Tag Archives: Lowcountry

DHEC in the News: Flu, DHEC grant aids Bamberg County, sewage

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

MUSC extends visitor restrictions as flu cases continue mounting

Visitor restrictions have been extended at Medical University Hospital through Jan. 29 as the flu continues to ravage the Lowcountry.

Visitors may only visit inpatients and patients in the emergency department and will be restricted to a patient’s immediate family members only, including partners, significant others, spouses, parents, children and caregivers.

DHEC grant funds waste tire recycling upgrades in county

BAMBERG — Bamberg County is utilizing a South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control grant in the amount of $254,250 to improvement its waste tire recycling.

SCDHEC announced the grant in May.

As a result, the county has been able to purchase a new roll-off truck and six 30-yard containers in addition to making Convenience and Recycling site improvements, such as privacy fencing and new carport covers.

General Interest

700,000+ gallons of sewage spilled in Columbia in ’17 — but that’s a big improvement

Nasty, poorly treated sewage remains a threat to Columbia rivers, but city officials and a riverkeeper group are encouraged by data showing the volume of spills was down last year.

For the first time in five years of compiling sewage spill data, the Congaree Riverkeeper says spills dropped below 1 million gallons in 2017. The group reports that utilities, led by the city of Columbia, released 758,000 gallons of untreated wastewater.

DHEC in the News: restricted visitations because of flu, flu impact in the Lowcountry, DHEC grant to aid Murrells Inlet

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

Greenville Health System issues visitation restrictions because of widespread flu

Greenville Health System is limiting patient visitation to adults except in special circumstances in an effort to combat the spread of flu and other contagious illnesses.

Those children who are approved will be asked to wear masks to reduce disease transmission because flu and other respiratory illnesses can be contagious for several days before the first symptoms appear.

GHS is also asking anyone with respiratory illnesses to delay visits until they are well.

Severe flu season having widespread impact on Lowcountry

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – The flu season has inundated the Lowcountry, and doctors say it’s severe.

The death toll is at fifteen flu-related deaths in South Carolina since this winter’s flu season started.

DHEC said in its weekly Flu Watch that 830 people have been hospitalized for flu-related illness, and fifteen people have died. One of which, the CDC listed as in the Lowcountry.

Group says DHEC grant could help cut down on bacteria in Murrells Inlet

Murrells Inlet, S.C. (WPDE) — A South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) grant is funding a project that could cut down on bacteria in Murrells Inlet, according to a group in Murrells Inlet.

On Wednesday, the Murrells Inlet 2020 group posted to their Facebook page to explain a construction project currently being completed near the bike bridge on Highway 17 Business.

DHEC in the News: Hospital award, recreational shellfish season, opioids

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

GHS wins award for infection prevention

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Three hospitals in the Greenville Health System have been awarded a South Carolina Certified Zero Harm Award by the South Carolina Hospital Association.

The SCHA says the award is given “in recognition of each facility’s excellent work in preventing hospital-acquired infections.”

Recreational shellfish season opening delayed until October 15

The 2017-2018 season for recreational harvest of shellfish (clams, oysters, mussels and other bivalves) in coastal waters of South Carolina will open one-half hour before official sunrise on Sunday, Oct. 15. The recreational shellfish season will remain open through May 15, 2018, unless conditions warrant extending or shortening the season.

The recreational season opening has been delayed for two weeks due to water quality impacts from Hurricane Irma.

General Interest

Mount Pleasant group gathers police, lieutenant governor to discuss how opioid crisis is ‘decimating’ area

MOUNT PLEASANT — The opioid drug epidemic is “decimating” the Lowcountry, a Drug Enforcement Administration officer told a group of about 300 people who met Monday morning to hear leaders address a drug crisis that President Donald Trump recently called a “national emergency.”

Rapid Response

By Jamie Shuster

hep-aStopping the spread of infectious diseases requires a rapid response by public health staff, as well as a willingness to coordinate efforts across geographic divides.

Last week, an alert was issued warning that as many as 5,000 people who visited a restaurant in Springfield, Missouri between May 8 and 16, might have been exposed to hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by a virus. People usually become sick within 15 to 50 days of exposure to the virus, so it’s important to get treatment as soon as possible to prevent the virus from developing into hepatitis A infection.

Treatment consists of a two-dose vaccine. The first vaccine dose must be given within 14 days of exposure to be effective, which means those at risk need to be reached and treated quickly.

Earlier this week, two people visiting the South Carolina Lowcountry heard the news and realized they had dined at the restaurant in Missouri during the specified dates. They were approaching the end of the 14-day window to get a vaccine and called DHEC for help. Our Lowcountry Public Health immunization team quickly connected them with our epidemiology staff to perform an assessment.

After determining that the individuals should get vaccinated, our Lowcountry immunization team offered to provide the vaccinations during weekend hours, if necessary, to make sure treatment was received quickly. Both individuals received vaccines here in the Lowcountry and were able to carry on their visit with peace of mind.

Thank you to our Lowcountry Immunization and Epi Teams for your quick response and willingness to go the extra mile to help these individuals, who were far from home, access post-exposure hepatitis A treatment.

Holly Hill clinic ribbon cutting

By Jennifer Read

Several members of our Lowcountry Public Health team gathered with representatives from Orangeburg County, the USDA, and town officials to celebrate the recent opening of the Holly Hill government complex.

Above is a photo of Public Health team members Diane Williams, Rosalind Connell, LaTonya Wearing, Kathryn Gramling, Dana Millet, Deborah Trevithick, and Linda Ashley in front of the new complex.

Our new Holly Hill clinic is open for business in Orangeburg County, offering immunization, WIC, HIV/STD screening, family planning, maternal and child health, and home health services.

For more pictures of the Holly Hill ribbon cutting ceremony, visit our Facebook page.