Orange County Health Department - Newshttp://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/?z=1THE MOST VULNERABLE URGED TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM FLU  

ORLANDO - Give yourself and your family the gift of protection from the flu with an influenza vaccination during this year’s holiday season. This week, December 7 – 13, 2014, is National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW). The goal is to communicate the importance of flu vaccination for people who are at high risk for developing flu-related complications. In recent weeks, the Florida Department of Health has been receiving reports of increasing flu activity especially in children and pregnant women.   

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend flu vaccine for all people 6 months of age and older. Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications such as anyone 65 years of age and older and those with certain other medical conditions. Seasonal flu is a serious disease that causes illness, hospitalizations, and deaths every year in the United States. During a regular flu season, about 90 percent of influenza associated deaths occur among adults 65 years and older. Some deaths, particularly in the elderly, are associated with secondary complications of seasonal influenza (including bacterial pneumonias). Besides older adults, pregnant women and children can be at higher risk of complications from influenza.

 

“Flu shots are important, and will provide you and your loved ones the best protection from getting sick with the flu when participating in family gatherings during this upcoming holiday season”, said Lesli Ahonkhai, Assistant Director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County.

  

“Flu can cause severe illness even in otherwise healthy individuals. Even mild cases can lead to several days of missed school or work due to the extreme fatigue the disease causes, said Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Officer for the Department of Health in Seminole County.

Each year scientists try to match the viruses in the vaccine to those most likely to cause the flu that particular year.  This year’s vaccine once again provides protection against the H1N1 (pandemic) influenza and up to three other flu virus strains.   

It can take up to two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection. In the meantime, you are still at risk for getting the flu.

Flu shots for children and adults are offered at the DOH-Orange’s Central Health Center located at 832 West Central Boulevard, Monday through Friday from 7:30am- 2:00pm on a first-come, first-serve walk in basis. No appointment is necessary.  The immunization program is closed the 2nd Friday of each month. 

 

In Seminole County, flu shots for children and adults are available at the DOH-Seminole Sanford location at 400 West Airport Boulevard by appointment Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., except for the 2nd Thursday of each month, when the office closes at 11:30. Flu shots are free in both counties for children 6 months through 18 years of age.

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=630Wed, 10 Dec 2014 00:00:00 GMT
FIGHT THE FLU: GET YOUR FLU SHOT TODAY 

ORLANDO –The Florida Department of Health in Orange (DOH-Orange) and Seminole (DOH-Seminole) Counties is urging everyone to get a seasonal flu shot today. Flu cases have started to increase in Central Florida, which is typical this time of year, and the flu vaccine can prevent the illness.   

“Flu shots are important, and they can reduce absences at work, school, and social events; reduce healthcare costs; and most importantly, save lives”, said Lesli Ahonkhai, Assistant Director of the Department of Health in Orange County.

 

“Flu can cause severe illness even in otherwise healthy individuals. Even mild cases can lead to several days of missed school or work due to the extreme fatigue the disease causes, said Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Officer for the Department of Health in Seminole County.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend flu vaccine for all people 6 months of age and older. A flu shot is especially important for people at higher risk of developing serious flu-related complications and their close contacts. Because influenza viruses change every year, getting an annual flu shot is very important. This year the Florida Department of Health is urging everyone to get their vaccine before Halloween. While most people who get influenza will recover in a few days to less than 2 weeks, some people will develop complications (such as pneumonia) as a result of the flu, which can be fatal.


Each year scientists try to match the viruses in the vaccine to those most likely to cause the flu that particular year.  This year’s vaccine once again provides protection against the H1N1 (pandemic) influenza and up to three other flu virus strains.    

It can take up to two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection. In the meantime, you are still at risk for getting the flu. That is why it is important to get vaccinated early in the fall, before the flu season really gets under way.

Flu shots for children and adults are offered at the DOH-Orange’s Central Health Center located at 832 West Central Boulevard, Monday through Friday from 7:30am- 2:00pm on a first-come, first-serve walk in basis. No appointment is necessary.  The immunization program is closed the 2nd Friday of each month. 

 

In Seminole County, flu shots for children and adults are available at the DOH-Seminole Sanford location at 400 West Airport Boulevard by appointment Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., except for the 2nd Thursday of each month, when the office closes at 11:30. Flu shots are free in both counties for children 6 months through 18 years of age. Go to www.orchd.com and http://seminolecohealth.com/ for more information.  

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=625Tue, 07 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM MOSQUITO BORNE ILLNESSES 

SANFORD- The Florida Department of Health in Seminole and Orange Counties would like to remind residents of the importance of personal protection against mosquito bites to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses. There is an increase in mosquito activity due to recent rain. Throughout the year, the health department works with Mosquito Control, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and state universities, to monitor for the presence of illnesses carried by mosquitoes.

 

"With all of the recent rains it is important to remember that standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and can lead to an increase in the insects. There are simple measures that citizens can take to prevent mosquitoes from breeding such as draining standing water in or near homes,” said Donna Walsh, Assistant Health Officer at the Department of Health in Seminole County.

 

Residents and visitors should remain diligent in protecting themselves from mosquito bites by practicing: Drain and Cover. 

DRAIN standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.

·        Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.

·        Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren't being used.

·        Empty and clean birdbaths and pet's water bowls at least once or twice a week.

·        Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.

·        Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.

 

COVER skin with clothing or repellent.

·        Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeves.

·        Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing.

·        Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus and IR3535 are effective.

 

COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out.

·        Keep mosquitoes out of your house. Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios.

 

Symptoms of mosquito-borne illnesses may include headache, fever, fatigue, dizziness, weakness, and confusion.

 

People over 50 are at higher risk for severe illness and more likely to develop serious symptoms of mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile Virus (WNV) if they do get sick. Special care to avoid mosquito bites should be taken for those at risk of severe illness.

 

Physicians should contact their county health department if they suspect an individual may have a mosquito-borne illness. Department of Health (DOH) laboratories provide testing services for physicians treating patients with clinical signs of mosquito-borne illnesses.

 

For more information on mosquito-borne diseases visit DOH Environmental Health website at www.doh.state.fl.us/Environment/medicine/arboviral/index.html.                                    

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=623Wed, 01 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT
DOH-ORANGE WINS $3.5 MILLION DOLLAR GRANT TO SAVE BABIES 

ORLANDO – The Department of Health in Orange County (DOH-Orange) has been awarded a $3.5 million dollar grant to reduce high infant mortality rates and other health problems related to pregnancy and mothers’ health in racial and ethnic communities. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Healthy Start grant will be used over the next 5 years to implement the Bellies, Babies, & Beyond Project in urban centers in Orange County. The target communities are Black non-Hispanic, and Hispanic communities that have the, poorest birth outcomes and the greatest need.


“It’s a tragedy that almost twice as many babies in these ethnically diverse communties die before their first birthday, said Dr. Kevin Sherin, director of the Department of Health in Orange County. “This kind of project can save babies, so we never have to have a so-called baby cemetery again.”

 

The Bellies, Babies, & Beyond Project will work to increase women’s access to group prenatal, postpartum, and interconceptual care; family support services, enrollment in health insurance, mental health screening, and treatment including perinatal depression; health education to promote breastfeeding, safe sleep, smoking cessation, and immunizations; education and training to promote father involvement, and collaborative partnerships between community stakeholders and residents.  The project’s goals will also be to improve women’s health before, during, and after pregnancy; promote quality in service coordination, prevention & health promotion, workforce competence, & use of evidence-based standardized curricula; strengthened family resilience; achieve collective impact, increase accountability through Quality Improvement; and address health disparities and linkages to care.

 

The Bellies, Babies, & Beyond Project will work in collaborative partnership with the following community partners who also contributed to the planning and direction of this proposal: Healthy Start Coalition of Orange County, the Infant Mortality Taskforce (local Community Action Network [CAN]), and Aspire (mental health screening and treatment provider). 

 

Healthy Start provides maternal and child health services to improve pregnancy outcomes and help children get a healthy start in life. Healthy Start offers services to pregnant women, women between pregnancies, and for babies from birth to age three. Services may include education and counseling in childbirth, breastfeeding, parenting, nutrition, smoking cessation, interconceptual (between pregnancy) care and more.

 

For more information about DOH-Orange Healthy Start Program go to http://orchd.com/personalHealth/healthyStart/index.asp  

 

For a list of all the HHS awardees, visit: http://www.hrsa.gov/about/news/2014tables/healthystart.

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=622Tue, 16 Sep 2014 00:00:00 GMT
REMEMBER TO PROTECT YOUR FAMILY FROM MOSQUITO-BORNE ILLNESSES 

ORLANDO - The Florida Department of Health in Orange and Seminole Counties are emphasizing precaution against mosquito-borne illnesses because of recent rains and outdoor activities this summer. Throughout the year, the health departments work with local Mosquito Control divisions, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and state universities, to monitor for the presence of illnesses carried by mosquitoes. 

"It is important for people to be aware that standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and can lead to an increase in the insects. There are simple measures to reduce the chances of contracting a mosquito-borne illness," said Dr. Kevin M. Sherin, Director of the Department of Health in Orange County.

 

“Remembering simple steps such as covering your skin with clothing or repellent with DEET can protect you from serious illness,” said Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Officer of the Department of Health in Seminole County. 

 

Orange and Seminole County residents and visitors should remain diligent in protecting themselves from mosquito bites by practicing: Drain and Cover

Drain standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.

  • Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.
  • DISCARD: Old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren't being used.
  • EMPTY and CLEAN: Birdbaths and pet's water bowls at least once or twice a week.
  • PROTECT: Boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don't accumulate water.
  • MAINTAIN: The water balance (pool chemistry) of swimming pools. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.

 Cover your skin with clothing and use mosquito repellant.

 

  • CLOTHING: If you must be outside when mosquitoes are active, cover up. Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long sleeves.
  • REPELLENT: Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective. Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months.  

  Cover doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out.

 

§  Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios.

 

Symptoms of mosquito-borne illnesses may include headache, fever, fatigue, dizziness, weakness, and confusion. Mosquitoes usually bite at dusk and dawn, but may bite at any time of day. The mosquitoes that carry Dengue fever and Chikengunya can bite during the day as well – especially indoors, in shady areas, or when the weather is cloudy. 

 

Physicians should contact their county health department if they suspect an individual may have a mosquito-borne illness. Department of Health (DOH) laboratories provide testing services for physicians treating patients with clinical signs of mosquito-borne illnesses.

 

For more information on mosquito-borne disease visit the Department of Health Environmental

Health website at www.doh.state.fl.us/Environment/medicine/arboviral/index.html.                                    

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=604Wed, 02 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMT
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT NAVIGATORS http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=516West Nile Virus 

The Orange and Seminole County Health Departments are emphasizing the importance of personal protection against mosquito bites as human cases of West Nile virus are identified across the country and state. Right now no human cases have been reported in Orange or Seminole Counties this year. Throughout the year, the health departments work with Mosquito Control, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and state universities, to monitor for the presence of illnesses carried by mosquitoes

 

"It is important for people to be aware that standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and can lead to an increase in the insects. There are simple measures to reduce the chances of contracting a mosquito-borne illness," said Dr. Kevin M. Sherin, Director of the Orange County Health Department.

 

Central Florida residents and visitors should remain diligent in protecting themselves from mosquito bites by practicing: Drain and Cover. 

Drain standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.

 

  • DISCARD: Old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren't being used.
  • EMPTY and CLEAN: Birdbaths and pet's water bowls at least once or twice a week.
  • PROTECT: Boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don't accumulate water.
  • MAINTAIN: The water balance (pool chemistry) of swimming pools. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.

 

Cover your skin with clothing and use mosquito repellent.

 

  • CLOTHING: If you must be outside when mosquitoes are active, cover up. Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long sleeves.
  • REPELLENT: Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective. Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months.

 

Cover doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out.

 

  • Keep mosquitoes out of your house. Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios.

 

Symptoms of mosquito-borne illnesses may include headache, fever, fatigue, dizziness, weakness, and confusion.

 

 

 

People over 50 at higher risk to get severe illness. People over the age of 50 are more likely to

develop serious symptoms of WNV if they do get sick and should take special care to avoid

mosquito bites.

 

Physicians should contact their county health department if they suspect an individual may have a mosquito-borne illness. Department of Health (DOH) laboratories provide testing services for physicians treating patients with clinical signs of mosquito-borne illnesses.

 

 

For more information on mosquito-borne diseases, visit www.orchd.com, www.seminolecohealth.com/services/environmental  or the DOH Environmental

Health website at www.doh.state.fl.us/Environment/medicine/arboviral/index.html

Addtional Resources:

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=10Tue, 11 Sep 2012 00:00:00 GMT
Climate Change and its effects on Public Health 

Orange County Health Department’s “Climate Change and Your Health” video is one of several products created by the Environmental Health office for the National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO) and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as part of the Climate Change Demonstration Site grant the Health Department received in 2009. The video is collaboration of NACCHO, CDC and DOH with assistance from Orange TV. It covers public health topics such as air, water, society, nutrition and disease impacts as they relate to climate change and includes focused discussion with experts from both the CDC and the Florida Department of Health.

Air and Water

Climate Change: The Effects on Air and Water
Transcript

Health

Climate Change: Disease and the Effects on Health
Transcript

Society

 

 

 

 

 

Climate Change: The Effects on Society
Transcript

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=194Tue, 22 Feb 2011 00:00:00 GMT
Residents Urged to Avoid Contact with Wild & Stray Animals  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  Dain Weister
July 13, 2010 
(407) 858-1429

RESIDENTS URGED TO AVOID CONTACT WITH WILD & STRAY ANIMALS

ORLANDO – Orange County health officials urge residents to avoid contact with wild and stray animals to protect themselves from the risk of rabies exposure.

In Florida, raccoons, bats and foxes are the animals most frequently diagnosed with rabies. Other animals that are at high risk for rabies include skunks, otters, coyotes, bobcats, and stray or unvaccinated cats, dogs and ferrets. Each year, Orange County receives reports of rabid animals. In 2009, 10 rabid animals including eight raccoons, one cat, and one dog were reported in Orange County. Six rabid animals have been reported in Orange County in 2010 including most recently, one fox and one raccoon in July.    

“Rabies is a potentially fatal disease.  It is important not to handle wild animals, to be aware of unusual acting animals, and to keep pets vaccinated against rabies,” said Dr. Kevin M. Sherin, Director Orange County Health Department.

Rabies is transmitted through exposure to the saliva and nervous tissue from a rabid animal through a bite, scratch, or contact with mucous membranes such as the eyes, nose, or mouth.  Orange County Health Department (OCHD) works with Orange County Animal Services in responding to incidents of animal bites, tests animals for rabies through the Florida Bureau of Laboratories, and quarantines animals as necessary. OCHD also provides rabies vaccinations to victims of animal bites, the only known effective treatment for rabies prevention in humans. In 2009, rabies vaccinations were provided for 88 animal bite victims through the Orange County Health Department.
The following are steps you can take to protect yourself and your loves ones against rabies:

• Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets.
• Keep your pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Orange County Animal Services at (407) 836-3111.
• Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood.
• Spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or regularly vaccinated.
• Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter.
• Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.
• Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly. 
• Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools, and other similar areas, where they might come in contact with people and pets.

Unusual acting animals should be reported to Orange County Animal Services at (407) 836-3111 for handling. Anyone who is bitten or scratched by wild animals or strays should report the incident to their doctor immediately, as well as Orange County Animal Services and their local health department. The contact number to report an animal bite to the Orange County Health Department is (407) 858-1420.
 
For information on rabies vaccinations for your dogs and cats visit the Orange County Animal Services website at www.orangecountyfl.net. Orange County Animal Services offers free rabies vaccinations for your dogs and cats through “Pet Amnesty Day” once a month. This outreach and education event provides an opportunity for the Animal Services mobile clinic to enter targeted communities to offer free rabies vaccines for dogs and cats over 4 months old. It also provides citizens the opportunity to surrender pets they are no longer able to care for.

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=107Tue, 13 Jul 2010 00:00:00 GMT
Protect Yourself and Your Children from Whooping Cough 

ORLANDO - The Orange County Health Department (OCHD) is urging parents to make sure they and their children are up to date on pertussis or whooping cough vaccinations as a recent pertussis epidemic was declared in California. The best way to prevent pertussis is to get vaccinated. In the United States, the recommended pertussis vaccine for children is called DTaP.  This is a safe and effective combination vaccine that protects children against three diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. For maximum protection against pertussis, children need five DTaP shots.

“Pertussis can cause serious illness in infants, children and adults,” said Dr. Kevin M. Sherin, Director of the Orange County Health Department. “Anyone in close contact with infants should be vaccinated.”  The Orange County Health Department offers the pertussis vaccine to children and adults at its immunization clinic at 832 W. Central Boulevard, Orlando, 32805.  

The disease starts like the common cold, with runny nose or congestion, sneezing, and maybe mild cough or fever. But after 1–2 weeks, severe coughing begins. Infants and children with the disease cough violently and rapidly, over and over, until the air is gone from their lungs and they are forced to inhale with a loud "whooping" sound. Pertussis is most severe for babies; more than half of infants less than 1 year of age who get the disease must be hospitalized.

People with pertussis usually spread the disease by coughing or sneezing while in close contact with others, who then breathe in the pertussis bacteria. Many infants who get pertussis are infected by parents, older siblings, or other caregivers who might not even know they have the disease.

Seven pertussis cases have been reported to the OCHD so far this year. Three of the seven cases were infants.  All three of the infants became infected before they could receive the three primary shots necessary for immunity. This highlights the importance of vaccinating the parents of newborns and anyone who will be taking care of the child who could possibly expose them to the infection. 

Vaccine protection for pertussis, tetanus, and diphtheria can fade with time. Today there are boosters for adolescents and adults that contain tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (called Tdap). Pre-teens going to the doctor for their regular check-up at age 11 or 12 years should get a dose of Tdap. Adults who did not get Tdap as a pre-teen or teen should get one dose of Tdap instead of the Td booster. Getting vaccinated with Tdap is especially important for families with and caregivers of new infants. 
For more information about pertussis, go to www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/pertussis/default.htm

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=104Thu, 08 Jul 2010 00:00:00 GMT