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Report: Cases of flu increasing in Long County
1230 Long service award
Coastal Health District interim director Dr. Diane Weems presents Long County Environmental Health Officer Fredrick Walton with a five-year service award as nurse Kathy Rowell and Ludowici Mayor James Fuller look on. - photo by Mikee Riddle

Flu cases reportedly are on the rise in Long County.

At a recent Long County Board of Health meeting, Dr. Diane Weems, Coastal Health District interim director, said cases of the flu in the district and in Long County have increased in recent weeks, with noticeable spikes in schools, hospitals and nursing homes.

From a national standpoint, the cases are more concentrated in the South and specific areas in Georgia, said Weems, who added that the district is running low on flu vaccinations. Health clinics are looking into options for obtaining more.

A budget report reviewed at the same meeting shows an increase in revenue for 29 straight months. Despite these increases, state and federal funding to the district still is expected to decrease. According to the report, each district can expect 3 percent reductions in 2013 and 2014. Weems said that the cuts are necessary and will be made as painlessly as possible at health departments throughout the district.

In Long County, however, funding is expected to increase approximately $21,000 due to a change in the formula for distributing funds. Weems also said that Long County’s budget, which was presented at a previous meeting, requires no adjustments.

Kathy Rowell told the board that Long County jointly applied with Liberty County for a Susan G. Komen Grant, which may be approved in February. If approved, Rowell said funding would be used to help Hispanic women with health needs.

Another written report submitted to the board showed that through the first quarter of the fiscal year, 1,681 visits had been made to the health department, including 652 WIC visits, 196 children’s health visits, 242 family planning visits and 56 visits by people seeking treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.

Environmental Health Officer Fredrick Walton also present a report to the board showing that for the month of November, 42 new sewage system permits were issued, 41 sites were evaluated and approved, and nine food-services permits approved. Walton also was presented with a five-year service award by Weems.

Board of health members are Ludowici Mayor James Fuller, Long County School System Superintendent Dr. Robert Waters, County Commissioner Clifton DeLoach, Terri McGowan, Cathy Stapleton, Florence Baggs and Chairwoman Rosezena Baggs.

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