2019 News Releases

September 17, 2019

UPDATE: VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH INVESTIGATING REPORTS OF SEVERE HYPOGLYCEMIA AMONG MEN WHO REPORT TAKING AN OVER-THE-COUNTER MALE ENHANCEMENT PILL

(RICHMOND) – In mid-August, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) received a report from the Virginia Poison Center of a cluster of patients in the Central Virginia area with severe hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar levels) requiring hospitalization, following use of an over-the-counter pill promoted for male sexual enhancement. The pills are commonly sold at convenience stores and/or gas stations in Virginia. Following the initial report, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) issued a press release advising consumers not to purchase or use a product sold under the name “V8”. more>>


August 30, 2019

Harmful Algae Bloom Advisory Issued for Pamunkey and North Anna Branches, Lake Anna State Park Beach, and Lake Anna Main Branch from the “Splits” to Pigeon Run above Route 208 – Lake Anna In Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania Counties
Public Advised to Avoid Water Contact within Locations of the Lake 

(Richmond, Va.) – All portions of Pamunkey Branch, the North Anna Branch, the Lake Anna State Park Beach, as well as the Main Branch of Lake Anna from the “Splits” to the confluence of Pigeon Run above Route 208 in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties are experiencing a harmful algae bloom (HAB). The public is advised to avoid contact with the lake in these areas until algae concentrations return to acceptable levels. Some harmful algae, called cyanobacteria, can cause skin rash and gastrointestinal illnesses, such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The areas to avoid can be seen on an interactive map at www.SwimHealthyVA.com. more>>


August 26, 2019

Virginia Department of Health Warns of New Danger of “Vaping”
Severe Lung Illness Associated with E-Cigarette Use

As students across the Commonwealth head back to school or college, the Virginia Department of Health reminds parents to talk to their sons and daughters about the dangers of e-cigarette use, or “vaping.” Since 2014, e-cigarettes have been the most commonly used tobacco product among US middle and high school students. In fact, between 2017 and 2018 alone, the number of youth who used e-cigarettes went up by 1.5 million nationwide. more>>


Aug. 22, 2019

Virginia Department of Health to host screening of film “Chocolate Milk”
Documentary examines breastfeeding disparities

(RICHMOND, Va.) – Breastfeeding is good for babies and moms – it is associated with reduced risk of asthma, obesity and ear infections in infants, and with lower risk of Type 2 diabetes and breast and ovarian cancers in moms. It also promotes mom-baby bonding. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will host a free screening of the film “Chocolate Milk: The Documentary” on August 28 in Richmond in recognition of August as Breastfeeding Awareness Month in the Commonwealth. The 90-minute film examines why black women breastfeed at lower rates than their peers. more>>


August 21, 2019

Harmful Algae Bloom Advisory Issued for Upper and Middle Pamunkey (including Terry’s Run) as well as Upper North Anna Branches – Lake Anna
In Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania Counties
Public Advised to Avoid Water Contact within Locations of the Lake 

(Richmond, Va.) –The Upper and Middle Pamunkey Branches as well as the Upper North Anna Branch of Lake Anna in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties are experiencing a harmful algae bloom (HAB). The public is advised to avoid contact with the lake in these areas until algae concentrations return to acceptable levels. Some harmful algae, called cyanobacteria, can cause skin rash and gastrointestinal illnesses, such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The areas to avoid can be seen on an interactive map at www.SwimHealthyVA.com. more >>


August 7, 2019

Harmful Algae Bloom Advisory Issued for Upper and Middle Pamunkey
(including Terry’s Run) as well as Upper and Middle North Anna Branches – Lake Anna 
In Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania Counties
Public Advised to Avoid Water Contact within Locations of the Lake

(Richmond, Va.) – The Upper and Middle Pamunkey Branches as well as the Upper and Middle North Anna Branches of Lake Anna in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties are experiencing a harmful algae bloom (HAB). The public is advised to avoid contact with the lake in these areas until algae concentrations return to acceptable levels. Some harmful algae, called cyanobacteria, can cause skin rash and gastrointestinal illnesses, such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The areas to avoid can be seen on an interactive map at www.SwimHealthyVA.com. more>>


July 31, 2019

It’s National Immunization Awareness Month! Is Your Family Up to Date on Vaccines?
Ensure Children have all Required Vaccines before School Starts

(RICHMOND, Va.) — 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. more>>


July 25, 2019

UPDATE: Virginia Department of Health is Investigating an Increase in Intestinal Illness Associated with Cyclospora

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is providing more information about the ongoing investigation of reports of intestinal illness associated with Cyclospora. The goal of public health investigations is to protect the public’s health. An increase in cases was first identified in Northern Virginia in mid-June 2019. Our investigation has found an additional outbreak in Central Virginia. A food or water source of these outbreaks has not yet been identified. more>>


July 19, 2019

Virginia Department of Health Warns Residents of Increase in Respiratory Illnesses
Anyone Experiencing Difficulty Breathing Should Seek Medical Care

(Richmond, Va.) – Since the end of flu season in May, the Virginia Department of Health has received increased reports of respiratory (breathing) illness across the Commonwealth greater than observed in previous summers. more>>


July 16, 2019

Harmful Algae Bloom Advisory Issued for Upper and Middle Pamunkey (including Terry’s Run) as well as Middle and Lower North Anna Branches – Lake Anna In Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania Counties
Public Advised to Avoid Water Contact within Locations of the Lake

(Richmond, Va.) –The Upper and Middle Pamunkey Branches as well as the Middle and Lower North Anna Branches of Lake Anna in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties are experiencing a harmful algae bloom (HAB). The public is advised to avoid contact with the lake in these areas until algae concentrations return to acceptable levels. Some harmful algae, called cyanobacteria, can cause skin rash and gastrointestinal illnesses, such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The areas to avoid can be seen on an interactive map at www.SwimHealthyVA.com. more>>


May 20, 2019

EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES WEEK IN VIRGINIA RECOGNIZES THE DEDICATION OF VIRGINIA’S EMS PROVIDERS AND FOCUSES ON FIRST RESPONDER WELLNESS
May 19 – 25 is National EMS Week

(RICHMOND, Va.) – Every day, someone suffers a medical emergency that requires help from Virginia’s EMS providers. There is comfort in knowing that the most qualified EMS providers will respond to that call for help and provide the best prehospital emergency care available. Last year, EMS providers responded to more than 1.56 million calls for help in Virginia, representing more than 4,200 incidents per day.

As proclaimed by Governor Ralph Northam, May 19 – 25, 2019, is EMS Week in Virginia. This special week honors EMS responders’ commitment to providing quality emergency medical care and services to the community while focusing on provider health and wellness. EMS for Children Day, May 22, emphasizes the pediatric patient and the specialized treatment required when providing care for them. more>>


May 9, 2019

Health Commissioner Announces 2019 Public Health Nurse of the Year
Annual award presented during Virginia Public Service Week and National Nurses Week 2019

(Suffolk, Va.)— State Health Commissioner Dr. M. Norman Oliver today presented the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) 2019 Public Health Nurse of the Year award to Yvonne Creech, who runs the nursing home screening program for the Suffolk Health Department in the Western Tidewater Health District. Creech’s love for public health, her dedication and her passion for improving her community’s health has led to her recognition as Virginia’s 2019 Public Health Nurse of the Year. more>>


April 25, 2019

Virginia Department of Health Warns Residents of Increase in Hepatitis A Cases
Prevention includes Vaccination and Hand Washing

Richmond, Va. – Multiple states across the country are experiencing hepatitis A virus (HAV) outbreaks. Since these outbreaks were first identified in 2016, more than 15,000 cases and 8,500 hospitalizations (57% of cases) have been reported in the United States. Virginia has reported a 132% increase in cases of HAV between January 1, 2019 and April 19, 2019 compared to the same time period in 2018. There have been 45 cases reported in Virginia as of April 22, 2019. more>>


April 15, 2019

It’s Time to Speak for Action: Tell Us About Your Health

Richmond, Va. – Every five years, the Virginia Department of Health is tasked with assessing the health needs of the Commonwealth, specifically as it relates to women ages 15-44, men of any age, pregnant women, new mothers and parents. This summer, there will be six regional opportunities to volunteer to join a focus group or take part in a private, personal interview (by phone or in-person) to discuss health issues in your community. more>>


March 28, 2019

Creating the Healthiest State. For science. For action. For health.

VDH Celebrates National Public Health Week the First Week of April

During the first full week of April, the American Public Health Association brings together communities nationwide to observe National Public Health Week (www.NPHW.org). In Virginia, the Virginia Department of Health dedicates this week to recognizing the contributions of public health professionals and highlighting issues that are important to improving the health of our state and nation. more>>


March 26, 2019

State Health Officials Receive New Grant for Failing Onsite Sewage (Septic) Systems

Sponsored by the Virginia Environmental Endowment and Smithfield Foundation

(RICHMOND, Va.) — The Virginia Environmental Endowment (VEE) created a $15.595 million grant program in 2018 designed to improve water quality in the James River watershed. This new James River Water Quality Improvement Program is guided by a strategic investment plan developed with the advice of a 30-member, broad-based advisory team and by an innovative conservation mapping tool designed specifically for the James River watershed by the Chesapeake Conservancy’s Conservation Innovation Center. more>>


March 18, 2019

Virginia Department of Health Closes Portions of Monroe Bay and Mattox Creek to Shellfish Harvesting

(RICHMOND, Va.)— The Virginia Department of Health announced today that portions of Monroe Bay and Mattox Creek in Westmoreland County are temporarily closed to shellfish harvesting due to a spill of raw sewage impacting water quality in the areas. Due to potential microbiological pollution hazards, shellfish taken from areas affected by the emergency closure are currently unacceptable for consumption. more>>


March 6, 2019

Virginia Department of Health Reopens a Portion of The James River to Shellfish Harvesting

(RICHMOND, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health announced today that the portion of the James River closed to shellfish harvesting on February 26 due to flooding was reopened effective Wednesday March 6, 2019.  The VDH Division of Shellfish Safety has monitored water quality in the river since the flooding occurred, and sample results confirm that the area is now safe to reopen for harvesting. more>>


February 26, 2019

Virginia Department of Health Closes a Portion of the James River to Shellfish Harvesting

(RICHMOND, Va.) — The Virginia Department of Health announced today that a portion of the James River is closed to shellfish harvesting due to significant river flooding.  Because floodwaters can be contaminated with pollutants such as pathogenic bacteria and viruses, shellfish taken from the area affected by the emergency closure are currently unacceptable for consumption.  The temporary emergency closure is set to be effective from 2:00 p.m. on February 26, 2019, through March 8, 2019. However, the Shellfish Safety Division will be conducting water quality monitoring and will reopen earlier if it is safe to do so.  more>>


January 4, 2019

Virginia Department of Health Reopens Portion of Back River to Shellfish Harvesting

(RICHMOND, Va.)— The Virginia Department of Health announced today that the remaining portion of the Back River closed to shellfish harvesting on December 21 due to a sewage spill was reopened effective Friday January 4, 2019. The VDH Division of Shellfish Sanitation has monitored water and shellfish samples in the river since the spill occurred, and sample results confirm that the area is now safe to reopen for harvesting. more>>


2018 News Releases