- Remind kids (and adults!) to wash their hands before and after enjoying their Halloween treats.
- Going trick or treating?
- Inspect candy before eating. Look for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance, discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers.
- If your child has a food allergy, check food labels to make sure the allergen is not present.
- Hosting a Halloween party?
- Prevent frightful bacteria from multiplying by keeping foods at the right temperature. Don’t keep perishable foods out for more than two hours at room temperature (or 1 hour in temperatures above 90°F).
- If you bake Halloween treats, don’t taste dough and batters that contain uncooked eggs. These items may harbor Salmonella, bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Salmonella live on both the outside and inside of normal-looking eggs.
- Beware of spooky cider! Unpasteurized juice or cider can contain harmful bacteria such as coli and Salmonella. Serve products labeled as pasteurized to keep these bacteria from creeping up on you.
- Say “boo” to bacteria during a bobbing for apples game. Rinse apples and other raw fruits under cool running water, and use a produce brush to remove surface dirt.
Virginia will participate Saturday, October 27, 2018 in the fourteenth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. If you have unused, expired or unwanted medications, drop them off at a collection site in your area from 10am-2pm, no questions asked. Drop off is free and anonymous.
Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the U.S. When you have unused or expired medications lying around, they could fall into the wrong hands and be abused. And flushing medications down the toilet is dangerous to public health. Dropping your medications off at a collection site is a quick and safe way to make sure they are disposed of properly.
Well, my “Listening Tour” of the Commonwealth got off to a fantastic start in Charlottesville this past week. I hope you all have had a chance to see the news clip from the NBC affiliate in Charlottesville, and there was a good article in the October 12th issue of Charlottesville’s newspaper, The Daily Progress. Some 100 people filled the University of Virginia’s Alumni Hall on October 10th to participate in a Town Hall discussion with me about public health. Earlier in the day, I had a wonderful and enlightening discussion with the staff at the Louisa Health Department, who educated me about the health concerns of the population they serve. Later, in Charlottesville, I had the opportunity to go out on a restaurant inspection.
This coming week, the “Listening Tour” heads to southwest Virginia. On Wednesday, October 17th, I’ll be speaking at UVA Wise, and, on October 18th, I’ll join colleagues from DMAS and DBHDS at an event in Roanoke aimed at increasing provider participation in Medicaid expansion.
One of the major themes I’ll address during the tour is the need to ensure living conditions that promote health and foster well-being, including our most vulnerable populations – rural communities and communities of color. We seek to conduct our efforts to improve population health through a health equity lens. Along those lines, I want to encourage all those who can do so to attend this week’s “Health Equity Conference and Think Tank,” which is our Office of Health Equity’s inaugural national conference. The gathering, entitled “Sowing the Seeds of Health Equity: Growing Healthy, Connected Communities,” will be held October 17-18. Register today!
Finally, October is “Domestic Violence Awareness” month. We’re posting an infographic on our Web site to highlight the need to end domestic and intimate partner violence. Let’s all do what we can to end this violence.
Have a great week!
(Pronouns: he, his, him)
- physical violence,
- sexual violence,
- threats of physical or sexual violence,
- stalking and
- emotional or psychological abuse
by a current or former intimate partner. This type of violence can happen to anyone, even if you aren’t sexually intimate. It can range from a single episode of violence to severe episodes over many years.
If you or someone you know needs help, call the Virginia Family Violence & Sexual Assault Hotline, 1-800-838-8238 or the LGBTQ Partner Abuse and Sexual Assault Helpline, 1-800-356-6998. If you are not able to call you can text, 804-793-9999. If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.
Yesterday, Dr. Norm Oliver presented during Primary Care Week Holland lecture on the Unconscious Racial Bias and Clinical Decision-Making at the VCU School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) – Virginia’s health commissioner kicked off a state-wide listening tour with a town hall at the University of Virginia on Wednesday evening. more>>
CDC and public health and regulatory officials in several states are investigating a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to ready-to-eat deli ham produced by Johnston County Hams, Inc. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) is monitoring this outbreak. Read More.
By now, you probably know that it is recommended that everyone 6 months of age or older receive a flu vaccination each year. While it’s best to get your flu shot as soon as it is available (sometimes as early as August)! Flu season usually peaks in January or February and continues through May. Getting a flu shot is not only the single best way to protect yourself from getting sick, it’s also the best way to prevent the spread of flu to others.
Help us make Virginia the healthiest state in the nation by getting a flu shot and encouraging your friends and family to get one as well.
It is important to get a flu shot even if you had one last year. Your immune protection from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccination is needed to get the best protection against the flu.
The flu is a serious disease, especially for certain age groups and people with certain chronic health conditions, such as:
- Children younger than five, but especially younger than two years old
- Adults 65 years of age or older
- Women who are pregnant or just had a baby
- People with chronic health conditions
Remember, a flu shot cannot cause illness.
To find out where to get a flu shot in your area, contact your local health department or use the vaccine finder. And visit our Miss The Flu page for more information on how to miss the flu, not your life!
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Every Woman’s Life (EWL) helps low-income, uninsured women between the ages of 18-64 get FREE breast cancer screening. If these tests lead to a cancer diagnosis, successful treatment can increase dramatically with early detection. Find out if you are eligible for EWL, and schedule your annual screening today.
September 24-September 30 is Rabies Awareness Week in Virginia. Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system, and is most commonly found in wild animals, such as raccoons, foxes and skunks. Virginia’s Rabies Awareness Week centers around World Rabies Day, which falls this year on September 28.
There are many ways you can prevent and control the spread of rabies:
- Have your veterinarian vaccinate your dogs, cats, ferrets, and selected livestock. Keep the vaccinations up-to-date.
- If your pet is attacked or bitten by a wild animal, report it to the local health or animal control authorities. Be sure your vaccinated dog, cat, or ferret receives a booster vaccination.
- Limit the possibility of exposure by keeping your animals on your property. Don’t let pets roam free.
- Do not leave garbage or pet food outside. It may attract wild or stray animals.
- Do not keep wild animals as pets. Enjoy all wild animals from a distance, even if they seem friendly. A rabid animal sometimes acts tame. If you see an animal acting strangely, report it to your local animal control department and do not approach it.
- Contact your local health department if you think you or your pet may have been exposed.