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Virginia Department of Health

Stay Safe and Healthy While On Vacation

vacation destination

Photo by Pedro Szekely / CC BY-SA 2.0

Vaccinate before your vacation. Make sure your vaccinations are current. Many places in the world recommend specific vaccines before you visit. Some diseases that are not common in the United States still exist in other parts of the world. You should get vaccines at least two weeks before you travel.

Virginia Health Information
'Virginia Health Information' is a resource for patients and consumers looking to learn about and compare options on everything from obstetrical services, to heart care, to pricing information on commonly performed medical procedures. Virginians can use VHI information to make informed health care purchasing decisions and as the basis for an informed conversation with their health care providers. Learn more>>

Staying Healthy During Hot Weather

Staying Healthy During Hot Weather

Summer temperatures in Virginia normally climb into the upper 90’s and even reach over 100 degrees at times. The hot temperatures and high heat indexes can cause ill health effects.

The body normally cools itself by sweating. But under some conditions, sweating just isn't enough. Prolonged exposure to heat can cause cramping, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and even death. It is important to stay hydrated and seek cool temperature environments until the heat subsides. 

Read more tips to avoid heat-related illness during the summer.

Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention

Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention

Planning to cool off at the swimming pool or plan a trip to the beach? Learn about ways that swimmers, parents, pool owners and operators, and public health can maximize the health benefits of water activity, while avoiding water-associated illness and injury:

woman gardening

7 Ways to Help Prevent Mosquito Bites

Mosquitoes can make you sick through their bites. Mosquitoes spread malaria, dengue fever and chikungunya through their bite. Prevent mosquito bites by controlling the number of mosquitoes around you and protecting yourself from their bites. Remember to:

  1. Wear long, loose and light-colored clothing.
  2. If possible, stay inside when mosquitoes are biting.
  3. Use bug spray with the smallest percentage of DEET needed for the amount of time you are exposed to mosquitoes. Use according to the manufacturer’s directions and DEET should not be applied to infants under 2 months old.
  4. Turn over or get rid of containers in your yard where water gathers, such as old tires, potted plant trays, buckets and toys.
  5. Remove standing water on tarps or flat roofs.
  6. Clean out birdbaths and wading pools once a week.
  7. Clean roof gutters and downspout screens.

Lynchburg Train Derailment—Update

May 9, 2014

The recreational water advisory for the James River has been lifted. VDH reviewed sample results for four river locations: just upstream of the incident, immediately downstream, 30 miles downstream, and 130 miles downstream. Results do not indicate that fuel contaminants are currently present at levels of health concern. In addition, no confirmed oil sheen sightings have occurred since May 2, 2014. VDH will continue to review any additional sampling data and inform the public of any identified health risks.

VDH Office of Drinking Water continues to work closely with CSX, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and local waterworks to monitor any potential impact of the April 30, 2014 oil spill into the James River.

Virginia waterworks have taken steps to protect their water supply from any potential impact. Consumers have not experienced any change to or suspension in drinking water service.

More information can be found on the Lynchburg Train Derailment FAQ.

Last Updated: 07-08-2014

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