Tag Archives: flu

CDC Recommends Taking Three Actions To Fight The Flu

If you haven’t gotten a flu vaccine this season, now is a good time to get one. Anyone can be affected by the flu regardless of how health they are.

The contagious disease can lead to hospitalization — and even death. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

Getting vaccinated annually is the No. 1 way to combat the flu.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends taking three actions to protect against the flu:

1) Take time to get a flu vaccine.

DHEC and the CDC recommends 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.Flu-boygettingshot

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 to keep from infecting them.Child-Washing-Hands
  • 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.

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.

Flu vaccines offered at DHEC Health Department clinics are available by appointment. Call 1-800-868-0404 to make an appointment or go to www.scdhec.gov/flu/fluclinics to find the location closest to you. To find a non-DHEC flu vaccine provider near you, go to flushot.healthmap.org. You can also find more information about preventing the flu on the DHEC website at www.scdhec.gov/flu.

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.

From Other Blogs: Flu vaccine, tips to help you quit smoking, environmental justice & more

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

Everyone can be a flu vaccine advocate!

With the holidays quickly approaching, there will be more opportunities to spend time with family and friends.  Now is the time to ensure that you and those around you are protected from flu. Now is the time to get your seasonal flu vaccine if you haven’t already gotten it. — From the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Public Health Matters blog

Preparing to quit: 10 tips to help you quit smoking

Each year, on the third Thursday of November, the American Cancer Society encourages smokers to quit during the Great American Smokeout. Most people who smoke want to quit, but they also know quitting is hard…it can take several attempts to succeed. Here are some tips to help you quit for good … — From the CDC’s Public Health Matters blog

25 Years of Environmental Justice at the EPA

For a quarter of a century, the EPA has worked to address the environmental and public health concerns of minority, low-income and indigenous communities.  I have been blessed to be a part of this effort since its first steps. The Agency’s decision to establish the Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ), initially called the Office of Environmental Equity, stemmed from the recommendations of the EPA Environmental Equity Work Group, which was formed by Administrator Bill Reilly in 1990 to “review the evidence that racial minority and low-income communities bear a disproportionate risk burden.”  — From The EPA Blog

Have A Food-Safe Holiday Season

Last year, more than 46 million turkeys were carved and eaten at Thanksgiving. Turkey is typically accompanied by a host of side dishes and desserts, making the Thanksgiving meal by far one of the largest meals most people will cook this year. — From the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Blog

DHEC in the News: Flu, sewer overflow, US mortality

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

Charleston Co. has most flu cases in S.C., DHEC says

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – The flu bug is popping up in South Carolina, and while the season appears to be off to a slow start, state health department records show Charleston is leading the state in the number of cases.

Blockage causes sewer overflow into nearby waters, officials say

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Renewable Water Resources said Friday afternoon there was a sanitary sewer overflow in the area near North Pleasantburg Drive and Rutherford Road in Greenville.

The cause of the overflow was determined to be a blockage caused by a combination of grease and rags, which should not be discharged or flushed into the sewers, officials said.

General Interest

What’s Killing Americans? These 2 Things, According to a New CDC Report

Good news: Deaths from cancer and heart disease—by far the two biggest killers of Americans—are on the decline, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as are those related to HIV. But further analysis released by the public health agency Friday highlight two alarming trends for U.S. mortality: significant rises in gun and, especially, drug overdose deaths (with the latter driven by the ongoing opioid crisis in America).

Despite the drop in heart disease and cancer deaths, the overall death rate in the U.S. actually rose in in the year ending mid-2017 compared to a comparable period the previous year.

Here are a few basic things you should know about the flu

No matter how healthy you are, you can be affected by the flu. No one is immune.

Keep that in mind as we move further into the 2017-18 flu season. If you have not gotten your yearly flu vaccine, now is a good time to do so because it can take up to two weeks for your body to develop a protective response and it is the best way to prevent the flu.

Here are some tips to help protect you and your loved ones from the flu this season.

  1. The flu and how is it spread

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. The flu can cause mild to severe, even deadly illness — especially in vulnerable people. Symptoms can include fever, dry cough, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, sore throat, and nasal congestion or stuffiness. 

Seasonal flu is usually spread from person to person. People who have the flu may spread it to others from about one day before they develop symptoms for up to seven days after.  Flu viruses are spread when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk spread respiratory droplets. Others become infected when these droplets are inhaled or enter the nose or mouth by touching with hands that have been soiled by the respiratory droplets.

  1. Some people at higher risk

While anyone, including healthy people, can get the flu, certain people are at greater risk for serious complications if they get the flu. This includes older people (especially people 65 years of age and older), young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease). While it is important for everyone to receive their yearly flu vaccine, it is especially important for people in these high risk groups to do so.

  1. Ways you can help prevent the flu

Remember, the best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get your flu vaccine each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and DHEC recommend that everyone 6 months of age and older get a yearly flu vaccine.

In addition, South Carolinians are encouraged to take the following preventive measures:

  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home from work, school and errands if you are sick to avoid getting others sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue if one is handy; throw it away immediately after use. Otherwise, use the crook of your elbow to cover yourself.
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when someone touches something that is covered with germs and then touches one of those areas.

Other good habits include getting plenty of exercise and sleep, managing your stress, drinking water and eating good food to help you stay healthy in the winter and all year.

  1. Places where you can get the flu vaccine

It’s important to get the flu vaccine not only to protect yourself, but also your loved ones from the seasonal flu. Even if you don’t have a regular health care provider you can still get the flu vaccine. In addition to DHEC, many local providers — including doctors’ offices, clinics, pharmacies, college health centers, schools and workplaces — now offer flu vaccines. We encourage everyone to find the facility that works best for them.

Once again this flu season, like last season, the CDC recommends that the intranasal live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), also known as the “nasal spray,” should not be used.

To find the DHEC seasonal flu clinic nearest you, click here.

For more information: www.scdhec.gov/flu.