TRANSYLVANIA PUBLIC HEALTH

EVERYONE,
EVERYWHERE,
EVERYDAY.

MONKEYPOX UPDATE

North Carolina DHHS is reporting the first case of monkeypox virus infection in a North Carolina resident, identified by testing at the State Laboratory of Public Health. Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious, viral illness that typically involves flu-like symptoms, swelling of the lymph nodes and a rash that includes bumps that are initially filled with fluid before scabbing over. Illness could be confused with a sexually transmitted infection like syphilis or herpes, or with varicella zoster virus (chickenpox). Most infections last two to four weeks.

NCDHHS is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, relevant local health departments and the patient’s health care providers to identify and notify individuals who may have been in contact with the patient while they were infectious. The person is currently isolating at home. No further information will be shared about this case to protect the patient’s privacy.

Multiple cases and clusters of monkeypox have been identified in Europe, Australia, North and South America, northern Africa, and the Middle East. As of June 23, a total of 3,504 cases have been identified in 44 countries, including 173 cases in 25 US states. There have been no deaths related to this outbreak.

Monkeypox is transmitted person to person through direct skin-to-skin contact, having contact with an infectious rash, through body fluids or through respiratory secretions. Such contact often occurs during prolonged, face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling or sex. While anyone can get monkeypox, in the current outbreak, many of the cases are in men who have sex with men.

There is no specific treatment for monkeypox infection, but antivirals developed for use against smallpox may be beneficial. Smallpox vaccinations are thought to provide protection against monkeypox, but have not been given routinely in the U.S. since the 1970s. At this time, smallpox vaccinations and/or boosters are not recommended for the general public; vaccination may be considered for individuals who have had high-risk or medium-risk exposures to someone with monkeypox.

People who have unexplained rash, sores or other symptoms should contact their healthcare provider for a risk assessment. Keep the rash covered and avoid sex or being intimate with anyone until you have been checked out. Standard household cleaners and detergents are effective at cleaning environmental surfaces and linens. 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 increased 9% in the past 7 days compared to the previous 7 days. The percent of positive tests remains high. Community transmission levels are currently high statewide. Transylvania County remains in the low (green) category for the CDC’s COVID-19 Community Levels as of June 16, with 122.15 new cases in the past 7 days per 100,000 population, 3.6 new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 population, and 3.6% of staffed inpatient beds in the region in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19.

The CDC recommends that people take the following actions in areas with low COVID-19 community levels: 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. You may choose to wear a mask at any time as an additional precaution to protect yourself and others.

VACCINES & BOOSTERS

The CDC now recommends that all children ages 6 months and older should receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is available as 3 doses given 3-8 weeks apart for children ages 6 months to 4 years and 2 doses given 3-8 weeks apart for children ages 5 years or older. The Moderna vaccine is available as 2 doses given 4-8 weeks apart for children ages 6 months through 5 years; a third dose is available for children who are moderately or severely immunocompromised. In addition, the FDA has authorized the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for use among children ages 6 through 17 years and the CDC has expanded its recommendations to include this second option for COVID-19 vaccines for older children and teens.

Transylvania Public Health is offering all COVID-19 vaccines by appointment. Appointments can be made online at https://transylvaniahealth.org/ or by calling 828-884-4007. Vaccines for young children ages 6 months to 5 years will be available at Transylvania Public Health starting July 6. 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. 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 green (low) community levels should wear a mask based on personal preference, informed by their personal level of risk. However, cases in our area are increasing so some individuals may choose to take additional precautions.

People who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe illness (and those who have frequent close contact with someone at higher risk) may choose to wear a mask or respirator for 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.

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