Orange County Health Department - Newshttp://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/?z=1FIRST LOCALLY ACQUIRED CASES OF CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER IN FLORIDA 

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Health today confirmed the first cases of locally acquired chikungunya (\chik-en-gun-ye) fever, one in Miami Dade County and the other in Palm Beach County. Chikungunya is a disease spread by bites from infected Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. If a person is infected and bitten by a mosquito, that mosquito may later spread the infection by biting another person. Chikungunya is not contagious from person-to-person, is typically not life threatening and will likely resolve on its own. 

"The Department has been conducting statewide monitoring for signs of any locally acquired cases of chikungunya.” said Dr. Anna Likos, State Epidemiologist and Disease Control and Health Protection Director. "We encourage everyone to take precautions against mosquitoes to prevent chikungunya and other mosquito-borne diseases by draining standing water, covering your skin with clothing and repellent and covering doors and windows with screens.”

Aedes mosquitoes are day-biters which can lay eggs in very small water containers. Early detection of the symptoms and preventing mosquitoes from multiplying and biting will help prevent the disease.

Symptoms of chikungunya include sudden onset of high fever (>102F), severe joint pain, mainly in the arms and legs, headache, muscle pain, back pain and rash. Symptoms appear on average three to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Most patients feel better after a few days or weeks, however, some people may develop long-term effects. Complications are more common in infants younger than a year old; those older than 65; and people with chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.

If you experience symptoms of chikungunya fever, consult with your health care provider immediately and protect yourself against further mosquito bites. A person infected with chikungunya should stay indoors as much as possible until symptoms subside to prevent further transmission. Avoiding mosquito bites while you are sick will help to protect others from getting infected. Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than two months.

Chikungunya fever does not often result in death; however, some individuals may experience persistent joint pain. There is currently no vaccine or medication to prevent chikungunya fever.

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.

To learn more about the chikungunya virus, visit www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/mosquito-borne-diseases/chikungunya.html.

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook.   Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook.  For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.floridahealth.gov.

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=605Fri, 18 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMT
BACK-TO-SCHOOL IMMUNIZATIONS ORLANDO – The Florida Department of Health in Orange and Seminole Counties is urging parents to prepare their children now for the upcoming school year.  Parents should use their medical homes or private doctor to have their children vaccinated and avoid the last minute back-to-school rush and long lines.  Families, who do not have a medical home, can refer to the link below for a list of children’s medical providers or visit the health departments’ immunization clinics. Families with private insurance, assigned to a medical home or HMO provider should go to their doctor for immunizations as the health department is a safety net for those without health care coverage. 

 

"You can protect your children from vaccine preventable diseases all year round. Parents should see every encounter such as annual physicals, interim check-ups or sports physicals as an opportunity to provide their children with any missing vaccines. Keep your children up-to-date on their immunizations and ready for school”, said Dr. Kevin M. Sherin, Director of the Department of Health in Orange County.

 

“Immunizations are an important tool in preventing diseases that were once common in this country. We can all work towards keeping our community healthy and free of vaccine preventable diseases,” said Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Officer for Department of Health in Seminole County.   

 

The Florida Department of Health in Orange County provides back-to-school immunizations Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 2:00pm at its Central Office located at 832 West Central Boulevard, Orlando. Parents are urged to arrive early to obtain a walk-in ticket as services are provided on a walk-in basis. 

 

In Seminole County, immunizations are provided at the health department’s Sanford location at 400 West Airport Boulevard, Sanford also on a walk-in basis. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 3:30pm. The second Thursday of each month services are offered from 8:00am to 11:30am.

 

Due to the high demand for immunizations, services are provided on a first come, first served, walk-in basis. Children must be accompanied by an adult family member or legal guardian to receive immunizations. If not, a notarized permission form, signed by the parent or legal guardian, must be presented before services are rendered.  A copy of each child’s immunization record and government-issued, valid photo identification of the adult relative or legal guardian are required.  Parents can avoid the lines and go directly to their primary care provider.

 

A certified DH 680 immunization form is required for school entry and is provided free once vaccinations are received.  If a client only needs a DH 680 form, there is an administrative fee. You can also obtain this form at your child’s doctor’s office and the health departments’ immunization clinics or medical records departments if your child is already up-to-date on their immunizations. 

 

For more information on childhood immunizations, events, and locations visit our website at www.orchd.com or the http://www.floridahealth.gov/chdSeminole/.  Resource List of Children’s Medical Providers, visit wwww.orchd.com/personalHealth/immunizations/childhood/documents/listofproviders1.pdf

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=603Tue, 15 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMT
TAKE PRECAUTIONS WHILE ENJOYING FRESH WATER ACTIVITIES DURING THE HOT SUMMER SANFORD – The Florida Department of Health in Seminole County urges citizens to take precautions while participating in recreational activities in freshwater lakes, rivers and ponds due to the threat posed by the amoeba Naegleria fowleri. The Department is currently investigating a primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) case in a school-aged Seminole County resident who died after freshwater exposure outside of the United States. The exposure occurred in a hot spring while visiting another country. No other information on the patient will be released due to confidentiality. 

 

“Our hearts and prayers are with the family at this time. It’s very important to take every precaution while taking part in water-related activities,” said Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Officer of the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County. 

 

While infections with Naegleria fowleri are rare, most prove to be fatal. Infections usually occur when it is hot for prolonged periods of time, which results in higher water temperatures and lower water levels. Naegleria fowleri is a naturally occurring amoeba that can be found in any body of fresh water anywhere such as lakes, rivers, hot springs and poorly maintained and minimally-chlorinated or un-chlorinated swimming pools. This amoeba can cause an infection known as primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) by traveling up the nose to the brain and spinal cord. This generally happens during activities such as swimming, diving, waterskiing, or wakeboarding. In very rare instances, Naegleria infections may also occur from people irrigating their sinuses (nose) using contaminated tap water.

 

Some measures that might reduce your risk of infection include:

 

  • Avoiding water-related activities in bodies of warm freshwater, hot springs, and thermally-polluted water such as water around power plants.
  • Avoiding water-related activities in warm freshwater during periods of high water temperature and low water levels.
  • Keeping your head out of the water, holding your nose shut or using nose clips when taking part in water-related activities in bodies of warm freshwater such as lakes, rivers, or hot springs.
  • Avoiding digging in or stirring up the sediment while taking part in water-related activities in shallow, warm freshwater areas.  

If you are irrigating, flushing, or rinsing your sinuses, use water that has been:

Rinse the irrigation device after each use with water that has been distilled, sterilized, filtered, or previously boiled and leave the device open to air dry completely.

 

If you experience any of these symptoms after swimming in any warm body of water, it is essential to contact your health care provider immediately: headache, fever, nausea, disorientation, vomiting, stiff neck, seizures, loss of balance, or hallucinations. When seeking care, it is important to tell the health care provider about your recent water exposure.

 

People should always assume there is a low level of risk for infection whenever entering warm fresh water. For more information and to see a video Public Service Announcement (PSA) about the dangers of amoeba infections, go to www.orchd.com.               

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=601Thu, 03 Jul 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
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM HEAT EXHAUSTION 

Be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stress especially if you work outdoors or in hot environments. Families should also be cautious when enjoying summer activities, making sure the children stay hydrated,” said Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Officer for the Department of Health in Seminole County.

 

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, extreme weakness or fatigue, dizziness/confusion, nausea, clammy/moist skin, pale or flushed complexion, muscle cramps, slightly elevated body temperature and fast/shallow breathing. Symptoms of heat stroke include extremely high body temperature above 106ºF, hot and dry skin, profuse sweating, hallucinations, chills, throbbing headache, confusion/dizziness and/or slurred speech.

 

The following are important heat exhaustion/heat stroke prevention tips:

  • Drink lots of water
  • Drink cool, non-alcoholic beverages
  • Get lots of rest
  • Take a cool shower or bath
  • Seek an air-conditioned location when possible
  • Wear lightweight and light colored clothing
  • Do not engage in strenuous activities

 

“Citizens are also encouraged to be good neighbors and check up on elderly or shut-in neighbors, transporting those with signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke to an air-conditioned location. In the event of an emergency, dial 911 immediately,” said Dr. Kevin Sherin, director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County.  

 

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke become more common in very humid environments. High humidity reduces the effectiveness of sweating and cooling the body. Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature. Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. 

 

For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/heatstress/   

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=598Mon, 23 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMT
DOH-ORANGE RECOGNIZED AS AN AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION FIT-FRIENDLY WORKSITE 

ORLANDO – Florida Department of Health in Orange County has been recognized as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association for helping employees eat better and move more.

 “Physical activity and employee wellness are important priorities at the Florida Department of Health in Orange County.  We are honored and excited to be recognized by the American Heart Association as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite,” said Dr. Kevin M. Sherin, director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County. “We’re committed to providing the best workplace environment possible. This will benefit our employees’ health and produce even more positive results for our worksite overall.”

 

Platinum-level employers:

·        Offer employees physical activity options in the workplace.

·        Increase healthy eating options at the worksite.

·        Promote a wellness culture in the workplace.

·        Implement at least nine criteria outlined by the American Heart Association 

        in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture.

·        Demonstrate measurable outcomes related to workplace wellness.

 

The Executive Management Team spearheaded the goal to have nutritious healthy options in vending machines.  Healthier 4 U vending was piloted at two health department locations and the results were outstanding.  Since then, it has been rolled out at one other location and the department is in conversation with the vendor to roll it out at all other locations.  Employees now have substantial knowledge of healthy eating and support healthier choices in our vending machines.  The Fit-Friendly Worksites program is a catalyst for positive change in the American workforce by helping worksites make their employees’ health and wellness a priority.

 

American employers are losing an estimated $225.8 billion a year because of healthcare expenses and health-related losses in productivity, and those numbers are rising. Many American adults spend most of their waking hours at sedentary jobs. The lack of regular physical activity raises their risk for a host of medical problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Employers face $12.7 billion in annual medical expenses due to obesity alone. The American Heart Association is working to change corporate cultures by motivating employees to start walking, which has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity.

 

Recognition is a critical component of the Fit-Friendly Worksites program. Employers that join this program qualify for official recognition by the American Heart Association. They are listed on the program’s national website, as well as local recognition at the Greater Orlando Heart Walk, the Greater Orlando Heart Walk CEO event, and the local Fit-Friendly Symposium. Qualifying worksites also have the right to use the program’s annual recognition seal for internal communications and with external, recruitment-related communications.

 

“The Fit-Friendly Worksites Program offers a unique, easy-to-implement opportunity for corporations to increase employees’ physical activity, which will help improve their health – and their employers’ bottom line,” said Sy Saliba, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Florida Hospital Healthcare System and Greater Orlando American Heart Association board member. “Even people who haven’t exercised regularly until middle age can reap significant benefits by starting a walking program. A study published in 1986 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that some adults may gain two hours of life expectancy for every hour of regular, vigorous exercise they performed.”

For more information about the Fit-Friendly Worksites program and how it is helping to improve the health of Americans by focusing on an activity that is convenient, free and easy, call (407) 481-6300 or visit startwalkingnow.org orwww.heart.org.

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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or join us, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or any of our offices around the country, or visit heart.org.

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=597Wed, 11 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMT
HEALTH OFFICIALS CONFIRM CASE OF CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER 

ORLANDO- The Florida Department of Health in Orange County has confirmed a case of imported chikungunya (chik-en-gun-ye) fever, a disease spread by bites from infected mosquitoes. The person infected had traveled to Haiti and has fully recovered from the infection. 

 

“Avoiding mosquito bites is the key to preventing infection with chikungunya and other mosquito-borne diseases,” said Dr. Kevin Sherin, director of the Department of Health in Orange County. “Floridians and visitors are encouraged to take precautionary measures to help reduce the chance of being bitten. Remember to 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. 

People at increased risk for severe disease include newborns exposed during delivery, older adults (≥65 years), and people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, etc.  Symptoms of chikungunya include sudden onset of high fever (>102F), severe joint pain mainly in the arms and legs, headache, muscle pain, back pain and rash. Symptoms appear on average three to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Most patients feel better after a few days or weeks, however, some people may develop long-term effects. Complications are more common in infants younger than a year old; those older than 65; and people with chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. If you experience symptoms of chikungunya fever, consult with your health care provider immediately and protect yourself against further mosquito bites. Avoiding mosquito bites while you are sick will help to protect others from getting infected.

 

For more information on chikungunya, visit the Florida Department of Health at

http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/mosquito-borne-diseases/chikungunya.htmlor

the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/.

 

The Department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through

integrated state, county and community efforts.

 

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida

Department of Health, visit www.floridahealth.gov.

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=596Mon, 09 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMT
WORKING TO CHANGE AFRICAN-AMERICAN INFANT MORTALITY RATE 

Orlando - The Florida Department of Health in Orange and Seminole Counties are working to increase efforts to improve the infant mortality rate in African-American babies. Both counties continue to have high rates of infant mortality in the African-American community.  While statewide data this month revealed a decrease in 2013 infant mortality rates, the African-American rate in Seminole County is at an alarming 14.0 per 1,000 live births and in Orange County it is 13.5 per 1,000 live births.  

 

Social and economic disparities continue to widen the health gradient in our community. The DOH in Orange and Seminole Counties continue to address these prevalent issues through a multifaceted approach. The DOH’s four strategies for reducing infant mortality are: emphasize the importance of eating healthy while pregnant; promote prenatal care in the first trimester; promote safe sleep environments; and address the social determinants of health to improve the quality of life for newborns.   

 

On Friday, June 6, 2014, the Healthy Start Coalition of Orange County will present the Fetal Infant Mortality (FIMR) Report.  Over the past three years, the FIMR committee has reviewed randomly selected Orange County fetal infant death cases to determine underlying causes of death and offer recommendations to prevent infant deaths in our community. The Coalition meeting will offer insights into the FIMR committee findings and recommendations. The meeting will be held at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, 411 Mercy Dr., Orlando, FL 32805 at 9:00am - 11:00 am.  The meeting is open to the public.

 

Florida’s Healthy Start program is designed to improve maternal and infant health outcomes by providing universal risk screening of all of Florida's pregnant women and newborn infants to identify those at risk of poor birth, health, and developmental outcomes. Local Healthy Start Coalitions mobilize community action, coordinate risk-appropriate services and referrals for pregnant women and infants at risk for poor health outcomes.

 

“One infant death is one too many in this community especially when these are preventable deaths”, said Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Officer of the Department of Health in Seminole County. “This is another opportunity for us to take a holistic approach to health by developing a greater understanding of the impact of our living environments and work environments to improve the lives of mothers and newborns”. Everyone should be afforded the opportunity to have a healthy, beautiful baby”, said Dr. Jett.

 

“Orange County’s increase in infant mortality, and disparities of African-American babies deaths is unacceptable and a wakeup call for a greater strategic focus, outreach, and partnership development in this large urban county,” said Dr. Kevin M. Sherin, Director of Department of Health in Orange County. 

 

There are several other risk factors that can contribute to infant mortality including: late prenatal care, being overweight, smoking, substance abuse, poor nutrition, domestic violence, pre-term labor, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). 

 

The 2013 Vital Statistics birth and death statistics are published on the Florida CHARTS web site at http://www.floridacharts.com/charts/DataViewer/InfantDeathViewer/InfantDeathViewer.aspx?indNumber=0053.

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=594Thu, 05 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMT
HEALTH REMINDER FOR FRESH WATER ACTIVITIES THIS SUMMER 

ORLANDO - The Florida Department of Health in counties across Central Florida are reminding families to be safe when enjoying fresh water activities during the summer months. Everyone should take precautions while swimming in warm freshwater lakes, rivers and ponds due to the threat posed by the amoeba Naegleria fowleri. 

 

Naegleria fowleri is a naturally occurring amoeba that can be found in any body of fresh water such as lakes, rivers, hot springs and poorly maintained and minimally-chlorinated or un-chlorinated swimming pools. This amoeba can cause an infection known as primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) by traveling up the nose to the brain and spinal cord. This generally happens during activities such as swimming, diving, waterskiing, or wakeboarding. In very rare instances, Naegleria infections may also occur from people irrigating their sinuses (nose) using contaminated tap water.

 

“There is an increased risk of infection by this organism in all freshwater areas in Florida, especially during hot summer months,” said Dr. Kevin M. Sherin, Director of the Department of Health in Orange County.

 

“Infections usually occur when it is hot for prolonged periods, causing higher water temperatures and lower water levels,” said Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Officer of the Department of Health in Seminole County. 

 

Some measures that might reduce your risk of infection include:

 

  • Avoiding water-related activities in bodies of warm freshwater, hot springs, and thermally-polluted water such as water around power plants.
  • Avoiding water-related activities in warm freshwater during periods of high water temperature and low water levels.
  • Keeping your head out of the water, holding your nose shut or using nose clips when taking part in water-related activities in bodies of warm freshwater such as lakes, rivers, or hot springs.
  • Avoiding digging in or stirring up the sediment while taking part in water-related activities in shallow, warm freshwater areas.  

If you are irrigating, flushing, or rinsing your sinuses, use water that has been:

Rinse the irrigation device after each use with water that has been distilled, sterilized, filtered, or previously boiled and leave the device open to air dry completely.

 

Although infections are rare, most prove to be fatal. Seek medical care immediately if you develop a sudden onset of fever, headache, stiff neck, and vomiting especially if you have been in warm fresh water within the previous 2 weeks.

 

People should always assume there is a low level of risk for infection whenever entering warm fresh water. For more information and to see a video Public Service Announcement (PSA) about the dangers of amoeba infections, go to www.orchd.com.               

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=593Mon, 02 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMT
HEALTHY & SAFE SWIMMING: WE’RE IN IT TOGETHER 

ORLANDO - The week before Memorial Day (May 19–25, 2014) is Recreational Water Illness and Injury (RWII) Prevention Week. Every year, thousands of Americans get sick with recreational water illnesses (RWIs), which are caused by germs found in places where we swim. The Department of Health in Orange and Seminole Counties are highlighting the importance of preventing these illnesses by emphasizing healthy swimming behaviors this summer. The theme for RWII Prevention Week 2014 is Healthy and Safe Swimming: We’re in it Together. It focuses on the role of swimmers, aquatics and beach staff, residential pool owners, and public health officials in preventing drowning, pool chemical injuries, and outbreaks of illnesses.

Recreational water illnesses (RWIs) are caused by germs spread by swallowing, breathing in mists or aerosols of, or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, hot tubs, water parks, water play areas, interactive fountains, lakes, rivers, or oceans. RWIs can also be caused by chemicals in the water or chemicals that evaporate from the water and cause indoor air quality problems. Diarrhea is the most common RWI, and it is often caused by germs like Crypto (short for Cryptosporidium), Giardia, norovirus, Shigella, and E. coli O157:H7. Other common RWIs include skin, ear, respiratory, eye, neurologic, and wound infections.

 

“Children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk for RWIs,” said Dr. Kevin Sherin, Director of the Department of Health in Orange County. Anyone who is ill should also avoid swimming until their symptoms have passed.”

 

“Chlorine and other pool water treatments don’t kill germs instantly, and just one diarrheal incident can release enough germs into the water that swallowing a mouthful can cause diarrhea lasting up to 2–3 weeks” said Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Officer for the Department of Health in Seminole County.

 

One of the aquatic concerns is possible infection by Naegleria fowleri, a naturally occurring amoeba in fresh water. This microscopic amoeba is most commonly found in the upper layer of sediment in the bottom of lakes and ponds with mud floors. The threat of infection, although rare, increases during the summer months when the water temperature rises. Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM) is caused by amoebas common in almost all lakes, ponds, rivers, creeks, and other bodies of fresh water. They also can be present in poorly maintained swimming pools and hot tubs. The best way to decrease the chance of infection is to avoid going into fresh water during the hot summer months. Holding your nose shut or using nose clips when engaging in recreational freshwater activities may also decrease your chances of acquiring this infection.

 

We all share the water we swim in, and we each need to do our part to keep ourselves, our families, and our friends healthy. To help protect yourself and other swimmers from germs, here are a few simple and effective steps all swimmers can take each time we swim:

 

  • Don’t swim when you have diarrhea.
  • Shower with soap before you start swimming.
  • Take a rinse shower before you get back into the water.
  • Take bathroom breaks every 60 minutes.
  • Wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers.

 

Check the chlorine and pH levels before getting into the water.

  • Proper chlorine (1–3 mg/L or parts per million [ppm]) and pH (7.2–7.8) levels maximize germkilling power.
  • Most superstores, hardware stores, and poolsupply stores sell pool test strips.

Don’t swallow the water you swim in.

  • Parents of young children should take a few extra steps:

 Take children on bathroom breaks every 60 minutes or check diapers every 30–60 minutes.

  • Change diapers in the bathroom or diaperchanging area and not at poolside where germs can rinse into the water. 

Remember…Think Healthy. Swim Healthy. Be Healthy!

For more information about healthy swimming, visit www.cdc.gov/healthyswimming

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=592Thu, 22 May 2014 00:00:00 GMT
LESLI AHONKHAI APPOINTED AS ASSISTANT DIRECTOR 

 

Lesli

 

ORLANDO - The Florida Department of Health in Orange County is announcing the appointment of Lesli Ahonkhai, MA as Assistant Director of the Department of Health in Orange County (DOH-Orange). Ms. Ahonkhai has served in the Health and Human Services profession for more than 26 years and will now be acting as Chief of Operations and Chief of Staff for the department.

 

“Lesli has continued to show her passion and dedication to public health through her many years of service with DOH-Orange and the State of Florida,” said Dr. Kevin Sherin, Director of the Department of Health in Orange County. “I am confident her experience serving the people of our community will be a valuable asset in her new role.”  

 

Since 2008, Lesli has been the Director of the Health Protection Bureau at DOH-Orange.  Prior to that, she served as the Clinic Administrator at the health department’s downtown Orlando Central campus which is the largest clinical site at DOH-Orange. 

  

Lesli graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies that includes disciplines in Health, Biology and Fine Arts and a Master of Arts in Applied Sociology. She is a graduate of the University of South Florida Public Health Leadership Institute and Leadership Orlando. 

 

Lesli has been recognized for her leadership in community-driven programs and interventions aimed at reducing health disparities. Her leadership with the department has led to improved health center infrastructure and access to care.  Lesli’s community involvement includes mentoring emerging public health leaders through local and national mentoring programs. Lesli is currently the Florida Public Health Association President for 2013-14.  Some of her additional current and past professional affiliated roles include: City MatCH City Leader 2013-14, YMCA of Central Florida Healthy Living Committee, March of Dimes Local and State Program Services Committee past member, and Alpha Kappa Delta International Sociological Honor Society.

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=591Tue, 20 May 2014 00:00:00 GMT
UPDATE ON MERS-CoV - Patient Discharged 

The first patient in Florida with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection has been discharged from the hospital in Orange County. The patient has now tested negative for MERS-CoV and has recovered from the virus.  All health care workers and household contacts who had contact with the patient were tested for MERS-CoV and all of those results have come back negative. There is no broad risk of MERS-CoV infection for the general public, and no threat to those traveling to the Orlando area.

The Florida Department of Health continues to work closely with Dr. P. Phillips Hospital and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure appropriate follow up, and to protect the health of all residents and visitors in Florida. Surveillance, contact investigation and testing continue, following standard public health protocols.

 

The information line for the public at the Florida Department of Health in Orange County is 407-858-1490. Information from the CDC for the public is available by calling 800-232-4636.

 

For more information, please visit DOH’s Online Newsroom- http://newsroom.doh.state.fl.us/2014/05/12/mers-cov-2/ or view the following resources:

 

http://www.who.int/csr/disease/coronavirus_infections/en/

 

The Department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

 

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.floridahealth.gov.

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=590Mon, 19 May 2014 00:00:00 GMT
UPDATE ON MERS-CoV - Tests Negative

 

 

Tallahassee – On May 12, 2014, the Florida Department of Health announced the first Florida case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in Orange County. The patient continues to improve. All health care workers who had contact with the patient were tested for MERS-CoV and all of the results have come back negative. There is no broad risk of MERS-CoV infection for the general public, and no threat to those traveling to the Orlando area.

 

The Florida Department of Health continues to work closely with Dr. P. Phillips Hospital and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure appropriate care of the patient, and to protect the health of all residents and visitors in Florida. Surveillance, contact investigation and testing continue, following standard public health protocols.

 

The information line for the public at the Florida Department of Health in Orange County is 407-858-1490.  Information from the CDC for the public is available by calling 800-232-4636.

 

For more information, please visit DOH’s Online Newsroom- http://newsroom.doh.state.fl.us/2014/05/12/mers-cov-2/ or view the following resources:

 

http://www.who.int/csr/disease/coronavirus_infections/en/

 

The Department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

 

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFlaand on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.floridahealth.gov.

 

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Tallahassee – The Florida Department of Health announced on May 12 the first Florida case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in Orange County.  The patient remains in isolation at Dr. P. Phillips Hospital, is currently fever free, and continues to improve.

 

“We want to assure the public that MERS-CoV  in Florida is contained and there is no broad threat to the general public,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health, Dr. John Armstrong. “We are grateful to the team at Dr. P. Phillips Hospital for their timely diagnosis and care of the patient. Floridians are reminded to practice simple steps to stay healthy: wash your hands often, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth and stay home if you are sick.”

 

“The highest priority for the Florida Department of Health in Orange County is the health and safety of residents and visitors in our community,” said Dr. Kevin Sherin, Director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County. “The patient is receiving effective and timely care and testing is ongoing to ensure that no additional individuals have the infection.”

 

Contact Investigation Continues

As part of standard public health practices, the Florida Department of Health, in coordination with local and federal partners, continues its surveillance, contact investigation and testing. While testing is ongoing, the two health care workers who had close contact with the patient and showed symptoms have tested negative for MERS-CoV.

 

The Florida Department of Health continues to work closely with Dr. P. Phillips Hospital and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure appropriate care of the patient and to protect the health of all residents and visitors in Florida.

 

“We are extremely pleased that none of our team members have tested positive, including the two team members that developed flu-like symptoms over the weekend,” said Antonio Crespo, MD, Infectious Diseases Specialist and Chief Quality Officer for Dr. P. Phillips Hospital.  “We are working to complete this investigation and we remain cautiously optimistic that test results from other team members will also be negative.”

 

No Broad Risk of MERS-CoV

There is no broad risk of MERS-CoV infection for the general public and there is no threat to those traveling to the Orlando area. MERS-CoV is not easily spread. The case in Orange County is contained.

 

MERS-CoV is a reminder of the precautions that everyone can take to protect themselves, their families, and their communities from any communicable diseases:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Stay at home when you are sick.

The information line for the public at the Florida Department of Health in Orange County is 407-858-1490.  Information from the CDC for the public is available by calling 800-232-4636.

 

For more information, please visit DOH’s Online Newsroom- http://newsroom.doh.state.fl.us/2014/05/12/mers-cov-2/or view the following resources:

 

http://www.who.int/csr/disease/coronavirus_infections/en/

 

The Department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

 

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.floridahealth.gov.

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=589Thu, 15 May 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Health Officials Confirm First MERS-CoV Case in Florida 

Florida Department of Health working with CDC and Hospital Officials

  • The information line for the public at the Florida Department of Health in Orange County is 407-858-1490.
  • Information from the CDC for the public is available by calling 800-232-4636.

Tallahassee – The Florida Department of Health today confirmed the first Florida case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in a patient at an Orlando hospital. 

"The Florida Department of Health is working closely with hospital officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure appropriate care of the patient and protect the health of all residents and visitors in Florida,” said Dr. John Armstrong, State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health. "There is no broad risk to the health of the general public.”

"The Florida Department of Health in Orange County is taking all necessary steps to protect and inform the public,” said Dr. Kevin Sherin, Director for the Florida Department of Health in Orange County.  "Our office has set up an information line to address any questions and we will continue to work closely with the hospital to ensure the safety of our community.”

"The patient is in good condition and is improving,” said Antonio Crespo, MD, Infectious Disease Specialist and Chief Quality Officer for Dr. P. Phillips Hospital.  "We are taking every precaution, but believe the risk of transmission from this patient is very low since his symptoms were mild and he was not coughing when he arrived at the hospital.”

The patient is visiting the United States from Saudi Arabia. The patient first flew to London and then through Boston and Atlanta, arriving in Orlando on May 1. The patient was hospitalized on May 9 and was placed in isolation once MERS-CoV was suspected. Efforts are underway to make contact with any individuals who had close contact with the patient during travel or in the Orlando area. The patient remains in stable condition and is receiving appropriate care.

MERS-CoV infection is a viral respiratory illness that was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012.  MERS-CoV transmission has occurred in hospital settings, but there is no evidence of sustained spread in communities. How the virus emerged is unknown.  There is no available vaccine or specific treatment for the virus. 

Symptoms of MERS-CoV are similar to those of the flu and include:

  • Congestion
  • Cough
  • Fever over 100.4
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pneumonia
  • Body aches
  • Diarrhea

MERS-CoV is a reminder of the precautions that everyone can take to protect themselves, their families, and their communities from any communicable diseases:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Stay at home when you are sick, and avoiding close contact with sick people.

For more information, please visit the following websites:

The Department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFlaand on Facebook.  For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.floridahealth.gov.

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=587Mon, 12 May 2014 00:00:00 GMT
HEPATITIS AWARENESS MONTH - Free Testing Available 

ORLANDO - The Florida Department of Health in Orange and Seminole Counties are providing free hepatitis testing during May which is National Hepatitis Awareness Month. The intent of the annual observance is to raise awareness about the global impact of viral hepatitis and the importance of preventing hepatitis-related liver disease, including liver cancer.

 

The Hepatitis Prevention Program in Orange County will be providing free hepatitis testing and hepatitis vaccines during World Hepatitis Testing Day on Monday, May 19th from 8:00am – 3:00pm at the Department of Health in Orange County at 6101 Lake Ellenor Drive, Orlando. Testing is also available by appointment (407-858-1420) and every Wednesday from 8:00am – 12:00pm at 832 W. Central Boulevard, Orlando

 

The Hepatitis Prevention Program in Seminole County provides free hepatitis testing Monday through Friday from 8:00am – 5:00pm at 400 West Airport Boulevard, Sanford.

 

“Hepatitis A and B are vaccine preventable.  Adults should be aware of their risk and get vaccinated to prevent this disease,” said Dr. Kevin M. Sherin, Director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County.

 

“Most people are unware they are infected with these serious liver diseases, so it’s essential to increase screening and testing so we can reduce the burden of illness and death from hepatitis, said Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Oficer of the Department of Health in Seminole County.  

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends baby boomers or anyone born from 1945-1965 get tested for Hepatitis C. Baby boomers are 5 times more likely to have Hepatitis C. The reason that baby boomers have high rates of Hepatitis C is not completely understood. Most boomers are believed to have become infected in the 1970s and 1980s when rates of Hepatitis C were the highest.

 

Hepatitis is characterized by inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis A, B, and C are the most common types of viral hepatitis in the United States. Symptoms of hepatitis, if they are present, include nausea, fever, weakness, loss of appetite and jaundice. Hepatitis A is transmitted by eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated with human waste (feces). Hepatitis B is spread through contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person. Hepatitis C is usually spread through contact with blood containing the virus. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C (HCV). 

For information or assistance on this program, please contact Lori Theisen at 407-858-1420 in Orange County and Enid Santiago-Cruz in Seminole County at (407) 665-3019.

 

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=585Thu, 08 May 2014 00:00:00 GMT
NATIONAL INFANT IMMUNIZATION WEEK (NIIW)
ORLANDO The Florida Department of Health in Orange and Seminole Counties are recognizing this week, April 26 – May 3, 2014, as National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) by encouraging parents to make sure their infant is up-to-date on immunizations to protect them from vaccine-preventable diseases. National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is an annual observance to promote the benefits of immunizations and to improve the health of children two years old or younger.  This year marks the 20th Anniversary of NIIW and the theme is "Immunization. Power to Protect.”

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that vaccinations will prevent more than 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths among children born in the last 20 years. Despite the U.S. immunization program’s success, according to CDC officials, 129 people in the U.S. have been reported to have measles this year in 13 outbreaks, as of April 18, 2014.

 

“Immunization is a shared responsibility. Families, healthcare professionals, and public health officials must work together to help protect the entire community,” said Dr. Kevin M. Sherin, Director of the Department of Health in Orange County. 

 

The health departments across Central Florida continue to work with private doctors and community health centers to help ensure that patients seek services through a medical provider home, particularly those patients who have private insurance or are enrolled in the Healthy Kids Program and Medikids which is provided by the Florida KidCare program.

 

“It's important for people that have insurance to take their kids to their primary care doctor for vaccines. It's also equally important for primary care physicians to stock vaccines for children.” said Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Officer for the Department of Health in Seminole County.   

 

The Florida Department of Health in Orange County provides immunizations Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 2:00pm at its Central Office located at 832 West Central Boulevard. Parents are urged to arrive early to obtain a walk-in ticket as services are provided on a walk-in basis. 

 

In Seminole County, immunizations are provided at the health department’s Sanford facility located at 400 West Airport Boulevard, Sanford, Florida, 32773. Hours of operation for the Immunization Clinic in Sanford are Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 3:30pm except for the 2nd Thursday of each month when hours are 8:00am to 11:30am.

 

Due to the high demand for immunizations, services in both counties are provided on a first come, first served, walk-in basis. Children must be accompanied by an adult family member or legal guardian to receive immunizations.

 

For more information about NIIW, please visit the CDC resource site at  http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niiw/overview.html.

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=583Thu, 01 May 2014 00:00:00 GMT
VITAL STATISTICS OFFICE CLOSUREORLANDO –The Department of Health in Orange County’s (DOH-Orange) Vital Statistics office located at the Orange County Tax Collector Office on Clarcona-Ocoee Road will no longer be operating at this site after 11 a.m. on Friday, April 25, 2014.  Clients can still obtain Vital Statistics services at two other locations at the Church Street Vitals Office, 807 West Church Street, Orlando and the Orlando Health Campus, 44 Lake Beaurty Drive, 4th Floor, Orlando. Services are also available by mail or on-line. 

This office is closing due to streamlining and consolidation. The Office of Vital Statistics holds official records for births in the State of Florida and deaths in Orange County. The Department of Health in Orange County’s Office of Vital Statistics is responsible for registering, preserving, and certifying birth records for all Orange County births.  Our Office of Vital Statistics has access to all Florida birth records from 1917 to the present. You can get your birth certificate in three ways: in person, by mail, or on-line.  

For more information on how to obtain birth and death certificates, visit www.orchd.com/generalHealth/vitalStats.  

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=580Wed, 23 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Immunize Before Long Lineshttp://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=578DOH-ORANGE RECOGNIZES HEALTHY WEIGHT COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS  

ORLANDO – The Florida Department of Health in Orange County is recognizing 2 communities as Healthy Weight Community Champions. The City of Orlando and the City of Winter Park have implemented “best practices” to promote wellness, physical activity, and improve nutrition in their jurisdictions. 

Between November 2013 and February 2014, local governments were invited to submit best practice policies they implemented to promote physical activity and improve nutrition in their communities. Some of these “best practices” include: creating wellness and fitness centers; building more walkable communities to include more sidewalks and fitness trails; and providing more nutritious foods in vending machines and at farmer’s markets. 

 

 “Unhealthy environments foster poor health outcomes, so empowering communities to build healthier places, helps citizens to live healthier, happier lives”, said Dr. Kevin Sherin, director of the Department of Health in Orange County.  “The estimated impact to chronic disease is $34 Billion in costs to Florida by 2030 if we do not bend the obesity curve.”

 

The Community Champions program is part of the Department’s Healthiest Weight Florida initiative. Healthiest Weight Florida is a public-private collaboration bringing together state agencies, local governments, not-for-profit organizations, businesses, schools, faith-based organizations and entire communities to help Florida’s children and adults make consistent, informed choices about healthy eating and active living. To learn more about Healthiest Weight Florida, please visit www.HealthiestWeightFL.com

 

In recognition of how the two cities have positively impacted the health environment in their communities the Department of Health in Orange County will present to these Community Champions certificates signed by the Florida State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health, Dr. John Armstrong.

 

A list of the Champion Communities and best practices can be found online at: www.HealthiestWeightFL.com.  \

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=574Mon, 14 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT
FREE DOOR ALARMS AVAILABLE TO SAVE A LIFE 

ORLANDO – As the weather continues to warm up and families return to recreational water activities, the Florida Department of Health in Orange County is offering a free small device that could help save a child from drowning. Any Orange County resident who has a residential pool with children between the ages of 1 and 12 years old may be eligible to receive free door alarms that can be placed on a door or window leading out to the pool area. The alarms, which alert a parent when a child has opened a door or window, are being provided through a statewide drowning prevention campaign called WaterproofFL while supplies last. 

 

It takes less than thirty second for a child to drown, and Florida leads the nation in drowning deaths in children between the ages of one and four. “Parents and designated water watchers must keep their eyes on the kids at all times. Don't let your guard down,” said Dr. Kevin Sherin director of the Department of Health in Orange County.

 

The Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act requires pools built after 2000 to have at least one approved pool safety feature. However, over 90% of Florida’s home swimming pools were built before this act.

 

The WaterproofFL campaign focuses on three layers of protection, supervision, barriers, and emergency preparedness.

 

  • Supervision is the first and most crucial layer of protection, meaning that someone is always actively watching when a child is in the pool.
  • Barriers mean that a child should never be able to enter the pool area unaccompanied by a guardian. A barrier should physically block a child from the pool.
  • Emergency preparedness. The moment a child stops breathing there is a small, precious window of time in which resuscitation may occur, but only if someone knows CPR. Knowing how to perform CPR can mean the difference between life and death.

 

You can help prevent Florida’s children from drowning by implementing the layers of protection and pledging to become a Water Watcher. To receive a Free Door Alarm, contact Karen Johnson at the Florida Department of Health in Orange County at 407-858-1456.  For more information on the campaign, go to http://www.waterprooffl.com/

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=575Wed, 16 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT
DOH-ORANGE RECOGNIZES NATIONAL MINORITY HEALTH MONTH 

The Florida Department of Health in Orange County (DOH-Orange) recognizes April as National Minority Health Month. This year's theme Prevention is Power: Taking Action for Health Equity! reminds us that there is still work to do to ensure that everyone in Orange County has the resources they need to lead healthy, productive lives. Orange County is challenged with 21 food desserts and neighborhoods that are disproportionately impacted by diabetes and infant mortality.  

“Your zip code should not predict whether or not you will be healthy, and we all deserve to live in a neighborhood in which we can expect our children to live past their first birthday,” said Dr. Kevin Sherin, director of the Department of Health in Orange County. 
 
To help guide their health equity initiatives, DOH-Orange will launch its Health Equity Workgroup this month led by their Health Equity Coordinator. In observance of National Minority Health Month, DOH-Orange will host events that emphasize the important role of prevention in health equity.
 
Minority Health Month events include two interactive Lunch & Learn Workshops that are free and open to staff and the public. They will be held at the Florida Department of Health in Orange County located at 6101 Lake Ellenor Drive, Orlando, FL 32809. Each workshop is scheduled from 12:00-1:00 p.m.

  • Wednesday, April 23: The UCF Marriage Research and Family Research Institute will present the Fair Fight, a fun and engaging workshop that will help participants strengthen communication with spouses, partners, children, and co-workers.  Effective communication decreases stress, builds support, and strengthens relationships.
  • Monday, April 28: The Orlando Chapter of USA Dance will present Merengue & Salsa for Everyone. Instructors will teach some quick merengue and salsa moves! Sixty-three percent of Orange County residents are overweight or obese. Latin dance is a fun way to help you reach your physical activity goals and maintain a healthy weight. 

DOH-Orange has also partnered with the Orlando Neighborhood Improvement Association and other community partners to present a Family Fun & Fit Day at the Palm Grove Apartment Community in Pine Hills on Wednesday, April 30, 4:00-7:00 p.m.  This fun-filled event will include healthy eating and physical activities that families can engage in together to maintain a healthy weight.
 
For more information about National Minority Health Month or DOH-Orange’s Health Equity projects, contact Ericka Burroughs-Girardi, Health Equity Coordinator, at (407) 858-1400 x 1217 or
Ericka.Burroughs-Girardi@FLhealth.gov.

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=573Tue, 15 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT
AVOID TATTOO PARTIES AND UNLICENSED ACTIVITY 

ORLANDO - The Florida Department of Health in Orange County is encouraging the public to only use licensed tattoo artists when getting tattoos and body art.  Residents are also advised to avoid participating in local tattoo parties where unlicensed activity is common.

Tattoo parties are events where someone hires an unlicensed person or business to provide tattoos for their guests. This often occurs inside homes or hotel rooms using inexperienced artists which attract minors looking for an inexpensive tattoo without their parent’s consent. These types of unlicensed events are illegal in Florida.

 

“It is important for people who are seeking tattoos to use licensed artists for their own well-being,” said Dr. Kevin Sherin, director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County “Unlicensed tattoo activity may take place under unsanitary conditions such as not wearing protective gloves and using unsterile equipment. It is better to use a licensed professional.”

 

Re-using needles and sharing ink between customers is common. Sometimes ink may not be safe for the skin.

 

Unlicensed tattoo activity could result in the following complications:

  • Allergic reactions. Tattoo dyes — especially red, green, yellow and blue dyes — can cause allergic skin reactions, such as an itchy rash at the tattoo site. This can occur even years after the tattoo is placed.
  • Skin infections. Life-threatening skin infection, including MRSA, is a possibility. Infections could cause redness, swelling, pain and a pus-like drainage.
  • Other skin problems. Sometimes bumps called granulomas form around tattoo ink. Tattooing can also lead to keloids — raised areas caused by an overgrowth of scar tissue.
  • Bloodborne and other diseases.  Tetanus, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV are some of the diseases that can be transmitted by contaminated blood on unsterilized equipment.

Tattoo Safety Tips

  • Never get tattooed in someone’s house or in a hotel room.
  • Only go to permitted and inspected shops that only hire licensed tattoo artists
  • Before anybody touches you, ask to see their artist license. All persons tattooing in Florida are required to have a current artist license from the Florida Department of Health.
  • Verify that only new needles are being used and that unused ink is discarded after the tattoo is over.
  • Look to see that your artist washes their hands and sanitizes their work surface prior to starting. They should also be wearing gloves and using protective barriers on equipment and work surfaces while doing your tattoo.
  • When the tattoo is finished, reputable artists will provide you with proper healing instructions. Make sure you follow them to avoid complications.

Anyone who believes they have contracted an illness related to a tattoo should contact their private physician and the nearest health department location.

For more information, please visit www.floridahealth.gov/healthy-environments/tattooing/index.html

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=570Tue, 08 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT
ORANGE COUNTY KICKS OFF NATIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH WEEKORLANDO – The Florida Department of Health in Orange County will officially kick off National Public Health Week (NPHW) this weekend with its Let’s Move 5K Walk and Health Fair. Families, clients and the public are invited to join the department during this coming week to learn more about the important role public health plays in the lives of our community.

The week long observance begins this Saturday, April 5, 2014 at Barnett Park, 4801 W. Colonial Drive, Oralndo for the free Let’s Move - 5K Walk and Health Fair as part of the State Surgeon General’s “Healthiest Weight” initative. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m.  Many of the preventable diseases in the U.S. such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease are directly related to weight. 

Other areas of public health to be showcased all week long from April 7 – 14 will include, family nutrition, maternal and child health, safety precautions, preventative health measures, and disaster preparedness.

“The value of public health is all around us, we are living examples of the return on investment of public health. It’s in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and the places we all live, work and play. It’s in thousands of people whose lives are saved by seat belts and children protected from diseases through vaccination,” said Dr. Kevin Sherin, director of the Department of Health in Orange County. 

 

The 5K Walk and Health Fair will also include free health screenings, health information, healthy snacks, healthy samplings, a kid’s zone, and fun activities such as a hula hoop contest, Zumba, Tai Chi, Martial Arts, and much more. Free flu shots will also be available at the event as it is never too late to get the vaccine this flu season.

 

In its 19th year, National Public Health Week, sponsored by the American Public Health Association (APHA), seeks to educate the public, policy-makers, and public health professionals about issues important to improving public health. This year’s theme is “Public Health: Start Here”.  National Public Health Week was established in 1995 as a way to recognize the contributions of public health workers and the services they provide.

The Florida Department of Health in Orange County joins other health departments and public health workers across the country for this annual recognition. Join us as we work together to create a safer and healthier nation.]]>
http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=569Fri, 04 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT
ORANGE COUNTY MOVING TO ELIMINATE HEALTH DISPARITIES & ACHIEVE HEALTH EQUITY 

In an effort to improve our community’s overall health, Orange County is working to eliminate health disparities and achieve better healty equity where we all live, work, and play. The Health Officer for the Department of Health in Orange County (DOH-Orange), Dr. Kevin Sherin, recently shared with Orange County Government leaders the importance of iniatives and projects that can help give families good health no matter where they live. The presentation was given Thursday, March 27, 2014 to Orange County Senior staff and county departments have pledged to engage in collective impacts for the betterment of the community’s health.

 

Recently the City of Orlando and the City of Winter Park were recognized as 2014 State Surgeon General Healthy Weight Community Champions for initiatives to improve physical activity, wellness, and nutrition. Another project to improve health equity was recently recognized for excellence. Healthy Measures of East Central Florida, of which DOH-Orange is a primary contributor, was recognized by the Healthy Communities Institute for exceptional contributions to its community for the development of the “Know Flu” campaign encouraging adults aged 65 and older to be vaccinated annually against influenza. The campaign was recognized as a runner-up at the 2014 Healthy Communities Achievement Award The campaign includes a web-based toolkit with promotional and educational materials. 

 

The following Power Point presentation, presented by Dr. Sherin, has more detail on the recently released County Health Rankings by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The presentation also summurizes what we all can do to work together for better health equity. 

 

Dr. Sherin's Presentation - Improving Health Outcomes In Orange County

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=566
NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH® - MARCH 2014 

ORLANDO – The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program at the Department of Health in Orange County is encouraging everyone to "Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right" during March which is National Nutrition Month®. “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” is the theme for this year’s National Nutrition Month® 2014.

 

Consumer research confirms that taste tops nutrition as the main reason why one food is purchased over another. While social, emotional and health factors also play a role, the foods people enjoy are likely the ones they eat most. This year's key message is how to combine taste and nutrition to create healthy meals that follow the Dietary Guidelines recommendations.

 

National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

 

“Making a commitment to eating healthier is one of the top steps you can take to improve your overall health,” said Dr. Kevin Sherin, director of the Department of Health in Orange County. 

 

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides federal grants to states for nutrition/breastfeeding education, supplemental foods, and health care referrals for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.

 

For 40 years now, the WIC Program has been providing nutrition education and counseling. Registered dietitians and nutritionists help families develop lifelong healthy eating habits through one-on-one counseling and group classes, where they learn:

 

·        What to eat during pregnancy and breastfeeding

·        How to feed infants and growing kids healthy foods

·        How to successfully breastfeed

·        Shopping for healthy foods on a budget

·        How to cook healthy, delicious meals

 

Florida’s WIC Program operates 220 sites throughout the state where families improve their diet and food choices with the assistance of licensed nutritionists and nutrition educators. There are 8 sites located within Orange County. Local authorized grocers benefit from the average annual value of WIC foods received by Orange County WIC clients which is $27.7 million dollars.

 

For more information about WIC at the Department of Health in Orange County, go to www. http://orchd.com/personalHealth/wic/index.asp or call 407-858-1494. 

 

For more information, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at www.eatright.org.

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=563Mon, 24 Mar 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