Tag Archives: prevention

DHEC Launches New Campaign Showcasing How We Are “Stronger Together”

DHEC relies on strong partnerships to realize our vision of “healthy people living in healthy communities.”

We have launched “Stronger Together,” a video series, to highlight our strategic partnerships with stakeholders throughout the Palmetto State. This campaign helps demonstrate why we as agencies, organizations, South Carolinians and state are better when we work together.

This campaign is also a continuation of our agency’s recent “We Are DHEC” series by leveraging inspirational video testimonials and stories to raise awareness about DHEC’s work in the community and illustrate our strategic plan. In addition, these spotlights will show our core values – Embracing Service, Inspiring Innovation, Promoting Teamwork and Pursing Excellence – in action.

DHEC is proud to recognize our employees and partners who help us encourage habits that lead to healthy people living in healthy communities. We truly are “Stronger Together.”

Pursuing Excellence to Enhance Food Safety at South Carolina Restaurants

To kick-start the campaign, we are spotlighting our teamwork with the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (SCRLA).

In 2013, DHEC started working with SCRLA on revising our Retail Food Establishments Regulations, to enhance food safety at restaurants across the state. It had been 20 years since the last update, so significant changes had to be made to bring South Carolina up to the most current food safety science.

Since then, we have partnered with the team at SCRLA every year to host informational meetings on regulation changes and food safety topics.

Sandra Craig, DHEC Director of the Division of Food and Lead Risk Assessments, enjoys talking with members of the food service industry and working with SCRLA to further promote the message of food safety in a manner that people will listen.

Douglas OFlahertyVice President of Operations for SCRLA, emphasized the importance of the partnership between SCRLA and DHEC, which allows the improvement of regulations and outlets to ensure food safety.

“It doesn’t matter how much you pay, all food should be safe,” OFlaherty said.

Our collective work to keep South Carolina’s retail food industry engaged in the regulatory process embodies DHEC’s core value of Promoting Teamwork and strategy of Education and Engagement.

 

 

DHEC In the News: Flu Season is coming, eWic expands across South Carolina, Vaping Cases Increase

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

 

Is it too early to be thinking about flu season? The CDC says no

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WLTX.com) It may still feel like summer outside, but the seasons will change in a few weeks. Influenza viruses circulate all year, but flu activity usually begins to pick up in October and peaks between December and February, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

 

eWIC cards now accepted at major stores across SC

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WLTX.com) Starting Monday, Sept. 16, all corporate stores across South Carolina will now accept eWIC cards as a form of payment for participants under the Women, Infant and Children Nutrition (WIC) program. These stores include Bi-Lo, Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Kroger, Lowes Foods, Publix, Target, and Walmart.

 

Upstate hospital system notifies DHEC of 5 possible cases of pulmonary disease from vaping

GREENVILLE, S.C. (Fox Carolina) Prisma Health-Upstate said Tuesday its doctors have notified South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) of five probably cases of severe pulmonary disease related to e-cigarette use or vaping. DHEC on Monday said there have been 2 confirmed cases in the state so far.

 

From Other Blogs: Risk Factors for Heart Disease, Emergency Preparedness Month, Food Waste Behavior

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

5 Key Risk Factors for Heart Disease

Heart disease is common among Americans. In fact, it’s the leading cause of death in the United States. The good news is there are things you can do to prevent this from happening to you. – From Flourish, Prisma Health’s blog

 

Welcome PrepTember: The Readiest Time of the Year

September is a busy month, and not just because that’s when all things pumpkin spice start showing up on store shelves and coffeehouse menus. Here are few reasons why September is possibly the busiest time of year for emergency and risk communicators, including those of us here at the Center for Preparedness and Response (CPR). – From Public Health Matters, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) blog

 

The Psychology of Food Waste: An Interview with Brian Roe and Laura Moreno

What’s the psychology behind food waste and what can we do to change our behavior? This interview features insights from Brian Roe, Professor and Faculty Lead at The Ohio State University’s Food Waste Collaborative and Laura Moreno, who received her Ph.D. studying food waste at the University of California, Berkeley. – From U.S. Department of Agriculture’s blog

Enter Our #EndRabies Photo Contest for World Rabies Day

by Terri McCollister

World Rabies Day, Sept. 28, is an international event that seeks to raise awareness about rabies in order to enhance prevention and control efforts. Rabies is a deadly virus that kills humans, pets, and wildlife across the globe. Education and regular vaccinations are the key to #EndRabies.

As of 9/25/2019 there have been 109 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina this year. In 2018, there were 100 confirmed cases of animal rabies statewide.

SC Rabies

The SC Rabies Application provides statistics of rabies cases by county, species, and year. View rabies statistics across the state here

What is Rabies?

Rabies is a virus (Lyssavirus) that can be transmitted when saliva or neural tissue of an infected animal is introduced into the body of a healthy person or animal. It infects cells in the central nervous system, causing disease in the brain and, ultimately, death. Any animal with rabies has the ability to transmit the disease to humans or pets. In South Carolina, rabies is most often found in wildlife such as raccoons, skunks, foxes, and bats. Keep in mind, pets are just as susceptible to the virus.

Rabies Prevention

Join us in the fight to #EndRabies by keeping your pets up-to-date on their rabies vaccination. This not only protects your pet, it protects you and your family from this deadly virus.  (As part of our effort to increase awareness of rabies, we encourage you to participate in this year’s photo contest that features your vaccinated pets and livestock. You can view contest rules on our website. (The World Rabies Day photo album will be posted on Facebook or Flickr.)

Rabies Photo Contest

DHEC invited South Carolinians to send in photos of their vaccinated pets and livestock to help raise awareness about rabies prevention for World Rabies Day. #EndRabies

Another great way to safeguard against rabies is to avoid wild animals, particularly wild animals acting tame and tame animals acting wild, and to educate your children on the dangers of handling unknown animals. If you see an animal that appears sick, contact your local animal control office, wildlife control operator, rehabilitation group, or veterinarian for help. Never handle stray animals or wildlife, and make sure to keep them away from your family pets. You can learn more about rabies symptoms here.

Pets

Exposure to a rabid bat can easily be overlooked. Bat bites can go unnoticed because they have such small teeth, often people – especially children – don’t realize they’ve been bitten. If you find a bat in a room, tent, or cabin where someone has been sleeping, or find a bat where children, pets, or persons with impaired mental capacity (intoxicated or mentally disabled) have been left unattended, always assume a bite occurred. Any bat that could have had potential contact with people, pets, or livestock should be safely trapped in a sealed container and not touched. Contact your local DHEC Environmental Health Services office to report the incident.

Reporting Possible Rabies Exposure

If you’re bitten or scratched by a wild, stray, or unvaccinated animal care for the wound properly and contact your health care provider immediately. The health care provider is required by the Rabies Control Act to report the incident to DHEC.

If you or your child is bitten, scratched or otherwise exposed and you do not seek medical treatment for the wound, you are required by the Rabies Control Act to report the bite to DHEC by the end of the following business day. Contact information for the Environmental Health Services office in your area can be found here.

For more information on rabies, visit www.scdhec.gov/rabies.

World Rabies Day is co-sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC).

Be a Food Safety Hero During National Food Safety Education Month

September is National Food Safety Education Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from eating contaminated food.

Follow these tips from the CDC to protect yourself and your loved ones from foodborne illness:

  • Clean: Wash hands, utensils, and kitchen surfaces often when you cook. Germs are everywhere.
  • Separate: Keep fresh produce separate from raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs. Use separate cutting boards and plates.
  • Cook: Always use a food thermometer to know when food is safely cooked.
  • Chill: Refrigerate perishable food and leftovers within two hours.

DHEC plays an important part in South Carolina’s food safety, including inspections, food grades, and education. Visit https://scdhec.gov/food-safety to learn more about DHEC’s role.