Orange County Health Department - Newshttp://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/?z=1Immunize 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
LETS MOVE 5K WALK AND HEALTH FAIRORLANDO – As part of the statewide effort to help everyone get to their healthiest weight, the Department of Health in Orange County is challenging everyone to Let’s Move! Let’s Move is a 5K Walk and Health Fair that will be held at Barnett Park in Orlando as part of the State Surgeon General’s “Healthiest Weight” initative.

 

This is the 8th year for 5K Walk & Health Fair. This year it is being held at Barnett Park, 4801 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando on Saturday, April 5, 2014. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m.

 

This event is a collaboration between the Department of Health in Orange County, Tobacco Free Florida, Orange County Parks and Recreation, and Pollo Tropical to encourage residents to live a healthier lifestyle by becoming more physically active and eating more healthy.

 

The 5K walk and health fair is being named after the First Lady Michelle Obama’s intiative titled Let’s Move to curb childhood obesity. 

 

In addition to individual walkers and runners, local churches and schools are being challenged to live a healthy lifestyle by participating. There is a team challenge for churches, schools, civic organizations, and businesses. Trophies and prizes will be given to the teams having the most participants.

 

You can participate by registering as an individual, or you can create and register as a walk team. Registration for the free 5K Walk & Health Fair can be done online by visiting www.orchd.com under the events section.  

 

“All it takes is increasing the number of steps you take every day to start living a healthier lifestyle.  Walking is an excellent way to increase physical activity and decrease chronic diseases,” said Dr. Kevin Sherin, director of the Department of Health in Orange County.

 

Adults and children with healthy lifestyles are less likely to develop heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Together, these conditions accounted for over half (59.3%) the deaths in 2012, according to Florida statistics. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that in 2011 Florida’s obesity prevalence in adults was 26%. In order to help control the risk factors for obesity, stroke and other chronic diseases, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle which includes: not smoking, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, reducing stress, and visiting a doctor to monitor your health.

 

In addition to the 3.1 mile route there will be a one mile route for senior adults and children. Attendees can also enjoy 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. 

 

For more information about this event, please contact the Deparment of Health in Orange County at 407-858-1464 or visit www.orchd.com.      ]]>
http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=567Thu, 03 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
SCREENING SAVES LIVES FROM COLORECTAL CANCER 

 

 

ORLANDO – In an effort to raise awareness about colorectal cancer, the Departments of Health in Orange and Seminole Counties are helping to proclaim March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. This inititiave is part of a national movement to increase awareness and education about colorectal cancer and to spread the message that colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable.

 

Colorectal cancer is one of only a few cancers that can be prevented through the use of screening tests, yet colorectal cancer remains the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second most common cause of cancer deaths for men and women in the United States. From 2010-2012, Orange County had 468 colorectal cancer related deaths, and during the same time period, Seminole County had 192 deaths attributed to this cancer. Across the country each year, tens of thousands of lives are lost to this disease. Despite these staggering statistics, colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable, treatable, and beatable forms of cancer, especially when it is caught early.

 

Unfortunately, nearly half of all Americans are not getting the recommended screenings they need.

Many people are not aware of the three screening tests: colonoscopy, highly sensitive stool tests (fecal occult blood test - FOBT or fecal immunochemical test - FIT) and flexible sigmoidoscopy.

 

“Early screening and diagnosis is an effective method to reducing premature death from colon cancer". Please get tested today,” said Dr. Swannie Jett, health officer of the Department of Health in Seminole County.

 

Colorectal cancer poses the greatest risk to adults over the age of 50, and the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that all individuals aged 50-75 be screened for colorectal cancer as part of routine preventive health care. Currently, about 1 in 3 adults between the ages of 50 and 75 are not receiving recommended screening.

 

The Department of Health’s Florida Colorectal Cancer Control Program, Screen for Life, is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support and increase population-based screening efforts and provide colorectal cancer screening services to low-income men and women aged 50-64 years who are uninsured. For more information on this program go to, http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/cancer/colon-cancer/crc-program.html

 

For additional resources about colorectal cancer, visit Fight Colorectal Cancer at

www.FightColorectalCancer.org or Colon Cancer Alliance at www.ccalliance.org.

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=559Tue, 11 Mar 2014 00:00:00 GMT
NATIONAL SOCIAL WORKER MONTH

 

 

ORLANDO – Each and every day, employees in the field of social work and counseling at the Department of Health in Orange County (DOH-Orange) make a difference in protecting the health of families. These staff members manage cases to make sure babies get a healthy start, help HIV/AIDS infected patients get their needed medications, connect uninsured families to Medicaid, and inform people how to improve and protect their health.   

 

This year’s National Social Work Month theme, —Social Work: “All People Matter”— raises awareness about the American social work profession’s 116-year commitment to improving social  problems including poverty, chronic illness, addiction, abuse, and discrimination.

 

“Our social workers and counselors make a difference for people who usually have no where else to turn. They help people with a life-threatening disease or social problems, such as inadequate health insurance, unemployment, or even substance abuse,” said Dr. Kevin M. Sherin, Director of the Department of Health in Orange County. 

 

DOH-Orange salutes the Healthy Start & MomCare counselors during National Social Work Month. Currently there are 28 frontline counselors/educator and 2 counselor supervisors employed in these two programs at DOH-Oragne. When life’s challenges become overwhelming, counselors are there to assist. They are many of our clients’ safety net, providing vital education, resources and support to those who need it most. The Healthy Start-MomCare human services counselors are purpose-driven, compassionate individuals who work to help mothers, babies and families who are most vulnerable. They provide case management services by phone, in clinics, hospitals, jails, and one-on-one in client homes. They also help individuals with their immediate needs through counseling, education, advocacy and resource referrals.

 

DOH-Orange also salutes the Sunshine Care Center/Immunology’s counselors during National Social Work Month. Currently there are 21 frontline counselors/educator and 3 counselor supervisors employed in the Sunshine Care Center at DOH-Orange. When HIV-infected individuals feel they have nowhere else to turn, counselors are there to assist. They are our clients’ safety net, providing vital risk reduction and adherence education, linkage to life sustaining medications, medical care and support in order to improve our clients’ quality of life. The Sunshine Care Center’s human services counselors are purpose-driven, compassionate and empathetic individuals who work to help HIV-infected individuals and their affected family members live long productive lives.

 

In addition to services provided by OCHD, social workers and counselors can also be found in nonprofit and government agencies, schools, hospitals, hospices, universities, legislatures, private practices, corporations and the military.

 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the profession is growing faster than average for all occupations, especially in the areas of aging and health care services. There are currently more than 640,000 professional social workers employed in the United States.  Some historic figures who were social workers include: Jane Addams, Frances Perkins, Harry Hopkins, Whitney M. Young and Dorothy I. Height.

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=558Mon, 10 Mar 2014 00:00:00 GMT
RABIES ALERT ISSUED FOR ORANGE COUNTY 

ORLANDO – The Florida Department of Health in Orange County is issuing a rabies alert for the Northeast Orlando area. The alert is in response to a domestic dog which recently tested positive for rabies in the area during the past week. The dog was not up to date on vaccinations and was bitten by a racoon and recently died of the disease.   

 

Residents and visitors in Orange County should be aware that rabies is present in the wild animal population, and domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated. The public is asked to maintain a heightened awareness that rabies is active in Orange County. Alerts are designed to increase awareness to the public. This alert should not give a false sense of security to areas that have not been named as under this alert. This rabies alert is for 60 days. 

 

The center of the rabies alert is in Northeast Orlando and includes the following area boundaries in Orange County:

 

·        Fairbanks Avenue to the north

·        State Road 408 to the south

·        State Road 436 to the east

·        I-4 to the west

 

An animal with rabies could infect other wild animals or domestic animals that have not been vaccinated against rabies. All domestic animals should be vaccinated against rabies and all wildlife contact should be avoided, particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes.

 

The following advice is issued:

  • Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets.
  • If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact the Orange County Animal Services at 407-254-9130.
  • Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood.
  • Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals by leaving pet food outside, or garbage cans open.
  • 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.
  • Persons who have been bitten or scratched by wild or domestic animals should seek medical attention and report the injury to the Florida Department of Health in Orange County at 407-858-1400.

For further information on rabies, go to the Florida Department of Health website: http://www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/medicine/rabies/rabies-index.html or contact Florida Department of Health in OrangeCounty, 407-858-1400 or Orange County Animal Control 407-254-9130.

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=556Wed, 26 Feb 2014 00:00:00 GMT
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CELEBRATES 125 YEARS OF PUBLIC HEALTH 

ORLANDO –The Florida Department of Health in Orange (DOH-Orange) and Seminole Counties (DOH-Seminole) are celebrating 125 years of public health with educational and commemorative events on Thursday, February 20, 2014. Both health departments will be holding an open house where public health heroes will be honored and recognized. The events are as follows: 

DOH-Orange, open house, recognition of Public Health Heroes, display of historical artifacts and refreshments, 2:00-4:00 p.m., 6101 Lake Ellenor Drive, Orlando, FL

 

DOH-Seminole, open house, recognition of Public Health Hero, tours highlightinghistory and services, 1:00-4:00 p.m., 400 W. Airport Blvd., Sanford, FL. 

 

Two staff members at the health departments will be among those recognized as Public Health Heroes. One of those employees is Nurse Case Manager Polly Cummings in Orange County who has served for 43 years in public health.  She is currently managing the care of TB patients and has been personally credited by patients for directly curing them of TB.

 

The Florida Legislature created the State Board of Health 125 years ago on February 20, 1889, in response to a yellow fever epidemic in Jacksonville, and Dr. Joseph Yates Porter from Key West became Florida’s first State Public Health Officer. Yellow fever in Florida was eradicated in 1905. 

 

“Public health improves health, protects our community, and improves quality of life, just as in 1889. Today we set the bar higher; working to make sure all children will grow up as healthy adults, and live in healthy communities,” said Dr. Kevin Sherin, director of the Department of Health in Orange County. 

 

“Public Health Departments were established to serve and protect the greater community. 125 years later, we are still focusing on population health which means we should continue to forge more partnerships to improve the life expectancy of all citizens,” said Dr. Swannie Jett, health officer of the Department of Health in Seminole County. 

 

The year-long celebration of 125 years of Florida Public Health was launched in Key West on February 3, where Dr. John Armstrong, State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health, joined Dr. Porter’s great-great granddaughter in a ceremonial wreath laying at Dr. Porter’s grave site. Throughout 2014, the Department will offer educational and health information opportunities. A resource featuring “Public Health Heroes” from all 67 counties will be released later this spring.  During the week of April 7-11, the Department will further highlight the 125th Anniversary as part of National Public Health Week. More information is available at www.FLHealth125.gov.

 

For more information about the Florida Department of Health in Orange and Seminole counties, please visit www.orchd.com or www.seminolecohealth.com. 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=550Mon, 17 Feb 2014 00:00:00 GMT
CENTRAL FLORIDA WIC LAUNCHES NEW BENEFITS SYSTEM 

ORLANDO – The Florida Department of Health in Orange and Seminole Counties is officially launching the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program’s electronic benefit transfer (EBT) system today. The WIC offices in these counties join all Central Florida Department of Health offices as a part of the statewide rollout of EBT to better serve Florida’s families in need.

 

“Today’s launch is a big achievement for families who are in need of this service,” said Dr. Kevin Sherin, director of the Department of Health in Orange County. “WIC EBT makes it easier for families to get nutritious food which in turn leads to healthier outcomes for babies, kids, and moms.”

 

“This WIC transition to an electronic benefits model will be more efficient, cost effective, and reliable,” said Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Officer for Department of Health in Seminole County.

 

The launch is part of a milestone in that Florida was the first state to simultaneously implement a new

WIC participant data system and bring EBT services online, accomplishing both projects in less than a

year. The transition from paper checks to WIC EBT delivers benefits more efficiently to families as well

as Florida’s 2,000 WIC authorized grocers. Paper checks will no longer be required and the electronic

card will allow for faster checkout times and easier processing of benefits.

 

With the EBT, Florida’s authorized WIC grocers will see a significat reduction in the cost of processing WIC checks. One WIC vendor estimates such savings could reach 90 percent. The new electronic accounts virtually eliminate the need for manual processing and WIC will be able to reimburse the grocer for foods purchased within one business day, significantly reducing the reimbursement time period which also provides a cost savings to the banking industry as well. 

 

WIC is a federally funded program that provides healthy food, as well as breastfeeding education and nutrition counseling to needy families. 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. In Orange County, the average annual value of WIC foods received by WIC clients  is $27.7 million dollars, and in Seminole County, the annual average value of WIC foods received by WIC clients is $6.1 million dollars.

 

For more information on WIC services in Orange and Seminole Counties go to, http://orchd.com/personalHealth/wic/index.aspor http://www.floridahealth.gov/chdSeminole/WIC.html.  

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=547Tue, 04 Feb 2014 00:00:00 GMT
FREE FLU VACCINE EVENTS 

 

Orlando – The Florida Department of Health in Orange County will be holding free flu shot events to offer more opportunities for those who want to get vaccinated against the flu. It is not too late to get vaccinated because a typical flu season usually peaks in February. The flu shots will be available at no cost, on a first come first served walk-in basis, while supplies last at the following three event locations:

 

  • Thursday, January, 30, 2014, 10:00am-1:00pm  Barnett Park, Dolphin Room, 4801 West Colonial Drive, Orlando.
  • Friday, January 31, 2014, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm  Renaissance Senior Center, South Econlockhatchee Community Park, 3850 South Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando.
  • Monday, February 3, 2014, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, Coalition for the Homeless, Men’s Pavilion, 639 W. Central Boulevard, Orlando.  

In Florida, the most common influenza subtype detected at the Bureau of Public Health Laboratories (BPHL) in recent weeks has been influenza A (2009 H1N1). The strain is causing similar complications as it did in 2009. This year's vaccine does provide coverage of H1N1.   

 

The majority of deaths from flu in the United States have occurred in persons with underlying chronic health conditions. Pregnant women, young children, cancer patients, people with asthma, diabetes, suppressed immune systems, heart disease, and kidney disease need to pay particular attention to personal hygiene, avoid close contact to infected persons, and consult with their healthcare provider regarding the influenza vaccine.

 

Additional flu prevention steps include washing your hands often, keeping your hands away from your face and covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing and coughing. Symptoms of the flu include headache, fever, severe cough, sore throat, runny nose or body aches. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your primary care provider immediately for guidance on treatment.

 

It is important for you and your family members to get a flu vaccine every year.  Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, retail stores, pharmacies, health centers, and by many employers and schools. Check with your physician, the Florida Department of Health in Orange or Seminole Counties or visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/prevention-safety-and-wellness/flu-prevention/locate-a-flu-shot.html  to search for a location to receive your flu vaccine.

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=545Wed, 29 Jan 2014 00:00:00 GMT
HEALTH OFFICIALS ANNOUNCE PEDIATRIC FLU RELATED DEATH  

ORLANDO - The Florida Department of Health in Orange County (DOH-Orange) has received notification of an influenza associated pediatric death in a school-aged child. While most cases of flu are mild, there are exceptions. Pre-existing health conditions often play a role in how individuals react to the flu.           

 

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of this child,” said Dr. Kevin M. Sherin, director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County Health “All of us should get the flu vaccine and continue to be alert and practice good hygiene measures “

 

In Florida, the most common influenza subtype detected at the Bureau of Public Health Laboratories (BPHL) in recent weeks has been influenza A (2009 H1N1). The strain is causing similiar complications as it did in 2009.  This year's vaccine does provide coverage of H1N1.  

 

The majority of deaths from flu in the United States have occurred in persons with underlying chronic health conditions. Pregnant women, young children, cancer patients, people with asthma, diabetes, suppressed immune systems, heart disease, and kidney disease need to pay particular attention to personal hygiene, avoid close contact to infected persons, and consult with their healthcare provider regarding the influenza vaccine.

 

Additional flu prevention steps include washing your hands often, keeping your hands away from your face and covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing and coughing. Symptoms of the flu include headache, fever, severe cough, sore throat, runny nose or body aches. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your primary care provider immediately for guidance on treatment.

 

It is important for you and your family members to get a flu vaccine every year.  Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, retail stores, pharmacies, health centers, and by many employers and schools. Check with your physician, the Florida Department of Health in Orange or Seminole Counties or visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/prevention-safety-and-wellness/flu-prevention/locate-a-flu-shot.html to search for a location to receive a flu vaccine.

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=544Fri, 24 Jan 2014 00:00:00 GMT
FLU CAUSING SOME SEVERE COMPLICATIONS  

Orange - The Florida Department of Health in Orange and Seminole Counties urge pregnant women and anyone with underlying health conditions to receive the flu vaccination due to the increased impact that influenza infections are having in Florida this year. In recent weeks, the health department has received reports of severe influenza (flu) illness, including hospitalizations requiring intensive care unit (ICU) care, among pregnant women and other people with underlying health conditions.  In most of these cases, none of these folks received the 2013-2014 influenza vaccine.

 

In Florida, the most common influenza subtype detected at the Bureau of Public Health Laboratories (BPHL) in recent weeks has been influenza A (2009 H1N1)The strain is causing similiar complications as it did in 2009.  This year's vaccine does provide coverage of H1N1.   

 

“The flu vaccine is the single best way to prevent flu,” said Dr. Kevin M. Sherin, Director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County. “We want to make sure people understand how important it is for pregnant women to receive the influenza vaccination to protect themselves and their babies.”

 

“Flu vaccination is recommended each year for all individuals six months of age and older. It is especially important for pregnant women to be vaccinated due to the increased risk of complications associated with contracting the flu while pregnant,” said Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Officer of the Department of Health in Seminole County. The flu vaccination is safe and will protect the mother, the unborn child, and will also help protect babies during the first months after birth.

 

Additional flu prevention steps include washing your hands often, keeping your hands away from your face and covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing and coughing.   Symptoms of the flu include headache, fever, severe cough, runny nose or body aches. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your primary care provider immediately for guidance on treatment. For more information on pregnant women and influenza, visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/pregnant.htm

 

It is important for you and your family members to get a flu vaccine every year.  Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, retail stores, pharmacies, health centers, and by many employers and schools  . Check with your physician, the Florida Department of Health in Orange or Seminole Counties or visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/prevention-safety-and-wellness/flu-prevention/locate-a-flu-shot.html to search for a location to receive a flu vaccine.

     

DOH protects, promotes and improves 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=532Wed, 15 Jan 2014 00:00:00 GMT
NATIONAL BIRTH DEFECTS PREVENTION MONTH 

ORLANDOEvery 4.5 minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect. The Department of Health in Orange County along with many other collaborating partners such as the Healthy Start Coalition, March of Dimes, and the Infant Mortality Task Force are committed to the health of every baby in Orange County. 

 “Birth defects impact the lives of the entire family and community. We can all play an essential role in helping prevent birth defects by encouraging the women in our lives to receive early pre-natal care and follow important steps to a healthy pregnancy and baby,” said Dr. Kevin M. Sherin, director of the Department of Health in Orange County.  

In the United States, about one in every 33 babies is born with a birth defect. Birth defects are a leading cause of infant death, accounting for more than 1 of every 5 infant deaths. In addition, babies born with birth defects have a greater chance of illness and long term disability than babies without birth defects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that U.S. hospital costs for people with birth defects exceed $2.6 billion annually. Based on those figures, it is estimated Orange County birth defects cost Central Florida hospitals more than $8 million dollars each year. Families, communities, and the government share these costs. 

Birth defects occur before a baby is born. Most birth defects occur in the first 3 months of pregnancy, when the organs of the baby are forming. This is a very important stage of development.  However, some birth defects occur later in pregnancy. During the last six months of pregnancy, the tissues and organs continue to grow and develop.  

Not all birth defects can be prevented. However, a woman can increase her own chances of having a healthy baby by managing health conditions and adopting healthy behaviors before becoming pregnant. Women can take the following steps in preparing for a healthy pregnancy: 

      ·        Take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day

·        Don't drink alcohol, smoke or use “street” drugs

·       Ensure regular dental visits and see a health care professional regularly

·        Talk to a health care provider about taking any medications

·        Learn how to prevent infections during pregnancy

·       Talk to your doctor about vaccinations

·        Keep any medical condition including diabetes under control

·       Reach and maintain a healthy weight                 
                                                                   

                                                                                   

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=542Tue, 21 Jan 2014 00:00:00 GMT
ALCOHOL SCREENING AND COUNSELING 

Click here to see news story on this topic by Central Florida News 13.

Health leaders taking action against alcohol abuse News 13 Orlando

The Florida Department of Health in Orange County is partnering with the Orange County Drug Free Office to educate the community and medical providers about alcohol screening and counseling. Alcohol screening and brief counseling can reduce drinking on an occasion by 25% in people who drink too much, but only 1 in 6 people has ever talked with their doctor or other health professional about alcohol use. 

Medical providers can utilize simple steps to screen patients about their drinking habits. I encourage all providers to ask question to learn more about the patient’s drinking behaviors and be able to provide brief counseling and referral as needed,” said Dr. Kevin Sherin, director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County. “This can help prevent many alcohol related fatalities.” See link below for screening tools for clinicians: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/clinical-guides-and-manuals/helping-patients-who-drink-too-much-clinicians-guide

 

“Alcohol is still the most commonly used drug among our youth and young adults.  A brief alcohol screening and counseling session provides a unique opportunity for medical professionals to talk about the health risks of alcohol use and prevent future use.  Research shows that when doctors talk about alcohol use with teens, they listen,” says Carol Burkett, Director, Orange County Drug Free Office.

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released their Vital Signs report “Alcohol Screening and Counseling, An Effective but Underused Health Service”. The report mentions that at least 38 million adults drink too much and most are not alcoholics. Drinking too much includes binge drinking, high weekly use, and any alcohol use by pregnant women or those under age 21. Binge drinking causes about 88,000 deaths in the United States each year, and was responsible for about $224 billion in economic costs in 2006. Orange County leads the state in pedestrian and bicycle fatalities. It is dangerous and can lead to heart disease, breast cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, unintended pregnancy, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, sudden infant death syndrome, motor-vehicle crashes, and violence.

 

In Orange County, during 2012 there was an increase in Alcohol-Related/Suspected Fatal Crashes (4.17%) and Alcohol-Related/Suspected Injury Crashes (6.87%) compared to 2011. Medical providers, government agencies, businesses, patients, and families all have a voice and can work towards a safer Orange County. 

 

To learn more about the Orange County Drug Free Office visit www.drugfreecoalition.org

and to read the CDC Vital Signs report visit http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/.

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=541Fri, 10 Jan 2014 00:00:00 GMT
HEALTH DEPARTMENTS CAUTION RESIDENTS TO PREPARE FOR COLD WEATHER 

CENTRAL FLORIDA – The Florida Departments of Health in Central Florida are urging families to prepare for freezing temperatures and wind chills starting tonight. The National Weather Service says a cold arctic blast will bring widespread freezing conditions overnight to most of Central Florida. 

 

Prolonged exposure to cold will eventually use up your body’s stored energy. The result is hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature,” said Dr. Kevin Sherin, director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County.

 

Hypothermia is most likely at very cold temperatures, but it can occur even at cool temperatures (above 40°F) if a person becomes chilled from rain, sweat, or submersion in cold water.  Victims of hypothermia are often (1) elderly people with inadequate food, clothing, or heating; (2) babies sleeping in cold bedrooms; (3) people who remain outdoors for long periods—the homeless, hikers, hunters, etc.; and (4) people who drink alcohol or use illicit drugs.

Floridians should remember the "Five P's" of cold weather safety which are: Protecting People, Protecting Plants, Protecting Pets, Protecting Exposed Pipes, and Practicing Fire Safety.  To stay cozy and safe during cold weather, remember these safety tips:

ü  Stay indoors and use safe heating sources.

ü  When outdoors, stay dry and wear multiple layers of loose-fitting, warm clothing.

ü  Plug space heaters directly into wall outlets. Use of extension cords may lead to circuit overload and cause a fire.

ü  Keep space heaters away from drapery, furniture or other flammable material. A good rule of thumb is to keep space heaters at least 36 inches from anything flammable.

ü  Do not leave space heaters unattended.

ü  Do not use a stove or oven as a heat source. An open oven door or lit stove burners can be dangerous and are ineffective as a heat source.

ü  Never use grills as an indoor heating source. Charcoal and propane emit carbon monoxide gas and are not suitable for indoor use.

ü  Candles are unsafe and ineffective as a heat source. Never leave candles lit in an unattended room or when going to sleep.

ü  When using a fireplace, make sure it is properly vented and that the chimney is cleaned periodically to avoid flash fires.

ü  Do not burn anything in the fireplace other than firewood and do not leave a fire burning when going to sleep.

ü  Install smoke detectors and make sure they work.

ü  Install a carbon monoxide detector if you have any gas appliances.

ü  Review and practice your family’s fire escape plan.   

For more information on cold weather safety, please visit the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s website at www.FloridaDisaster.org

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=534Mon, 06 Jan 2014 00:00:00 GMT
GIVE THE GIFT OF PROTECTION 

ORLANDO- Give yourself and your family the gift of protection from the flu this holiday season with a flu vaccination. Flu cases are increasing and in recent weeks the Florida Department of Health has received reports of severe influenza illness in some parts of the state, including hospitalizations requiring ICU care among pregnant women. A recent death related to influenza in a 27 year old in Florida raises the importance of all of us being protected from flu. 

 

“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 busy holiday season”, said Dr. Kevin M. Sherin, director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County.

 

Besides pregnant women and children, people of any age, especially older adults can be at risk of complications from influenza. The Healthy Orange Florida Collaboration has launched the “Know Flu” campaign to urge adults 65 years of age and older to get a flu shot this season. Influenza is a respiratory disease that can be very serious, even for healthy people. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone over the age of 6 months get a flu shot this season, it’s especially important for adults 65 years and older to be vaccinated against flu and pneumonia.  Pertussis (better known as whooping cough) and shingle vaccinations are also recommended. 

 

Because the immune system weakens with age, older adults are particularly susceptible to flu. The flu can become even further complicated by pneumonia, an infection that can be deadly to adults with a weakened immune system.  According to the CDC, it's estimated that 90 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths and more than 60 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations in the United States each year occur in people 65 years and older.

 

“Know Flu” includes an easy-to-use toolkit of educational information and links to promotional materials for older adults.  The “Know Flu” toolkit materials are available for free download at http://www.orchd.com/flu/seasonal/.

 

The Healthy Orange Florida Collaboration is a community public health planning group comprised of local health partners including the Florida Department of Health in Orange County, hospitals, behavioral health providers, local government, and non-profit groups who are coming together to develop and implement strategies for a healthier Orange County. 

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=531Mon, 23 Dec 2013 00:00:00 GMT
AVOID TATTOO PARTIES AND UNLICENSED ACTIVITY CENTRAL FLORIDA - The Florida Departments of Health in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake and Volusia counties encourage residents 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,” said Dr. Kevin Sherin, director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County.  “They often occur inside homes or hotel rooms using inexperienced artists and they are very popular with 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. Bonnie J. Sorensen, director of the Florida Department of Health in Volusia 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 at a tattooing party, please contact your 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=530Thu, 19 Dec 2013 00:00:00 GMT
FLU VACCINATION IMPORTANT FOR PREGNANT WOMENTallahassee - The Florida Department of Health reminds pregnant women, and those looking to become pregnant, that the 2013-2014 flu season is underway and to make sure they get vaccinated against influenza.  

The Department recommends that all individuals six months of age and older receive the flu vaccination each year. It is especially important for pregnant women to be vaccinated due to the increased risk of complications associated with contracting the flu while pregnant. The Department has received several reports of pregnant women with influenza-like illness from around the state, including one confirmed death and four severe cases in which women have been admitted into critical care units. The flu vaccination is safe and will protect the mother, the unborn child, and will also help protect babies during the first months after birth.

 

Pregnant women should also be reminded to get immunized by a flu shot injection. Standard dose nasal spray vaccines, while effective for people ages two through 49, are not recommended for use by pregnant women.

 

“It is highly advised that pregnant women receive the influenza vaccination either before or during pregnancy,” said Dr. Celeste Philip, Deputy Secretary for Health and Deputy State Health Officer for Children’s Medical Services (CMS). “Flu can be a serious health concern for both the expecting mother and their unborn child. Pregnant women should take all precautionary steps possible to protect themselves and their babies against influenza this season.”

 

Additional flu prevention steps include washing your hands often, keeping your hands away from your face and covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing and coughing.   Symptoms of the flu include headache, fever, severe cough, runny nose or body aches. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your primary care provider immediately for guidance on treatment. For more information on pregnant women and influenza, visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/pregnant.htm

 

Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, retail stores, pharmacies, health centers, and by many employers and schools. It is important for you and your family members to get a flu vaccine every year. Check with your physician, your local county health department or visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/prevention-safety-and-wellness/flu-prevention/locate-a-flu-shot.html to search for a location to receive a flu vaccine.

 

DOH protects, promotes and improves the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

 

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. To learn more about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=528Thu, 19 Dec 2013 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