Tag Archives: SCDHEC

Swim Safe During Healthy & Safe Swimming Week

Pool season is officially here!  Even though swimming is a great recreational activity, be cautious about the water where you swim.  This week marks the 11th annual Healthy and Safe Swimming Week, where this year’s theme is “Pool Chemistry for Healthy & Safe Swimming.”

Many people do not think about the chemistry of the water before they dive.  Certain contaminations can lead to illness, including Cryptosporidium (or “Crypto”), Legionella and other recreational water illnesses.  Pool chemicals are added to maintain water quality and kill germs.  Each year, however, mishandling pool chemicals when treating pools, hot tubs, spas, and water playgrounds leads to 3,000-5,000 visits to emergency departments.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2009 there were approximately 301 million swimming visits each year by persons over the age of six.  Please refrain from getting in deep water levels if you cannot swim.  Each day, two children younger than 14 years old die from drowning.  Drowning is a leading cause of death for children 1-4 years old.

Healthy Swimming CDC_gif

Follow these tips for safe swimming this summer:

  • Don’t swim or let your kids swim if sick with diarrhea.
  • Contact a DHEC representative to get an inspection for a specific facility
  • Before getting in the water, do your own mini-inspection.
    • Use a test strip from your local retailer or pool supply store to check if the water’s pH and free chlorine or bromine levels are correct:
      • Follow the manufacturer’s directions.
      • pH: 7.0-7.8
      • Free chlorine: between 1-8 ppm in all recreational water bodies
      • Bromine: between 2.3-17.6 ppm in all recreational bodies
    • Rinse off in the shower before you get in the water. Rinsing off for just 1 minute removes most of the dirt or anything else on your body that could contaminate the water.
    • Don’t pee or poop in the water.

For additional inspection steps, visit:  https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/materials/infographic-inspection.html  Healthy swimming is safe swimming.  Keep yourself and your loved ones safe this summer and stay informed.

DHEC in the News: Kershaw County rolls out e-WIC cards, Mass hurricane preparedness exercise, Low rankings for restaurant scorecards

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

E-WIC cards to replace WIC vouchers, now available in Kershaw County

ABC News 4 (Charleston)         WIS News (Midlands)

 

Restaurant Scorecards:  Low rankings in Myrtle Beach (WMBF) and the Midlands (The State)

Restaurants in Myrtle Beach and the Midlands receive significantly low inspection ratings.

 

Multi-agency exercise readies Midlands for worst-case scenario

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) – Nearly 200 personnel participated in a large-scale mock disaster drill Friday at the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission hangar at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport designed to challenge and improve their response capabilities.

#KnowYourStatusSC: Get Hep Tested on May 20

In recognition of National Hepatitis Testing Day, DHEC clinics statewide will offer FREE Hepatitis testing on Monday, May 20.  Here are 5 fast facts about hepatitis.

  • Viral Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. Your liver is the largest organ and helps your body digest food, store energy, and remove poisons.
  • There are three strains of hepatitis: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.  Viruses cause most cases of hepatitis.  Drug and alcohol use can also cause hepatitis.
  • Symptoms include: loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, dark-colored urine and pale bowel movements, stomach pain, and jaundice (yellow skin and eyes).  Some people may not experience any symptoms.
  • Most people who are infected with Hepatitis develop a chronic, or long-term, infection.
  • In the United States, hepatitis C is responsible for more deaths than all other reportable infectious diseases.

Hepatitic C Stats_2018 SC Health Assessment

In South Carolina, approximately 75 males (per 100,000) were living with hepatitis C compared to approximately 44 women.  Are you at risk for getting Hepatitis?  Take the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Risk Assessment and find out.

Check your DHEC local public health clinic for more information about FREE Hepatitis Testing Day.

Ready or Not Mosquitoes Are Coming!

(GIF Credit:  https://giphy.com/gifs/conan-aubrey-plaza-bug-bites-l0GRivUt0xWH7kSrK)

Being outdoors this summer can be great for exercising, cooking out, sunbathing, or doing some much-needed gardening.  Whatever activity you decide, understand that mosquitoes and other disease-carrying insects are outside with you.

South Carolina is home to at least 61 different species of mosquitoes.  They may carry viruses, such as dengue, zika, West Nile, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis, and malaria.

DHEC works in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor mosquito populations for diseases that can be spread to humans. Local governments also play a key role in protecting citizens through spraying and cleanup effortsClick here to find a listing of local mosquito control programs.

mosquito gif.gif                                         (GIF Credit:  https://tenor.com/view/bug-bites-bugs-mosquito-mosquito-net-the-simpsons-gif-11945156)

The first and most important line of defense is for you to protect yourself and help to prevent mosquito bites.  Make sure to eliminate mosquito breeding areas, and use insect repellent when outside. The mosquitoes are coming, but they don’t have to ruin your summer.

Food Recall Alert: P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Meals Due to Potential Presence of Foreign Material

More than 2 million pounds of P.F. Chang’s frozen meals have been recalled.  ConAgra Foods has expanded a voluntary recall of P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Brand products due to the potential presence of small metal fragments (2-9mm) in the sugar used in the sauce. This voluntary action has been taken because of impacted sugar from a supplier.

Foodborne foreign objects that are not hard and sharp and less than or equal to 7mm in length may cause minor injuries such as temporary reflexive choking and irritation of the gastrointestinal system.

There have been no reports of adverse reactions or injuries due to consumption of these products to date.

An initial recall was issued on July 7, 2016 after a ConAgra employee observed metal fragments while dispensing sugar from a supplier for a P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Brand sauce ingredient. On July 14, 2016, ConAgra Foods was notified that the initial recall needed to be expanded to include additional P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Brand meals.

Products covered by this recall were distributed in the U.S.  No other ConAgra Foods are impacted by this recall and these products are not served in P.F. Chang’s restaurants. Meals in P.F. Chang’s restaurants are made fresh every day and in every restaurant.

Visit the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website for specific product names and information.

Consumers who have purchased these items are advised not to consume them and return them to the store where originally purchased. ConAgra Foods is cooperating with both the FDA and USDA on this recall and is working with customers to ensure the packages are removed from store shelves and are no longer distributed. Consumers with questions should call our Consumer Affairs hotline at 1-800-252-0634, open 9 am through 7 pm CDT, Monday through Friday.