Tag Archives: ticks

DHEC in the News: Fireworks safety tips, insect-borne diseases, most-Googled health problems by state

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

DHEC offers July 4th Fireworks Safety Tips

COLUMBIA, S.C. – This July 4th many Americans and South Carolinians will continue the long tradition of lighting up the night with fireworks. While the displays are visually compelling, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control is urging everyone to put safety first if they are participating in any firework activities.

These insect-borne diseases are on the rise. Greenville County can help you prevent them.

West Nile virus, Lyme disease and even plague are among the many diseases spread to people by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas, and nationwide the number of these illnesses tripled between 2004 and 2016.

What’s more, nine new insect-borne infections were identified or introduced in the country during that time, according to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With summer bringing more time outdoors at backyard picnics, camping in the forest and lounging by the lake, the potential for getting one of these infections increases.

General Interest

The most-Googled health problems by state
The medical condition U.S. patients Googled most frequently in 2018 was attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, with nine states searching for this condition more than any other health concern, a report from Medicare Health Plans found. …

Here are the most-Googled health problems by state for this year …

Have a safe and fun-filled summer

The weather is heating up, children are fast moving toward the final days of school and visions of summer fun are dancing in the heads of families all across South Carolina. Have fun, but be careful.

While Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial beginning of cookout season and summer fun, significant health and safety hazards are lurking out there that can spoil a good time if we’re not safe.

Stay safe when swimming

Memorial weekend typically brings with it the openings of swimming pools and other outdoor water activities. Swimming in an ocean or pool is an excellent outdoor activity for the whole family and it’s important to make sure everyone is equipped with sunscreen to protect themselves from harmful, burning ultraviolet (UV) rays. Practicing sun safety plays an important role in the prevention of skin cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. Apply broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15 before going outdoors. Reapply sunscreen if it wears off after swimming, sweating or toweling off.

Protect yourself from insect bites

Sunscreen isn’t all you should arm yourself with: Use an insect repellent containing Deet to protect your family from insects while outdoors.  The repellent is safe and, when used as directed, is the best way to protect against mosquito bites, ticks and other biting insects; children and pregnant women should protect themselves also. The bite of insects such as mosquitoes can potentially do more than cause irritating itching; mosquitoes can also transmit diseases such as West Nile and Zika.

Watch out for rip currents

It’s also important to be knowledgeable about rip currents or rip tides at the beach. Rip currents are responsible for many deaths on our nation’s beaches every year and can occur in any body of water that has breaking waves, not just the ocean. Currents at the beach can move to different locations along the coast and can be deadly both to swimmers and those in waist deep water where the rip current occurs. Be sure to check in with lifeguards, who can alert you to areas that have rip current potential.

Here are some more tips to keep you and your family safe and healthy at the beach or pool:

  • Always supervise children when in or around water.
  • Dress in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing if it is hot outside. Stay cool with cool showers or baths. Seek medical care immediately if anyone has symptoms of heat-related illness, including a headache, nausea, dizziness, heavy sweating, and an elevated body temperature.iStock_51595250_XXLARGE cute kids swim class
  • Stay hydrated. Your body loses fluids through sweat. Drink more water than usual — two to four cups of water every hour you are outside. Also, try to avoid alcohol intake to prevent dehydration.
  • Cover up. Clothing that covers your skin helps protect against UV rays. Be sure to apply sunscreen to exposed skin.
  • Be aware of swim and water quality advisories and avoid swimming in those areas.
  • Do not enter the water with cuts, open sores or lesions; naturally-occurring bacteria in the water may cause infection.
  • Do not swim in or allow children to play in swashes of water or near storm water drainage pipes. These shallow pools are caused by runoff from paved surfaces and often contain much higher levels of bacteria and pollutants than the ocean. Permanent water quality advisories are indicated by signs in these areas.
  • Do not swim in the ocean during or immediately following rainfall. Heavy rain can wash bacteria and possibly harmful pollutants into the surf. To reduce the risk of illness, wait at least 12 hours after a heavy rain to resume swimming.
  • Be sure to check your local news and weather forecast for information on heat and beach advisories before planning any type of outdoor activities.

DHEC in the News: Ticks, hurricane season, obesity

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

Tips To Fight Off Ticks

Columbia, SC (WLTX) – Since the start of summer means the beginning of summer, News 19 has some tips for you to fight off ticks.

These crawling creatures are making their presence known outdoors. Since 2004, the number of illnesses caused by tick, mosquito, and flea bites have increased more than three times.

General Interest
Get ready for an above-average hurricane season in 2018

(CNN)The 2018 hurricane season is shaping up to be “near- or above-normal” — though not to the degree seen last year, when 17 named storms formed and three major hurricanes struck US soil — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, said Thursday.

Ten to 16 named storms — including five to nine hurricanes, and one to four major hurricanes with Category 3 strength or higher — are predicted this Atlantic hurricane season, which begins June 1, the federal agency predicted.

World faces ‘staggering’ obesity challenge: study

In 27 years from now, almost a quarter of the global population will be obese, researchers said Wednesday, warning of the mounting medical bill.

If current trends continue, 22 percent of people in the world will be obese by 2045, up from 14 percent last year, according to research presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Vienna.

DHEC in the News: SC FitnessGram, disease outbreaks in pools, Lyme disease

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

New research shows nearly half of South Carolina kids don’t meet fitness standards

More than one-third of South Carolina children are overweight or obese and nearly half fail to meet fitness standards related to brisk walking and running, new statewide data shows.

The SC FitnessGram project marks the first time this type of data has been collected across the state, a press release published by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control explained.

General Interest
1 in 3 swimming-related disease outbreaks occur at hotels

A third of treated recreational waterborne disease outbreaks during 2000 through 2014 occurred in hotel pools or hot tubs, according to a report published today in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly ReportCryptosporidium (also known as “Crypto”), Pseudomonas, and Legionella caused most of the outbreaks in swimming venues in the United States during this time period.

Risk for Lyme disease at an all-time high

Ticks are small arachnids, ranging in size from a grain of sand or a poppy seed to an apple seed. Small they may be, but they can carry a big problem.  Ticks carry an array of diseases including Lyme disease.

Isaiah Lundmark, 10 years old, of Clifton, was diagnosed with Lyme disease in September 2017. Isaiah’s mom, Carissa Lundmark, 37, is trying to create awareness about Lyme disease and how this year could be the worst year for ticks.

DHEC in the News: Older residents and heat, ticks, demolition of dilapidated apartments

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

Stay cool: SCDHEC warns of dangers of rising temperatures to older residents

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Heat-related deaths and illnesses can affect anyone, but people over 65 are especially at risk, unless they take steps to protect themselves.

According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, heatstroke is the most serious heat-related illness and can damage the brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. If not treated quickly, it can cause serious complications or death.

Check for ticks: CDC warns of rise in tick-borne diseases

COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) — Tick season is in and there’s been a rise in the amount of tick-borne diseases. The Center for Disease Control has issued a warning this spring that people are more prone to tick bites and tick-borne diseases this year, than any other year in the United States. …

Common symptoms of Lyme include fever, aches and a bulls-eye rash. See symptoms of other tick-borne illnesses here.

“It’s important to examine your skin and properly remove it with tweezers,” Dr. Linda Bell of DHEC says.

Hartsville begins demolition of dilapidated apartments

HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) – The city of Hartsville is knocking down the Lincoln Village Apartments, eight dilapidated buildings that have sat empty for more than 20 years.

Demolition began Wednesday afternoon on the eyesore that has been plaguing the Hartsville community. …

The city of Hartsville did asbestos studies with the state Department of Health and Environmental Control first before a bid went out for demolition, along with the grant application process, to the Department of Commerce.