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.

 

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.

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

The Fierce Urgency of Now: Virginia’s LGBTQ+ Health Equity Symposium

In commemoration of PRIDE month, please join the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Health Equity and a myriad of community partners, for “The Fierce Urgency of NOW!: Virginia’s first LGBTQ+ Health Equity Symposium!” Plan to attend, Thursday, June 27, 9 AM – 3 PM at the James Branch Cabell Library in Richmond, Va.

During this inaugural gathering, we will celebrate PRIDE month and the resiliency of the LGBTQ+ community, while also taking an honest look at who’s been left behind in the strides forward. Focusing on health equity and improving health outcomes beyond HIV/AIDs, this gathering will prove to be valuable for healthcare providers, public health professionals, community members, legislators and allies.

This event is free and open to the public. All are welcome. Free parking, on-site! Learn more and register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-fierce-urgency-of-now-virginias-lgbtq-health-equity-symposium-tickets-62447655619?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

Pardon our Dust: Environmental Health Database Update

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will be migrating to a new data system, Environmental Health Database (EHD), starting June 20, 2019.  For about 7 to 10 days, some Environmental Health services that rely on the use of our database will be interrupted.  These services include, but are not limited to:

  • the printing of approval letters and permits,
  • accepting and processing of onsite sewage system operation and  maintenance (O&M) reports,
  • responding to requests for data abstraction or publishing of reports, and/or
  • other general inquiries.

While VDH will work to minimize any interruption in services during and after this data transition period. We thank you in advance for your understanding and patience.

Hepatitis Awareness Month

Illustration depicting a sign with a Hepatitis concept.

May is Hepatitis Awareness Month.  Numerous states across the U.S. have seen an increase in the number of cases of hepatitis A.  This includes the state of Virginia.  It is important to be #HepAware2019 this May.  But what does this mean?  And what can you do to protect yourself and your loved ones?

  • Learn more about viral hepatitis. Knowledge is power.
  • Get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B. If you are in a group that may be at increased risk for hepatitis A or B, protect yourself from infection.  Your primary care provider should provide the vaccine.  Many pharmacies also carry the vaccine.  All local health departments also offer vaccinations.
  • Get tested. There are tests available for hepatitis B and C if you believe you have been exposed.  Find a testing center near you.

Learn, vaccinate, and test.  Follow these suggestions yourself and share this information with your friends and loved ones.