Foodborne Outbreak Tests Positive for Norovirus

Foodborne Outbreak Tests Positive for Norovirus

Transylvania Public Health has received confirmatory laboratory tests from the N.C. State Laboratory of Public Health. Of those people who were tested by their medical providers, a majority were positive for norovirus. We believe this outbreak was caused by being exposed to this highly-contagious virus in a public place. Although more information is continuing to come in, Transylvania Public Health has received more than 70 cases of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea reported by medical providers, as well as phone calls reporting similar symptoms in more than 200 people since Tuesday, July 31. Norovirus typically causes diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and stomach pain that lasts for 1 to 3 days. Other symptoms can include fever, headache and body aches. These symptoms and length of illness match closely with the symptoms being reported by those who are ill. People get norovirus from direct contact with an infected person, consuming food or water that has been contaminated with norovirus or touching contaminated surfaces and then putting your unwashed hands in your mouth. It only takes a few virus particles to make someone sick, and those who are ill shed billions of these particles. People are most contagious when they are having symptoms like vomiting and for the first few days after recovering, although they can spread norovirus for two weeks or more after they feel better. Norovirus symptoms usually appear 24-48 hours after being exposed to the virus. Many (but not all) of the people who reported symptoms to us recalled visiting a local restaurant 1-2 days before becoming ill. Other people reported having close contact with someone who had norovirus symptoms prior...
Outbreak Investigation Ongoing

Outbreak Investigation Ongoing

Transylvania Public Health has received multiple reports of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea and are currently investigating this issue. If you have visited the emergency room or another health care provider, they should report your case to us, and you should expect a call from one of our communicable disease nurses.  If you experienced sudden nausea, vomiting and diarrhea in the past 3 days, please contact us at 828-884-3135. If you are experiencing symptoms of foodborne illness, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, here’s what you should do: Wash your hands. Handwashing is the best way to prevent the spread of disease. Wash hands for 30 seconds with soap and running water after visiting the bathroom, before and after preparing food, and after sneezing, coughing, or touching your face. Replace lost fluids and electrolytes to prevent dehydration. If your symptoms are too severe to manage at home, contact your health care provider or visit the emergency room. Stay home! Many foodborne illnesses can still be spread several days after symptoms...
2017 School Flu Immunization Information Now Available

2017 School Flu Immunization Information Now Available

Transylvania Public Health is partnering with Transylvania County Schools and Brevard Academy to offer flu vaccinations at your child’s public schools throughout the county. Only injectable flu shots are recommended for use this season, and FluMist will not be offered by Transylvania Public Health or Hendersonville Pediatrics for 2017-2018. The flu can be serious, especially in young children, and can cause fever, headache, extreme tiredness and body aches. Flu is very contagious and children can be sick for a week or more, causing them to miss school. The single best way to help prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccination each year. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that all children be vaccinated against the flu. Local medical providers support flu vaccination and are encouraging increased vaccination rates among school-aged children. The goal of this school site immunization initiative is to increase vaccination rates, prevent students from getting and spreading the flu, and ultimately reduce the burden of the flu on the community. For students in K through 12th grade, flu vaccines will be offered at school during the school day. Transylvania Public Health nurses will coordinate with school personnel to schedule exact dates and times, but all vaccines will be offered during the month of October. The vaccine will be given by Transylvania Public Health nurses to students with a completed IMMUNIZATION PERMISSION FORM and who qualify to receive flu vaccine. Click here for the IMMUNIZATION PERMISSION FORM and  more information about the flu vaccine. The IMMUNIZATION PERMISSION FORM must be returned to your child’s school by October 2, 2017.  We will be unable to vaccinate anyone...

Access and Answers to Mental Health Services: Community Forum Planned for Oct. 17

Transylvania County is working to support the physical, emotional, and social well-being of all its residents. One part of this is ensuring that people know when and how to access mental health care for themselves and their loved ones. “Access & Answers: A Community Forum on Mental Health Services in Transylvania County” will be held on Monday, Oct. 17 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Rogow Room at Transylvania County Library. All community members are invited to come learn how to get support for themselves and the people they love. The forum will begin with a panel of representatives from the regional care manager Smoky Mountain LME/MCO, RHA Mobile Crisis, Meridian Behavioral Health Services, Mission Health, Blue Ridge Community Health, private practitioners, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Transylvania Advocates. These representatives will share information about what services their agencies offer in Transylvania County, how people can contact these agencies to request services, and when people should reach out to them and seek support. After the presentation, these and other local mental health and behavioral health providers will be available to talk with attendees, to share additional information and answer questions about their services. Thanks to sponsorships from Hendersonville Pediatrics, SAFE, and United Way, light refreshments will be provided. The forum is being coordinated by Transylvania County, Transylvania Public Health, and Smoky Mountain LME/MCO. For more information, contact Tara Rybka at (828) 884-313 ext.241 or...
Healthy Smiles Receives Delta Dental Grant

Healthy Smiles Receives Delta Dental Grant

Transylvania Public Health received a $2,500 grant from the Delta Dental Foundation to support its Healthy Smiles dental program for children in Transylvania County. The Healthy Smiles dental hygienist provides age-appropriate dental health education, screenings for dental decay and supplies such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss for children in all county preschools and day cares and all kindergarten and 3rd grade students in Transylvania County Schools. When needed, she refers children to dental care and helps coordinate appointments. Healthy Smiles is a collaboration with Transylvania Public Health, the NC Oral Health Section, local dental practices, regional hospitals, childcare centers, preschools and elementary schools. “We appreciate the support of Delta Dental in our efforts to address preventative dental care in our youngest children,” said Transylvania County Health Director, Elaine Russell. “Transylvania County has focused on improving dental health for the past few years, and we are making progress in this population. For instance, we have seen the average number of decayed, missing, or filled teeth among kindergarteners decrease by almost 10% since 2009. However, we still have work ahead of us to achieve the Healthy North Carolina 2020 target, and this grant allows us to continue important efforts in an area that’s often overlooked.” The Delta Dental Foundation focuses on ensuring that children and adults in North Carolina receive high-quality oral health education and dental care. The Transylvania Public Health grant is one of 17 grants totaling $40,000 awarded to North Carolina nonprofits providing oral health programs. Grant recipients were selected based on criteria that included the number of at-risk children served, the uniqueness of the program, the level...
Public Health Emergency Exercise To Be Held Feb. 24

Public Health Emergency Exercise To Be Held Feb. 24

Transylvania Public Health and several partner agencies will be conducting a full-scale public health emergency preparedness exercise at the Transylvania County Parks and Recreation Activities Center on Wednesday, Feb. 24. (This exercise was originally planned for Jan. 26; it was rescheduled due to inclement weather.) This exercise will allow public health staff and emergency responders to practice the roles they would play during a public health emergency and assess current plans and capabilities to ensure that they would be able to meet the community’s needs. This particular exercise will simulate an incident that requires the distribution and dispensing of medications from the Strategic National Stockpile. The exercise will begin at 9:00 a.m. and is expected to conclude by 2:00 p.m. Residents should expect to see an unusual amount of activity in and around the Transylvania County Parks and Recreation Activities Center and Transylvania Regional Hospital, including the presence of emergency vehicles on the day of the exercise. Residents should not be alarmed by these activities; they are necessary to allow staff to practice the roles they would play in an actual emergency. Partner agencies include Transylvania County Emergency Medical Services, Transylvania County Communications, Transylvania County Emergency Management, Transylvania County Fire Marshal, Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office, Transylvania County Parks and Recreation, Transylvania County Administration, Brevard Police Department, Brevard Fire Department, North Carolina Forest Service, Transylvania Regional Hospital and American Red Cross. For more information regarding this exercise, please contact Transylvania Public Health’s Preparedness Coordinator, Anita Glance, at anita.glance@transylvaniacounty.org or (828) 884-3135 ext....