Tag Archives: pregnancy

DHEC in the News: Flu, sewage discharge, American Heart Month & more

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

DHEC: Week 8 of high-activity flu season brings second child death to South Carolina

Horry County, S.C. (WPDE) — The eighth week of flu season brought the second flu-related child death of this year, according to a report by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

In its weekly flu watch report, DHEC said the week of Feb. 18 to Feb. 24 was the 11th consecutive week of widespread flu activity.

2 million gallons of sewage discharged into the Stono River

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Department of Health and Environmental control says an estimated 2.4 million gallons of sewage discharged into the headwaters of the Stono River over the course of 8 days.

According to DHEC, the Town of Hollywood noticed disruption of flow in a wastewater line on February 19, 2018. The disruption indicated a problem with the collection system.

Take care of your heart during Heart Health Month

Heart disease is a leading cause of early death and disability in South Carolina. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control encourages residents to adopt habits to keep their hearts healthy.

In 2016, heart disease was the second leading cause of death in the Palmetto State. But small changes can make a big difference.

General Interest

1 in 14 women still smokes while pregnant, CDC says

(CNN)About one in 14 pregnant women who gave birth in the United States in 2016 smoked cigarettes during her pregnancy, according to a report released Wednesday.

The findings, gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, revealed that 7.2% of all expectant mothers smoked — but that the percentage of pregnant smokers varied widely from state to state.

DHEC in the News: Flu, Surfside Beach pier, discharge into Saluda River ended

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

DHEC: Number of SC flu deaths reported this season now at 167

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – The death toll this flu season continues to grow in South Carolina.

16 more people have died in the state within the last week.
Another child dies of the flu in South Carolina, but DHEC report shows activity is down

Flu activity continued to decline in the last week, but experts at both the federal and state health agencies said influenza is still considered widespread.

There were 6,332 influenza cases reported in the state in all, less than half that of the previous week, according to a report from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

FEMA set to fund upgraded Surfside Beach pier

The pier will be going back up in Surfside Beach, pending some official paperwork.

Interim administrator Jim Duckett said Tuesday the town is anticipating $9.5 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) money to build a concrete pier. The town’s wooden pier was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

Mayor Bob Childs predicted it would be back up in late 2019 at the earliest.

It’s Over: Discharge Into Saluda River from I-20 Sewage Plant Formally Ends

A yearslong fight to eliminate discharges from the former Carolina Water Service wastewater treatment facility near I-20 into the lower Saluda River came to a close Wednesday as the Town of Lexington, which now owns the plant, officially ended the discharge.

Lexington Mayor Steve MacDougall and Congaree Riverkeeper Bill Stangler confirmed to Free Times Wednesday afternoon that the discharge has ended. Wastewater from that facility is now being pumped to a regional wastewater treatment facility in Cayce.

Folic Acid Awareness Week: This Vitamin Helps Guard Against Birth Defects

This week — January 7-13 — is Folic Acid Awareness Week. Did you know that taking folic acid before and during early pregnancy can prevent up to 70 percent of some serious birth defects of the brain and spine?

Folic acid is a B vitamin that is necessary for proper cell growth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Public Health Service recommend that all women between the ages of 15 and 45 consume 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid daily to prevent two types of neural tube defects, spina bifida and anencephaly. These birth defects develop within the first few weeks of pregnancy, which is why it’s important to have enough folic acid in your body BEFORE becoming pregnant and to continue getting enough during early pregnancy.

Every woman needs folic acid daily, whether she’s planning to get pregnant or not. For one thing, almost half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned.  Also, folic acid helps the body make healthy new cells. The body — the skin, hair, nails and other parts of the body — makes healthy new cells daily.
Women who could possibly become pregnant can consume 400 mcg of folic acid every day by:

  • taking a daily multi-vitamin containing folic acid, and
  • eating fortified foods like grains, pastas, or breakfast cereals.

For more information on folic acid, visit the CDC website or the National Birth Defects Prevention Network website.

FolicAcid Fact Sheet

Protect Yourself and Baby: Get Your Flu Shot

Catching the flu is never good, especially when you’re pregnant. The flu is more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women than those who are not pregnant. DHEC is encouraging pregnant women to get their flu shots.

As of November 2017, the influenza vaccination coverage among pregnant women before and during pregnancy was 35.6 percent, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Panel Survey.

“The percentage is alarming because it means that almost two-thirds of pregnant women are potentially not protected,” said Dr. Tracy Foo, DHEC’s Immunization and Acute Disease Epidemiology Division. “Pregnant women are encouraged to get their flu shot because it’s never too late to protect yourself and your baby.”

The flu shot is the first and most important step in protecting against the illness. When given during pregnancy, the flu shot has been shown to protect both the mother and baby for several months after birth. The flu shot can be administered during any trimester of pregnancy.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Symptoms may include a sudden onset of fever, cough, headache or muscle aches, tiredness, sore throat, and nasal congestion or stuffiness. Any pregnant woman experiencing these symptoms is urged to contact their healthcare provider immediately. The flu is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death.

Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, and pharmacies, as well as by many employers. Even if you don’t have a regular doctor or nurse, you can get a flu vaccine somewhere else like a health department, pharmacy, and urgent care clinic. You can find your local flu clinic on DHEC’s website.

DHEC in the News: Teen birth rate, Charleston Water System’s 100th anniversary, rabies

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

Teen birth rate continues to drop in South Carolina

The teen birth rate in South Carolina continues to decline, new numbers published by the S.C. Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy show.

Between 2015 and 2016, the teen birth rate in the state dropped by 9 percent. Last year, looking specifically at the 15- to 19-year-old cohort, an average 23.8 of every 1,000 females gave birth.

On 100th anniversary, Charleston Water System digs up a bit of its well water past

Charleston soon will mark a modern milestone: The 100th anniversary of the city’s owning its own water system.

To observe the October occasion, the Charleston Water System isn’t burying a time capsule but it has been digging one up.

1 person potentially exposed to rabies by cat in Greenville Co.

SIMPSONVILLE, SC (WSPA) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says that one person was potentially exposed to rabies by a stray cat that tested positive for the disease.

DHEC says that two stray cats were seen fighting before one turned on the victim, who was scratched.