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Virginia Department of Health

Spring Break Travelers’ Health

Traveling out of the country for Spring Break? Stay safe and healthy during your travels. Vaccinate before your vacation. Make sure your immunizations are up-to-date. Many areas of the world have their own recommended vaccines and you may be at increased risk of exposure to vaccine preventable diseases. Remember, to be most effective, vaccines should be administered two weeks prior to travel.

Are you traveling to a tropical area? Depending on where you are going to be, mosquitoes can transmit illnesses such as malaria, dengue fever and chikungunya through their bite. Prevent mosquito bites by covering exposed skin, using insect repellent, staying and sleeping in screened in or air conditioned rooms or using a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.

Check with your local health department to see if they have a travel clinic.

Introducing Health Bites

Health Bites is an interactive online nutrition education tool designed to help you and your family enjoy healthier lives. The interactive website provides fun, informative videos on nutrition and ideas on simple and healthy recipes. If you are a WIC participant, the site will allow you to complete modules, to receive nutrition education credit for WIC. Visit to have a world of nutrition and health information at your fingertips!

Health Bites

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>>

STD awareness monthApril is STD Awareness Month

Did you know more than 40,000 sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) were reported in Virginia last year and 67% were among young people ages 15-24? Each of these infections can be a potential threat to your immediate health and long-term well-being. STDs often have no symptoms but are easily diagnosed and treated. Get yourself tested to know your STD status. Learn more at

Minority Health Month

During April, VDH marks National Minority Health Month by raising awareness about the health disparities that continue to affect minority populations. First observed in 2001 in response to Healthy People 2010, this year's theme is Prevention is Power: Taking Action for Health Equity, emphasizing the critical role of prevention in reducing health disparities.

For more information visit:

Children eatingCommunity Partners for a
Healthier Virginia!

Public Schools Recognized for their Student Meal Program Efforts

Each year the USDA selects 2-3 individuals or organizations from each state that have championed the cause for the Summer Food Service Program and to end childhood hunger. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) was created by the USDA so that children who normally receive free/reduced meals at school continue to receive healthy meals during the summer break. This year, Norfolk Public Schools, Giles County Public Schools and Rudy Ward, activities director at Highland Springs H.S., Henrico County Public Schools, were selected.

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Coal Ash

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is working with Duke Energy, federal, state and local government agencies to protect the health of residents in Pittsylvania, Halifax and Mecklenburg counties. Click here for information about the recent coal ash spill in Eden, N.C., and up-to-date information on VDH’s role in responding to the event.

Protecting Virginia’s Health: the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps

MRC ReportThe Virginia Medical Reserve Corp (MRC) is a group of dedicated volunteers who stand ready to support the community in the event of a public health emergency. Last year 13,447 volunteers donated over 36,630 hours to prepare for and respond to emergencies and promote healthy living throughout the year. MRC volunteers include medical and public health professionals such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, veterinarians, and epidemiologists.Many community members— interpreters, chaplains, office workers, legal advisors, and others—can fill key support positions. Anyone can volunteer!

To become a VA MRC volunteer, apply at

“Meaningful Use” Registration System for Health Care Providers

The VDH Meaningful Use Registration System for health care providers is now available. Health care providers intending to send electronic health records to VDH are required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to register and demonstrate “Meaningful Use” of their electronic health records in order to obtain CMS reimbursement. While registration is required only for Stage 2, we also encourage those involved in Stage 1 to register with VDH using this site

Click here for information and to register

Last Updated: 04-16-2014

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