Orange County Health Department - Newshttp://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/?z=1DOH-ORANGE WINS $3.5 MILLION DOLLAR GRANT TO SAVE BABIES 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=622Tue, 16 Sep 2014 00:00:00 GMT
DOH-ORANGE WIC CLINIC RELOCATION 

ORLANDO – The Florida Department of Health in Orange County Winter Garden Women, Infants and Children (WIC) office is relocating to a new site. The Winter Garden WIC office is moving from 1210 East Plant Street to 13275 West Colonial Drive and will share space with Community Health Centers Inc. which offers other family medical and dental care.  

 

This location change will officially begin today Tuesday, August 26, 2014.  This move will improve accessibility of services for many clients, because the office is closer to a Lynx bus route. Also, WIC program services will be provided where many existing clients receive their health care.

 

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.  Currently Orange County provides WIC services to more than 33,000 participants monthly in eight permanent locations. 

Community Health Centers, Inc., (CHC) is a private, nonprofit organization that provides primary and preventive medical, dental and pharmaceutical services to insured, uninsured, underinsured, and underserved children and adults within Central Florida. CHC accepts Medicaid, Medicare and most private insurance plans. A Sliding Discount Program is available for patients without insurance. CHC provides care to more than 53,000 patients each year in the Apopka, Bithlo, Eatonville, Lake Ellenor, Leesburg, Meadow Woods, Pine Hills, South Lake, and Winter Garden communities.


For more information on WIC services in Orange County go to, www.orchd.com/personalHealth/wic. For more information on Community Health Centers, Inc, go to www.chcfl.org

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http://www.orchd.com/absolutenm/templates/?z=1&a=619Fri, 29 Aug 2014 00:00:00 GMT
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM HEAT EXHAUSTION 

Orlando - The Florida Department of Health in Orange and Seminole Counties are urging residents to be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Among the most susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke are the elderly, people with underlying medical conditions and people working or exercising in hot weather.

 

“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 outdoor 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=618Wed, 20 Aug 2014 00:00:00 GMT
STATE SURGEON GENERAL ANNOUNCES HEALTHY WEIGHT COMMUNITY CHAMPION RECOGNITION PROGRAM  

TALLAHASSEE- The Florida Department of Health today announced the launch of the 2015 Healthy Weight Community Champion Recognition Program. The Department invites local governments across the state to participate. The program highlights local government efforts to increase physical activity and improve nutrition as part of the Healthiest Weight Florida initiative, a public-private collaboration to help Florida’s children and adults make consistent, informed choices about healthy eating and active living. This is the second year of the Recognition Program. In 2014, 38 communities from all over the state were recognized for their model practices which affect 9.4 million Floridians.

“I am encouraged to see Florida’s local governments become ambassadors of health in their communities,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health, Dr. John Armstrong. “The Department is proud to recognize innovative health efforts by county and municipal governments that will help to achieve the goal of becoming the healthiest state in the nation.”

 

Rates of obesity in the U.S. have increased dramatically over the last 30 years to the point that it is now considered a national epidemic. In Florida, only 36.4% of adults are at a healthy weight. If the state continues on its current trend, six out of ten children born today will be obese by the time they graduate from high school. 

 

Local governments can implement a variety of policies that help people become more physically active and encourage better nutrition. These “best practice” policies are reflected in the Healthy Weight Community Champion Recognition Program. Examples of criteria for the recognition include whether a jurisdiction maintains a system of parks, provides incentive programs to attract grocery stores to underserved neighborhoods and prioritizes personal safety in areas where people can increase physical activity.

 

All of Florida’s 410 active municipalities (cities, towns and villages) and 67 counties are eligible to submit best practices. Submissions will be accepted August 6, 2014 through November 14, 2014.  The best practices will be posted and communities will be recognized on January 5, 2015. To submit best practices, and for more information visit www.HealthiestWeightFL.com. 

 

To assist local governments with the submission process, the Florida Department of Health will be offering four technical assistance opportunities via webinar. Webinar dates and times are:

 

September 17, 2014 at 10:00 AM (EDT)

September 30, 2014 at 2:00 PM (EDT)

October 15, 2014 at 10:00 AM (EDT)

November 4, 2014 at 2:00PM (EST)

 

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=614Wed, 13 Aug 2014 00:00:00 GMT
FIRST 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 IMMUNIZATIONSIMMUNIZE CHILDREN NOW FOR THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR

August is National Immunization Awareness Month 

 

ORLANDO – August is recognized as National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM), and the Florida Department of Health in Orange and Seminole Counties is urging parents to prepare their children now for this upcoming school year. The goal of NIAM is to stress the importance of receiving routine, up-to-date immunizations. In August, and throughout the year, Department of Health encourages all persons to be sure immunization records are up-to-date. 

 

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. 

 

To prepare for the start of school during August, immunizations are available at the following events and locations:

 

Seminole County Community Services Division

1st Annual Seminole County Back-to-School Bash

400 W. Airport Boulevard, Sanford, FL (407) 665-2397

Saturday, August 2, 2014 from 9 am – 1 pm

 

Department of Health in Seminole County

400 W. Airport Boulevard, Sanford, FL (407) 665-3281

Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm. The second Thursday of each month services are offered from 8:00am to 11:30am.

Department of Health in Orange County (Children 2 months and older)

832 West Central Boulevard, Orlando 32805 (407) 836-2502

Monday to Friday, Hours 7:30 am - 2:00 pm

 

Taft Neighborhood Center for Families (Children 2 months to 18 years old)

9500 South Orange Avenue, Orlando 32824 (407) 254-1960

August 11 through 29, Monday to Friday only, Hours: 8:30 am — 3:00 pm

 

Engelwood Neighborhood Center for Families (Children 2 months to 18 years old)

6000 Stonewall Jackson Road, Orlando 32807 (407) 736-1040

August 4 through 15, Monday to Friday only, Hours: 8:30 am — 3:00 pm

August 18 through 21, Monday to Thursday, Hours: 8:30 am — 4:00 pm

 

Bithlo/Christmas Neighborhood Center for Families (Children 4 to 18 years old)

18501 Madison Avenue, Orlando 32820 (407) 254-9400

August 11 through 15, Monday to Friday, Hours: 9:00 am — 3:00 pm

 

"We should all be concerned about rising numbers of pertussis and measles cases in our area and across the country. Make sure to adequately immunize your children. 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 to keep our community healthy and free of vaccine preventable diseases,” said Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Officer for Department of Health in Seminole County.    

 

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, visit our website at www.orchd.com or at 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=602Thu, 31 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMT
TAKE PRECAUTIONS WHILE ENJOYING FRESH WATER ACTIVITIES DURING 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
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