Tag Archives: epidemic

DHEC in the News: Flu, diabetes prevention, opioids

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

Aiken County still above state baseline for flu

Aiken County had a decrease in flu cases at the beginning of February, but for the week of Feb. 4 to 10, there were 632 lab-confirmed and positive rapid cases per 100,000 people, according to South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

There were 18,372 cases state-wide for that week, which is a decrease of 3.3 percent from the previous week, according to data provided by DHEC. There have been 99,791 cases during the entire flu season.

No excuses: RMC HealthPlex Diabetes Prevention Program changing lives for the better

As the second month of 2018 winds down, many of us are aggravated with ourselves for not sticking to our New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier, exercise and lose weight.

One group of Orangeburg residents, however, were on track to reach those goals after attending their second week of the intensive 16-week Diabetes Prevention Class at the Regional Medical Center’s HealthPlex in Orangeburg. The program kicked off on Jan. 23.

General Interest

ER Reduces Opioid Use By More Than Half With Dry Needles, Laughing Gas

One of the places many people are first prescribed opioids is a hospital emergency room. But in one of the busiest ERs in the U.S., doctors are relying less than they used to on oxycodone, Percocet, Vicodin and other opioids to ease patients’ pain.

In an unusual program designed to help stem the opioid epidemic, the emergency department at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson, N.J., has been exploring alternative painkillers and methods. That strategy has led to a 58 percent drop in the ER’s opioid prescriptions in the program’s first year, according to numbers provided by St. Joseph’s Healthcare System’s chair of emergency medicine, Dr. Mark Rosenberg.

DHEC in the News: Opioids, HIV, flu

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

What’s new with the opioid epidemic? You!

LEXINGTON, SC (WIS) – It’s a story that keeps making headlines – the opioid addiction problem.

Every few days a news story highlights the growing number of those addicted and the deaths that come as a result.

A doctor at Lexington Medical Center says there is something new in the fight against the opioid problem. It’s you.

Lowcountry AIDS Services tested a record number of HIV positive people in January

A local nonprofit that provides free HIV testing is warning that it tested more people positive for the virus in January than in any other month in its 20-year history.

North Charleston-based Lowcountry AIDS Services says seven people tested positive in the month of January, the largest number in a single month. In contrast, no one tested positive in January 2017.

General Interest

Widespread flu causing large shortage in blood donations in South Carolina

The Blood Connection is appealing for donors because the flu is keeping regular donors at home.

“When donors are unable to keep their scheduled appointments because of the flu, the community blood supply drops,” said Dr. Robert Rainer, medical director at the agency.

DHEC offers free HIV, STD testing in recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is Feb. 7, and DHEC will offer free HIV and STD testing at participating DHEC clinics that day.

In the Upstate region, free testing is available Feb. 14.

For more information about HIV testing, as well as local HIV testing sites, call DHEC’s AIDS/STD Hotline at 1-800-322-AIDS (1-800-322-2437), or visit DHEC’s website at scdhec.gov/HIV.

“African-Americans comprise only 28 percent of the state’s total population, but account for 69 percent of all people living with HIV in South Carolina, a grave disproportionate burden or impact,” said Ali Mansaray, director for the division of STD, HIV and Viral Hepatitis.National HIV-AIDS GetInCare

Mansaray points out that many have not yet been tested and don’t know their HIV status. The theme of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is “Stay the Course, the Fight is Not Over!” The goal is for those living with HIV to start, continue or stay in treatment to keep the virus suppressed.”

“The annual observance emphasizes the steps that individuals, families, agencies and communities can take together to make the greatest impact and reduce the stigma of testing,” said Dr. Linda Bell, state epidemiologist and director of the agency’s bureau of Communicable Disease Prevention and Control. “Those steps include learning the facts about HIV, getting tested, becoming involved and helping to link or relink people with HIV to treatment. These are all ways to make a difference and end the epidemic.”

In conjunction with National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, DHEC is also promoting the goal of “Ending the Epidemic[BMLJ1] [MY2] ” in South Carolina. This new initiative seeks to reduce the number of new HIV, STD and Hepatitis C infections, link those living with HIV/AIDS[MY3] to effective care to keep the HIV virus suppressed and re-emphasize prevention.

Throughout the year, DHEC clinics provide HIV testing at a small cost [BMLJ4] depending on the client’s ability to pay. Find a health department clinic at scdhec.gov/Health/PublicHealthClinics and make an appointment. Your life may depend on it!

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: More Focus On The Flu

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

DHEC: Protect Yourself and Get Your Flu Shot

Flu activity is continuing to increase in the Palmetto state and while it’s unknown when the flu season activity will peak, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control is encouraging South Carolinians to protect themselves against the flu.

“The Influenza A strain continues to be the most frequently reported this season in South Carolina and nationally,” Dr. Tracy Foo, DHEC Immunization Medical Consultant, said. “When there are high levels of the H3N2 strain circulating, there tends to be more severe illness and a higher number of deaths.”

46 people in South Carolina have died from the flu, DHEC says

GREENVILLE, S.C.Flu activity is continuing to increase in the Palmetto State and while it’s unknown when the flu season activity will peak, officials with The Department of Health and Environmental Control are encouraging South Carolinians to protect themselves against the flu.

As of Jan. 20, 46 people in South Carolina have died. Individuals over 65 have the highest hospitalization rate and number of deaths, DHEC officials said. About one-third of all laboratory-confirmed influenza cases reported this season are in older adults.

DHEC confirms the flu is severe this year, but not unlike past H3N2 seasons

As flu deaths and hospitalizations keep mounting in South Carolina, public anxiety seems to be rising, too.

Numbers published by the state health department this week show influenza activity is widespread throughout the state. In fact, it’s widespread across the country. The flu is everywhere — all at once.

It has hit schools and day care centers and churches. It has even surfaced in the Statehouse and in The Post and Courier newsroom.

Fairfield Co. school reopened after flu-related closure

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, SC (WIS) – A Fairfield County school was hit so hard by the flu this week that officials decided to close its doors.

Richard Winn Academy in Winnsboro, SC was closed Wednesday, Jan. 24 due to the flu.

Here Is Why Doctors Say It’s The Worst Flu Season In Recent Years

Columbia, SC (WLTX) — The flu epidemic continues to be on the rise in South Carolina. State health officials say 46 people have died from the flu since the season started.

We are four months into the flu season and currently, there is a widespread epidemic across the country.