Rabies Awareness Week 2019

Rabies Awareness Week is September 23-29, 2019.  This longstanding campaign is co-sponsored by Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association.  This year’s theme focuses on vaccinating domestic animals, the foundation of all rabies control efforts.

To learn more about rabies and the health department’s role in rabies prevention, visit: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/environmental-epidemiology/animal-contact-human-health/

To learn more about the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association and the clinical veterinarian’s role in rabies prevention, visit:  https://www.vvma.org/Rabies-Awareness

World Rabies Day is September 28, 2019 and is the first and only global day of action and awareness for rabies prevention. It is an opportunity to unite, as a community and for individuals, NGOs and governments to connect and share their work.

To learn more about World Rabies day, visit:  https://rabiesalliance.org/world-rabies-day.

 

FDA Advises Consumers Not to Eat Yellowfin Tuna Steaks from Kroger Retail Stores in Multiple States

September 7, 2019 – FDA Advises Consumers Not to Eat Yellowfin Tuna Steaks from Kroger Retail Stores in Multiple States

  • Consumers who recently experienced symptoms of scombroid poisoning after eating yellowfin tuna steaks.
  • Consumers who purchased yellowfin tuna steaks from Kroger retail stores in AL, AR, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MI, MO, MS, NE, OH, SC, TN, VA and WV with sell by dates from August 29, 2019 to September 14, 2019.

Product

  • Yellowfin tuna steaks sold at Kroger retail stores in AL, AR, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MI, MO, MS, NE, OH, SC, TN, VA and WV with sell by dates from August 29, 2019 and September 14, 2019. The product may be sold as raw yellowfin tuna steaks at the seafood counter or seasoned in store-prepped Styrofoam trays.

Purpose

The FDA is advising consumers to not eat yellowfin tuna steaks from the seafood counter or seasoned yellowfin tuna steaks in store-prepped Styrofoam trays from Kroger retail stores in AL, AR, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MI, MO, MS, NE, OH, SC, TN, VA and WV with sell by dates from August 29, 2019 and September 14, 2019 because they may cause scombroid poisoning. Consumers of these products who are experiencing symptoms of scombroid poisoning should contact their healthcare provider. Consumers of these products who have recently experienced symptoms of scombroid poisoning should report their symptoms to their local Health Department.

Symptoms of Scombroid Poisoning

Scombroid poisoning is caused by eating fish that has not been properly refrigerated or preserved and therefore contains high levels of histamine. Scombroid poisoning is most commonly caused by fish that have naturally high levels of the amino acid histidine, which bacteria convert to histamine when the fish is not correctly stored.

Scombroid symptoms usually develop within a few minutes to an hour after eating contaminated fish. They usually resemble an allergic reaction, such as flushing of the face, headache, heart palpitations, itching, blurred vision, cramps, and diarrhea. Symptoms can be treated with antihistamines. Even without treatment, people usually get better within 12 hours.

If you suspect you have symptoms of scombroid poisoning, contact a health professional. Read the full advisory at: https://www.fda.gov/food/alerts-advisories-safety-information/fda-advises-consumers-not-eat-yellowfin-tuna-steaks-kroger-retail-stores-multiple-states 

SepticSmart Week 2019

SepticSmart Week is September 16-20, 2019. This annual
event focuses on educating homeowners and communities on the
proper care and maintenance of their septic systems. Visit www.epa.gov/septic for more resources and information about SepticSmart Week 2019.

It’s important to maintain your system to protect your home, health, environment and property value. The Environmental Protection Agency offers many tips.

At VDH, the Division of Onsite Sewage and Water Services program protects public health and ground water quality through its wastewater program. Read more about the office.

Protect Your Pipes

Think at the Sink

September is National Preparedness Month

During National Preparedness Month, learn how to prepare for emergencies. The 2019 National Preparedness Month theme is Prepared, Not ScaredBe Ready for Disasters.

  • Put together a plan by discussing these four questions with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan.
    1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
    2. What is my shelter plan?
    3. What is my evacuation route?
    4. What is my family/household communication plan?

Breastfeeding Awareness Month

As declared by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, August 1-7, 2019 is World Breastfeeding Week, and the United States Breastfeeding Committee declared August as National Breastfeeding Month to promote breastfeeding as a proven primary prevention strategy.

Breastfeeding is the nutritional standard for infant and young child feeding. Human breast milk is not only the ideal food for infants, but it is the only food that infants need for the first six months of life.

Breastfeeding is endorsed not only by the Virginia Department of Health, but also by the World Health Organization, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and many other scientific organizations.

Mothers Have A Legal Right To Breastfeed In Public – As enacted in 2015, Va. Code § 32.1-370 states in relevant part, “A mother may breastfeed in any place where the mother is lawfully present…”

National Immunization Awareness Month

Each year in August, National Immunization Awareness Month highlights the value of getting recommended vaccines throughout your life.

Immunizations play an important role in protecting our health, and the health of our families and communities. You have the power to protect yourself and your family with vaccines that prevent serious diseases like measles, the flu, whooping cough, pneumonia, and cancers caused by HPV.

Remember, vaccines aren’t just for young children. The Virginia Department of Health encourages everyone to talk to your doctor, nurse or other healthcare professional to ensure that you and your loved ones of all ages are up to date on all recommended vaccines.

Cyclosporiasis

Cyclosporiasis is an infection of the intestine caused by a parasite called Cyclospora (SIGH-clo-SPORE-uh). The first known human cases of cyclosporiasis were reported in 1979. Cyclosporiasis is not spread directly from person-to-person. Infected people pass Cyclospora in their feces (stool), but this form of the parasite cannot make people sick. The parasite needs time (days to weeks) in the environment to change into a form that can make people sick. This form of the parasite then can infect someone by entering the body through the mouth, typically by eating or drinking something that is contaminated with Cyclospora.

Outbreaks of cyclosporiasis in the United States have been linked to imported fresh produce, such as raspberries, basil, lettuce, and snow peas. The produce involved in each outbreak was probably contaminated in the country where it was grown. Nationally, there has been an increase in Cyclosporiasis in 2019, with state health departments throughout the country investigating numerous outbreaks. The Virginia Department of Health is currently investigating an increase in intestinal illness associated with Cyclopora. A common source for the increased illnesses is currently being investigated.  Local health districts are evaluating potential exposures by interviewing ill persons and collecting samples for testing at its public health laboratory. Anyone experiencing symptoms of Cyclosporiasis should visit their healthcare provider. They can test for Cyclospora and prescribe the correct treatment.  Physicians should report cases to the health department as indicated in Virginia’s Reportable Disease List.

For more information about cyclosporiasis, and reporting and surveillance of Cyclosporiasis Cases in Virginia, please visit: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/surveillance-and-investigation/cyclosporiasis/.

Pita Pal Foods, LP Recalls Various Hummus and Dips Due to Possible Health Risk

July 16, 2019 – Pita Pal Foods, LP of Houston, TX has issued a voluntary recall of certain hummus products made between May 30, 2019 and June 25, 2019, due to concerns over Listeria monocytogenes, which was identified at the manufacturing facility (not in finished product) during an FDA inspection.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. No illnesses have been reported to date for these products. The company is issuing this recall out of an abundance of caution.

The products have been distributed nationwide and to United Arab Emirates. Consumers who have purchased products listed below with these use by dates are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 832-803-9295 or email products@pitapal.com.

For a full list of impacted products, click here.

 

Beyond ACEs SUMMIT – The impact of Race, Culture and Poverty

The Beyond ACEs SUMMIT 2019 will give providers and laypersons alike the opportunity to understand the basic language of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Persons familiar with the basic language and root causes of ACEs can further explore toxic stress and learn Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) practices. This year is historically significant because it marks the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans to Virginia. It was also a time that marked significant trauma. The information presented will explore the impact of race, culture and poverty both past and present through the lens of ACEs and Trauma. Speakers will present compelling and thought-provoking stories of trauma and resilience. Trauma-Informed Community Development and resilience-building resources will be available.

  • Learn the basic indicators of adverse childhood experiences
  • Understand how race, culture and poverty impacts human development
  • Become familiar with techniques to self-regulate when stress and trauma happen
  • Build resolution skills that help reduce trauma and build resiliency within individuals and community

This educational event will offer CEUs through Virginia Tech for everyone registered. (Some restrictions apply.)

Beyond ACEs Summit: Thursday, August 8 and Friday, August 9
Registration Cost: $155 through July 10 and $175 afterwards
Register at: http://www.cpe.vt.edu/beyondaces/
LOCATION: Petersburg High School, 3101 Johnson Road, Petersburg, Virginia 23805

Hope Fest: August 9, 5-8 p.m. HOPE FEST is FREE!

The Beyond ACEs Summit and Trauma Responsive Initiative is a program of the Crater Health Department of the Virginia Department of Health, www.craterhd.net https://www.facebook.com/SouthsideTICN/

National HIV Testing Day is June 27

June 27 is National HIV Testing Day (NHTD).  Around 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV.  One in seven is not aware of their HIV status.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone age 13 to 64 get tested for HIV at least once in their lifetime.  Others may benefit from more frequent testing.  Take the time this NHTD to get tested.  Find out your HIV status so you can get the prevention and treatment services you need!

It has never been easier to receive a HIV test in Virginia.  Testing is available at local health departments, health clinics, and select Walgreens.  Additionally, some individuals may be eligible for a free in-home HIV test kit.  For more information on NHTD, visit https://www.cdc.gov/features/hivtesting/.  To find a testing option convenient for you, visit www.virginiagetstested.org.

By committing to HIV testing, treatment, and prevention options like PrEP, we can prevent HIV and help people with HIV stay healthy.  For more information on HIV, HIV prevention, or HIV treatment, call the Virginia Disease Prevention Hotline at (800) 533-4148.

Posted by Disease Prevention Hotline on Wednesday, July 25, 2018