The Long County Board of Health recently was told that people need to be aware of a respiratory virus that predominantly attacks children.
Coastal Health District Director Dr. Diane Weems told board members that there have been several confirmed cases of Enterovirus D-68 attacking children nationwide. She said that the first confirmed case was found in Kansas City, and since then, several more have been noted throughout the Midwest. No cases have been noted in Georgia, she said, but due to the seriousness of the virus, it is important that people be aware of it.
Weems said that symptoms of the virus include a fever, rash, sore throat and a cough. Initially, the virus appears to be a common cold, but can progress into pneumonia and, eventually, respiratory failure. She said the virus can be spread in the same manner as a common cold.
Coastal Health District Director of Nursing Betty Dixon reported that the Long County office conducted a successful back-to-school program and that there were a few changes in regard to vaccination requirements. The law now requires that all seventh-graders be given TDAPs and meningeal vaccinations. All schools are aware of this requirement, she said, and anyone with questions can contact the health department.
Dixon also said that people need to be aware of the prenatal case management that the health department offers. She said the program, which is free to pregnant women, has the goal of helping every woman have an optimal birth.
Weems added that beginning Monday, the health department will be required to charge all women for family planning. She said that every woman will be required to show proof of income, and that their fees would be based on that. Services for women younger than 18 still are available at no cost.
Weems also introduced the district’s new emergency-preparation coordinator, Todd Wyckoff. Wyckoff has experience in both the public and private sector, Weems said, and will be a great asset to the district and Long County.
Environmental-health officer Todd Driver reported that there have been 33 new septic-tank permits sold and 15 private wells tested in the county. He said that two of the wells had come up positive from the test, and measures were being taken to get them back into compliance.
He said that there had been seven animal bites, and all those animals have been quarantined after the attacks