010, as heavy smog hung over Beijing, the U.S. embassy’s Twitter feed said its rooftop pollution sensor had detected “crazy bad” levels of hazardous microparticles. So-called PM2.5 had shot up to about 550 micrograms per cubic meter—a level to which programmers had given the sardonic label because they thought it would never be reached. …

By now, rooftop sensors like those that drew attention to Beijing’s pollution sprout from 26 diplomatic posts in 16 countries. Their immediate goal is to protect the health of U.S. diplomats. But they are raising concerns about air pollution from Sarajevo to New Delhi and supplying data to research efforts. The “little-air-monitor-that-could,” as physicist and former U.S. diplomat David Roberts calls it, has become a worldwide watchdog. …

Findings are radiating into other disciplines. During a stint at the U.S. consulate in São Paulo, Brazil, Tommy Flynn, a program manager with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, is providing technical assistance on the monitors.

General Interest

Is the U.S. Prepared for a Public Health Emergency?

The National Health Security Preparedness Index shows that overall, the United States’ day-to-day readiness for managing a public health crisis last year improved by 11 percent since the index’s first iteration in 2013, scoring a 7.1 on a 10-point scale. Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia also boosted their overall health security in the last year, with Maryland scoring an 8.0 to outpace all other states.

“Threats to America’s health security are on the rise, but so is our nation’s preparedness to deal with these emergencies,” Dr. Alonzo Plough, chief science officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said in a press release. “The Index shows how prepared public and private stakeholders are to tackle health security challenges and sheds light on areas for improvement.”

Isle of Palms gets $1.3 million federal grant to restore sand taken by Tropical Storm Irma

The sand that Tropical Storm Irma washed away from Isle of Palms has been restored, and the federal government just kicked in $1.3 million to help foot the bill.

The city had been working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency since the storm struck late last year, and the city hoped to save money by piggybacking off of earlier renourishment work.

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

From Other Blogs: Physical activity, disaster recovery, cardiovascular disease, health disparities & more

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

Keep moving

Do you feel exhausted at the end of the day? How about your kids? Do they just want to flop in front of the TV? Physical activity helps you feel better right away, no matter what kind you choose. Daily physical activity can give you more energy and improve your sleep and focus. Staying active over time also helps you keep a healthy weight. It protects you from heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and osteoporosis (weak bones).

How much activity do kids need? — From Flourish, Palmetto Health’s blog

Disaster Recovery: USDA Answering the Call

In early December, I gathered with a group of neighbors in a Puerto Rican community to watch work begin on a USDA project to protect a nearby bridge. Minute-by-minute, the sound of rumbling equipment grew louder as the excavators emerged from behind houses, rolled along the debris-covered horizon and worked along the river’s edge. I was glad to be able to see first-hand USDA’s disaster recovery work after Hurricane Maria, including this emergency watershed protection project to aid a southern Puerto Rico community. — From the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) blog

Saving a Million Hearts: One Heart at a Time!

Cardiovascular disease (CVD), principally ischemic heart disease and stroke, remains the leading cause of U.S. deaths for men and women and all races and ethnicities in spite of major progress in its prevention and treatment. CVD is also the greatest contributor to racial disparities in life expectancy. In 2012, 120 public and private partners and 20 federal agencies launched the Million Hearts®initiative to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. The initiative sought to implement proven, effective, and inexpensive interventions in both clinical and community settings. In healthcare, the initiative helped improve management of the ABCS (aspirin use for high risk patients, blood pressure control, cholesterol management, and smoking cessation). — From the CDC’s Genomics and Health Impact Blog

Mission Possible: Addressing Health Disparities in Heart Disease and Stroke Outcomes

As the leading killer of Americans, heart disease and its associated behavioral causes are distributed throughout our country. Even so, some groups of people are more affected than others. Poverty and lack of education have long been associated with poorer health status and heart disease is no exception, occurring more frequently among people with lower incomes and less education. Racial and ethnic minorities, including African Americans and American Indians, whose histories in the United States are marked by severe trauma such as slavery, genocide, lack of human rights and loss of ancestral lands, and who today are often disadvantaged in terms of income and education, also experience higher rates of heart disease. — The Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Conversations In Equity blog

Healthy Changes in the Child and Adult Care Food Program

USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) works to combat hunger by bringing nutritious and wholesome foods to tables for children in child care centers, homes, and afterschool programs as well as adults in day care. More than 4.2 million children and 130,000 adults receive nutritious meals and snacks each day through CACFP. As an added benefit, these meals and snacks often reflect regional and local food preferences. — From the USDA blog

This guide can help you prepare for severe winter weather

The official start of winter — December 21 — is not that far away. Are you and your family prepared for cold temperatures and winter storms?

After all, South Carolina isn’t immune to severe winter weather. That’s a fact that’s pointed out in the South Carolina Severe Weather Guide produced by the South Carolina Emergency Management Division and the State Emergency Response Team.

The guide offers important information to help you prepare for winter weather. It provides tips on what you should know about snow and ice, what steps to take before, during and after a storm, emergency information, winter check lists and more.

Winter storms and cold weather can be hazardous. Be sure you are prepared.

Click here to download the Severe Winter Weather Guide.