TRANSYLVANIA PUBLIC HEALTH

EVERYONE,
EVERYWHERE,
EVERYDAY.

MONKEYPOX UPDATE

North Carolina DHHS has reported 15 cases of monkeypox virus infection among North Carolina residents. As of July 27, a total of 19,188 cases have been identified in 76 countries, including 4,639 cases in 48 US states. There have been no deaths related to this outbreak.

Monkeypox is a rare viral illness related to the variola virus that causes smallpox; symptoms are similar to smallpox but milder and monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox causes a rash that initially looks like pimple or blisters and may be painful or itchy. The rash will go through several stages including scabs before healing. Other symptoms of monkeypox can include: fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion, muscle aches and backache, headache, and respiratory symptoms such as sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough. Some people have other symptoms before the rash, while others may get the rash first followed by other symptoms, and others only experience a rash. Most infections last 2-4 weeks.

Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close personal contact, including direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox, touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox, or contact with respiratory secretions. While anyone can get monkeypox, in the current outbreak, many of the cases are among men who have sex with men. 

Monkeypox can be spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed.

People who notice a new or unexplained rash or other monkeypox symptoms should contact a healthcare provider for testing. People who have monkeypox or who are waiting on test results should avoid close contact with others. They should stay home except to seek medical care and should cover the rash and wear a well-fitting mask if they must leave isolation. People who have had close personal contact with someone who has monkeypox should visit a healthcare provider to help them decide if they need to be tested for monkeypox. 

There is no specific treatment for monkeypox infection, but antivirals such as tecovirimat (TPOXX) may be recommended for people who are more likely to get severely ill, like patients with weakened immune systems.

CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to monkeypox and people who may be more likely to get monkeypox, including people who have been identified by public health officials as a contact of someone with monkeypox, people who are aware that one of their sexual partners in the past 2 weeks has been diagnosed with monkeypox, people who had multiple sexual partners in the past 2 weeks in an area with known monkeypox, and people whose jobs may expose them to orthopoxviruses, such as certain laboratory, healthcare, or public health workers. The preferred vaccine to protect against monkeypox is JYNNEOS, which is a 2-dose vaccine that takes 14 days after the second dose to reach maximum protection. An alternative vaccine is ACAM2000, which is a single-dose vaccine that takes 4 weeks to reach maximum protection but has the potential for more side effects and is not recommended for people with severely weakened immune systems and several other conditions. At this time, vaccinations and/or boosters are not recommended for the general public.

For more information, visit the CDC website on Monkeypox.

 

FORMULA SHORTAGE UPDATE

To support families during the infant formula shortage, NCDHHS is making it easier for WIC participants to purchase more types of formula.

Last week, the NC WIC Program began issuing benefits for more sizes of Gerber formula and for two additional Gerber formula products (Gerber Good Start Gentle Supreme and NAN 1 Pro Infant Powder). Learn more. (SPANISH)

For the latest resources & guidance on the formula shortage visit ncdhhs.gov/formula.

 

COVID-19 INFORMATION

New cases in Transylvania County have decreased 26% in the past 7 days compared to the previous 7 days, but community transmission is high throughout North Carolina and most of the U.S. As of July 28, Transylvania County remains in the medium (yellow) category for the CDC’s COVID-19 Community Levels, based on 226.84 new cases in the past 7 days per 100,000 population, 5.4 new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 population, and 4.7% of staffed inpatient beds in the region in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19.

Since Transylvania County is in the medium category for COVID-19 Community Levels, people at high risk for severe illness should consider wearing a mask indoors in public and taking additional precautions. The CDC also recommends the following actions for everyone: Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines. Get tested if you have symptoms. Wear a mask if you have symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19. Wear a mask on public transportation. Anyone may choose to wear a mask at any time as an additional precaution to protect themselves and others.

VACCINES & BOOSTERS

Transylvania Public Health is offering all COVID-19 vaccines by appointment. Appointments can be made online using the link below by calling 828-884-4007. Available COVID-19 vaccinations include a primary series of Pfizer or Moderna, single doses of J&J, additional doses for immunocompromised individuals, and first and second booster doses for eligible individuals. At this time, Transylvania Public Health will not be offering Novavax vaccines. People who have received previous doses of any COVID-19 vaccines should bring their previous vaccination card(s) if available.

Schedule COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment

COVID-19 vaccines are also available in Transylvania County from Blue Ridge Health Center-Brevard Health Center, Gordon’s Family Pharmacy, Ingles PharmacyWalgreen’s, Wal-Mart Pharmacy, and some private providers. Specific availability of each vaccine may vary; contact each vaccine provider for more information about which vaccines they are currently offering.

Vaccination against COVID-19 is currently recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older, with 2 doses of Pfizer given 3-8 weeks days apart (or 3 doses for ages 6 months to 4 years) or 2 doses of Moderna given 4-8 weeks apart for ages 6 months and older. A single dose of J&J is also available for people ages 18 and older in some situations. People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should also receive an additional dose of an mRNA vaccine at least 4 weeks after their last dose of the primary series.

An initial booster dose is recommended for everyone ages 5 or older, at least 5 months after completing the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna doses or 2 months after receiving a single dose of J&J. People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should receive a booster dose at least 3 months after their last dose of Pfizer or Moderna or at least 2 months after their last dose of J&J vaccine. For initial booster doses, the mRNA vaccines are preferred, but the J&J vaccine may be considered.

A second booster dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is recommended for adults ages 50 or older and certain immunocompromised individuals ages 12 years or older who received an initial booster dose at least 4 months ago. In addition, people who received a primary dose of the J&J vaccine and a booster dose of the J&J vaccine at least 4 months ago may choose to receive a second booster dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

CURRENT MASK GUIDANCE

People in areas with medium (yellow) community levels who are at high risk for severe illness should consider wearing a mask indoors in public. This includes older adults, people with medical conditions or who are immunocompromised, and those who are pregnant or were recently pregnant. Other people may choose to wear a mask at any time.

Some face coverings provide additional protection against the COVID-19 virus. This includes masks with tighter woven fabric and more layers, as well as N95 respirators, which offer the highest levels of protection if worn correctly and consistently. Free N95 respirators from the state stockpile are still available as supplies allow at locations throughout the community, including the Transylvania County Library, Transylvania County Parks and Recreation, Jarrett’s IGA, and Sharing House.

However, anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19, a positive test, or an exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask around other people.

TESTING

Testing is recommended for anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 and for anyone who has been a close contact to someone with COVID-19 5 days after their last exposure. Testing is available in Transylvania County at private healthcare providers, CVS, Mercy Urgent Care, Pardee Urgent Care, and Walgreens. (Please note that Transylvania Public Health does NOT offer COVID-19 testing for the general public.) Additional testing locations can be found at https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/about-covid-19/testing.

Free at-home COVID-19 test kits are available by mail from https://www.covidtests.gov/. At-home test kits are also available for purchase at local stores and for free at https://www.pixel.labcorp.com/nc. Health insurance providers including Medicare will pay for or reimburse the cost of test kits purchased in stores or online. For more information about insurance reimbursement, visit https://www.cms.gov/how-to-get-your-at-home-OTC-COVID-19-test-for-free.

IF YOU HAVE COVID-19

People who have COVID-19 must isolate at home and away from other people until 5 days have passed since their positive test results or their first symptoms developed; they may leave home after day 5 if they did not have symptoms or if their symptoms are resolving and they have not had a fever for 24 hours, but must continue to wear a mask around other people for 5 additional days.

People with symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider to see if they are eligible for COVID-19 treatment. Oral antiviral medications can lower the risk of severe illness, but must be taken within 5 days of symptoms starting. Eligible individuals can receive a prescription for Paxlovid or Molnupiravir from any qualified healthcare provider, and there is no cost for the medication itself. The medication is also available at “test-to-treat” locations that can offer testing, a prescription, and the medication itself at one location. For more information about accessing COVID-19 treatment, visit https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/what-to-do-if-you-feel-sick or call 1-800-232-0233.

IF YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO COVID-19

People who have been identified as a close contact to someone with COVID-19 and are vaccinated as currently recommended, including booster shots if eligible for ages 18 and older, do not need to quarantine but should wear a mask around other people for 10 days and should be tested on day 5 after exposure (or immediately if they develop symptoms). Close contacts who are unvaccinated or who have not received boosters if eligible should stay at home for 5 days after their last exposure, be tested on day 5 (or immediately if they develop symptoms), and then wear a mask around other people for 5 additional days. As of February 21, students and staff in K-12 schools and childcare facilities in North Carolina are not required to stay home from school after a close contact to someone with COVID-19, unless they have symptoms or test positive.

The current guidance for people with symptoms, a positive test, or an exposure to someone with COVID-19 is available on the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html.

For more information about COVID-19 symptoms, testing, guidance, or vaccines, call 884-4007 during the health department’s normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm).

 

SUMMER AT THE TOWN POOL WITH FRIENDS ON A HOT SUMMER DAY.

A SPECIAL BIRTHDAY LUNCH FOR ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE CO-WORKERS.

MATCHING TATTOOS WITH YOUR COUSINS, JUST LIKE YOU ALWAYS SAID YOU WOULD.

You might not know it, but memories like these are made possible by Transylvania Public Health. We inspect places like public and private pools, restaurants, hotels and even tattoo parlors to help keep them clean and safe for everyone in Transylvania County to use.

We also keep Transylvania County safe by offering immunizations, screening for health concerns, encouraging good nutrition, and more. Good public health is the backbone of a thriving, healthy community. Transylvania Public Health is already doing a lot to keep you healthy. Get to know us – there’s a lot more we can do for you.

HOURS OF OPERATION

Monday – Thursday
8:30am-12:00pm & 1:00pm-5:00pm

Friday
8:30am-5:00pm (last appt at 4:30pm)

828.884.3135

[email protected]

BEAUTIFUL,
THRIVING &
CULTURALLY RICH.

LET’S KEEP IT THAT WAY.

PROTECTING OUR COMMUNITY.

Transylvania County is known for its natural beauty, making it a popular tourist destination and more importantly, a place for families to grow and thrive. We’d venture to say that without clean water, a healthy population, and a well-immunized community, this wouldn’t be so.

Transylvania Public Health is committed to keeping our county beautiful and its people healthy. We’re a quiet but steady partner in economic development, an outspoken player in community health and promotion, and a valued member of any health crisis or disaster preparedness team.

 

TRANSYLVANIA PUBLIC HEALTH.

WE’RE HERE FOR EVERYONE.

EVERYWHERE. EVERYDAY.

health_thumb

 

MY HEALTH

enviro_thumb

 

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH

commune_thumb

 

COMMUNITY HEALTH