Message from the State Health Commissioner
Influenza activity is widespread in Virginia and typically begins to peak this time of year. As people return to school and work, it’s important to remember the basics of avoiding illness and stopping the spread of flu.
Take Precautions in Extreme Cold Weather
As temperatures are predicted to fall into the single digits during the next several days, VDH encourages everyone to protect themselves against serious health problems that can result from prolonged exposure to the cold.
Winter Weather Preparedness
Are you ready for winter weather?
Take this time to prepare before a winter emergency hits to reduce the risk of weather-related health problems and injuries. Learn more about preparing yourself and loved ones for winter weather here. More>>
From January 1 to February 6, 2015, 121 people from 17 states in the U.S. have been reported with measles. Most of these cases are part of a large, ongoing outbreak linked to an amusement park in California. To date, there have been no cases of measles reported in Virginia this year.
Between 2009 and 2014, 13 cases of measles were reported in Virginia. Six of these individuals were unvaccinated (three of whom were too young to receive vaccine), five were not fully vaccinated, and two were fully vaccinated. In Virginia, 88.6 percent of children have received the measles vaccine by their second birthday and 93.1 percent are fully vaccinated against measles when they begin school.
Measles is highly infectious, but it is also highly preventable through vaccination. The Virginia Department of Health urges persons who are not vaccinated or whose children have not been vaccinated, to receive vaccine as soon as possible. You may receive vaccine from your doctor or local health department. Virginia Code allows for exemption from required immunizations for religious and/or medical reasons; however, exemption rates remain low at 0.19 percent for medical and 0.84 percent for religious reasons.
Quick Links and Important Resources
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD) is on March 10, 2015. This national testing and treatment community mobilization initiative focuses on the disproportionate impact that HIV has on women. In Virginia, current data indicates one out five new HIV diagnoses are among women. In 2013, Black females were 18 times more likely to be diagnosed with HIV than their white counterparts and Hispanic females were 4 times more likely to be diagnosed than their white counterparts.
This NWGHAAD take action to be Greater Than AIDS and find a HIV testing location near you and update your status: https://locator.aids.gov.
Serving Summer Meals to Virginia Children
The Summer Food Service Program provides free meals and snacks to help children get the nutrition they need during the summer when they are out of school. If your organization is interested in participating in Virginia’s Summer Food Service Program, please submit an application by April 24, 2015 to see if you qualify. All new participants must complete trainings to take part in the program and can register for trainings online. Visit the Summer Food Service Program to learn more.
Virginia Health Information