Category Archives: Health

Protect Against Mosquito Bites During and After Travel

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) in collaboration with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is urging travelers to protect themselves from mosquito bites and help prevent the spread of Zika virus. As of this date, no locally transmitted Zika cases have been reported in Georgia or anywhere in the United States, but cases have been reported in returning travelers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued travel warnings for 41 countries and some U.S. territories where there is ongoing Zika virus transmission, and that list continues to grow. There are many Georgia companies with worldwide business interests which necessitate frequent travel to these areas. In addition, many of these places are popular tourist destinations, including the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Rio.

“As the region’s global gateway we believe it is our responsibility to work with our health partners to educate the public about Zika virus,” said Miguel Southwell, general manager, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. “The safety and security of our guests and employees at Hartsfield-Jackson is a top priority. “

Signs have been placed throughout the airport, at the U.S. Customs area, and at baggage claim alerting travelers about Zika virus and offering protection and prevention measures when traveling to Zika-affected areas. At the request of ATL and DPH, airport concessionaires have stocked and made available for purchase EPA-registered insect repellents. Travelers should be aware that insect repellents with at least 20% to 30% DEET are recommended and not all products containing DEET meet that standard, particularly those sold outside of the United States.

There are urgent concerns about Zika virus infection being passed from mother to fetus during pregnancy and a link to birth defects. Pregnant women should not travel to areas where there is Zika virus transmission. Studies also are ongoing to determine if there is a link between Zika virus infection and Guillain-Barré syndrome and other neurological disorders. Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika.

“I understand that travel to Zika-affected areas will continue, but what I ask is that individuals protect themselves from mosquito bites,” said Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “Most people with Zika virus never know they are infected so it is important for everyone going to countries where there are Zika outbreaks to guard against mosquito bites while they travel and after they return.”

Zika virus is transmitted primarily through the bite of infected Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. Both species are found in Georgia. Individuals should continue to use EPA-registered insect repellents for three weeks after returning home from travel to Zika affected countries. Even if they do not feel sick, travelers returning to Georgia from an area with Zika should take steps to prevent mosquito bites for three weeks so they do not spread Zika to local, uninfected mosquitoes.

To learn more about Zika protection and prevention, visit or For a list of EPA-registered insect repellents, go to

ZIKA - Don't let the bad bug bite you!

Northwest Georgia Emergency Responders Awarded by EMS Council

Rome (GA) – Several emergency responders were awarded for outstanding service to their communities at The Forum in Rome, Georgia on March 10th during the 2016 Northwest Georgia Region 1 Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Council Awards Banquet.

The banquet is held each year to honor Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers and stakeholders from Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Dade, Fannin, Floyd, Gilmer, Gordon, Haralson, Murray, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, Walker and Whitfield Counties for excellence in pre-hospital care, education, pioneering and special achievements.

The 2016 Northwest Georgia Region 1 EMS Awards were presented as follows:

  • Special Recognition – The Next Generation: EMS personnel with 10-20 years of service
  • Special Recognition: David Foster, EMS Program Director, Georgia Office of EMS Region 1
  • EMS Region 1 Person of the Year – “The ONE”: Chief Kevin New of Paulding County Fire Department
  • David Loftin Pediatric Call of the Year: Bartow County EMS (LaRay Harris and Shane Roberts)
  • Tommy Gayler Medical Call of the Year: Floyd Medical Center EMS (John Hamilton, Terry Mobbs)
  • Richard A Gray Trauma Call of the Year: Murray County EMS (Joey Torres, Teresa Phillips, David Champion)
  • James H Creel, JR. Pioneer of the Year: Curtis Vincent, former director of Polk County EMS, Redmond Regional Medical Center EMS in Polk County
  • Virginia Hamilton Special Achievement Award: Bartow County EMS (Brad Cothran, Taylor Forsyth, LaRay Harris)
  • Mike Miller EMS Educator of the Year: Paul Lottner of Bartow County Fire Department
  • Stanley Payne EMS Leadership Award: Courtney Taylor, Director of Gordon County EMS
  • EMS Region 1 EMT of the Year: Terry Mobbs of Gordon County EMS
  • Danny Hall Memorial Paramedic of Year: Chanda Gravitt of Gordon EMS
  • Region 1 EMS Service of the Year: Ambucare EMS based in Bremen, GA and serving Haralson County
  • Paul Nassour Lifetime Achievement Award: James L. Cutcher, EMS educator for EMS Region 1 and Chattanooga

The Region 1 EMS Honor Guard was recognized for their faithful service, as well.

Many council members, loved ones, friends and associates were on hand to offer support to the award recipients for their achievements and well-deserved recognition.

Congratulations to all award recipients for their outstanding service to their communities.


Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening for Women 50-64 at Health Departments

Timely Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening and diagnostics are being provided to women ages 50 to 64 at public health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties.

Currently, North Georgia Health District 1-2 of the Georgia Department of Public Health is offering Clinical Breast Exams, Mammograms and Follow-up Consultations at LOW or NO cost to all women ages 50 to 64 who have limited annual income, limited health insurance or no health insurance.

  • Let us help you know your personal risks and risks based on family history.
  • Screening includes family health history, self-breast exam, clinical breast exam and mammography.
  • Learn how to know your own breasts through periodic self-examination and breast observation.
  • Discover how you can make healthy lifestyle choices, including diet, exercise and tobacco cessation.

Learn more at or call your county health department.