Category Archives: Whitfield

Car Seat Mini Grant Awarded to County Health Departments in North Georgia

County health departments in the North Georgia Health District were awarded the 2018 Car Seat Mini-Grant by the Georgia Department of Public Health, Injury Prevention Program. Through the Mini-Grant, Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield County Health Departments and local collaborative partners work together to provide car seats and education to financially eligible families. This program is funded by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to help ensure Georgia’s children are safe while riding in motor vehicles.

And it works! Since 2007, the education, car seats and booster seats provided through the mini grant prevented serious injury or death and saved 344 of Georgia’s children who were involved in crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car seats reduce fatal injuries by 71 percent among infants and by 54 percent among children ages 1 to 4 years in passenger cars. Car seats offer the best protection for children in the event of a crash, and they are most effective when installed and used correctly. Nearly three out of every four car seats are not used properly, placing children at unnecessary risk.

“The Car Seat Mini-Grant helps us meet the responsibility of keeping our children safe here in North Georgia,” said Marie Smith, RN, BSN, North Georgia Health District Nursing Director. “It provides us the opportunity to work with partners in each of our communities to help protect our children from serious injuries or death in motor vehicle crashes.”

In Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties, the health departments and their collaborative partners, including county EMAs, Georgia State Patrol representatives, local fire departments and law enforcement agencies, educate parents and caregivers on how to properly install and use car seats, offer car seat inspections and provide car seats and booster seats to financially eligible families.

Through the Car Seat Mini-Grant, agencies supporting more than 130 counties are working to keep Georgia’s children safe. These programs help families get their children buckled up right, every trip, every time.

For more information about the car seat program at health departments in North Georgia, log onto and click on the LOCATIONS tab to find contact information for each county health department in the North Georgia Health District. If you would like information regarding other Georgia counties involved in the program, please contact the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Child Occupant Safety Project via email at or by calling 404-463-1487.

KEMP: Call For Special Election For State Representative, Districts 4 and 60

Notice is hereby given that a special election shall be held on November 7, 2017 in the parts of Whitfield County that comprise Georgia House of Representatives District 4 to fill the seat for the unexpired term of Rep. Bruce Broadrick. A runoff election, if needed, shall be held on December 5, 2017.

Notice is also hereby given that a special election shall be held on November 7, 2017 in the parts of Clayton and Fulton Counties that comprise Georgia State of Representatives District 60 to fill the seat for the unexpired term of Rep. Keisha Waites. A runoff election, if needed, shall be held on December 5, 2017.

Qualifying for the special election shall be held in the Elections Division of the Office of Secretary of State, 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SE, 802 West Tower, Atlanta, Georgia 30334. The dates and hours of qualifying will be Monday, September 25, 2017 beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 26, 2017 beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m., and Wednesday, September 27, 2017 beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 1:00 p.m. The qualifying fee shall be $400.00.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 is the last day to register to vote for all persons who are not registered to vote and who desire to vote in the special election. Advance in-person absentee voting will begin on Monday, October 16, 2017.

Twelve North Georgians Receive Post-Exposure Rabies Treatment

Dalton (GA) – North Georgia Health District officials announced today that twelve people are currently receiving post-exposure rabies treatment due to contact with domestic animals that have now tested positive for the disease.

Within the past two weeks, two puppies and a kitten have been confirmed by the Georgia Public Health Laboratory as having rabies. All three pets were too young to receive rabies vaccinations. One of the puppies was in Whitfield County and the other was in Gilmer County. The kitten was in Cherokee County. In each case, the pet was attacked by a rabid wild animal and bitten in the head, but it was not reported to veterinarians or health authorities until rabies symptoms developed in the pet.

The time between being bitten by the wild animal and onset of rabies symptoms was very short because the head bites were close to the brain. The rabies virus only travels through the nervous system to the brain, not through blood or other organs. The closer a bite is from the brain, the shorter time it takes to reach the brain.

Wild animals that transmitted rabies to the puppies and kitten were a skunk, a raccoon and, possibly, a coyote.

The fact that these unrelated cases occurred in separate areas of the North Georgia Health District within the past two weeks is a coincidence, and even more coincidental is that all pets involved were too young to vaccinate. Pets must be at least three months old to be vaccinated against rabies.

Parents are strongly cautioned to keep children away from wild animals, strays and unvaccinated pets that may have been in contact with wild animals. Vaccinate all dogs and cats at three months of age and no later.

Wild carnivores are the animals most likely to spread rabies to pets and humans, including raccoons, skunks, foxes, bobcats, and coyotes. It is also not uncommon for persons to acquire rabies from bats. Any bite or other physical contact with a bat or any of these wild carnivores should be evaluated by a medical professional for rabies exposure. Even finding a bat in a bedroom where a person has been sleeping is cause for alarm and should be reported. Human deaths from rabies in the United States are rare, but because rabies is almost always fatal once symptoms begin to develop in a human, the only prevention is anti-rabies treatments given as soon as possible after exposure to rabies. If given in time, the treatments are 100 percent effective in preventing rabies. Only a small minority of wild animals carry and transmit rabies, so indiscriminate killing of them is not warranted. If these types of wild animals or domestic animals seem to be behaving strangely or displaying symptoms suggestive of a neurological illness, contact a veterinarian and the county Environmental Health office at once.

Livestock animals are also susceptible to rabies but can be vaccinated by a veterinarian. Rabies vaccinations are strongly recommended for show livestock and any livestock with which humans have regular contact such as riding horses.

Contact the local Environmental Health Office for questions about rabies or to report an incident that may involve rabies. Contact information for Environmental Health offices in the North Georgia Health District is available at Questions and reports may also be directed to the North Georgia Health District Environmental Health office in Dalton, Georgia by calling (706) 529-5757, extension 1161.

Find additional information on CDC’s website at