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Archive
2002
2001
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Posted: March 05, 2003

VDH Investigates Recent Death
(Richmond, Va.)-The Virginia Department of Health is currently investigating the death Monday of a Hampton Roads child. At this time, no cause of death is known and no link to the cluster of unexplained deaths in children in February has been determined.

"There does not appear to be any link between this child's death and the deaths reported in children in the Hampton Roads and Richmond areas late last month. However, we are leaving no stone unturned in our investigation of these deaths," said State Epidemiologist John Marr, M.D.

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Posted: March 05, 2003
VDH Reports Illness In Smallpox Vaccine Recipient
(Richmond, Va.)-The Virginia Department of Health today reported details on an illness in a person who recently received the smallpox vaccine as a member of the state's health care response team. Tests are underway to determine whether or not the case is related to smallpox vaccination.

The individual developed a low-grade fever and headache nine days after receiving the smallpox vaccination, and then developed a mild rash on the face and chest on the eleventh day following vaccination.

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February 26, 2003
FLOODING PROMPTS RIVER CLOSURE TO SHELLFISH HARVESTING
(Richmond, Va.)- State Health Commissioner Robert B. Stroube, M.D., M.P.H., today announced the closure of portions of the James and Rappahannock Rivers to shellfish harvesting. In some instances, pollution from storm flooding can produce high levels of fecal coliform and viruses in the rivers. The Virginia Department of Health will collect test samples to determine if any contaminants are present.

The impacted areas for the James River extend from Hog Island in Surry County downstream to the Monitor Merrimac Memorial Bridge Tunnel. The Rappahannock River will be closed from the Tappahannock Bridge to approximately 20 miles downstream to Stove Point and Monaskon. more

 

February 26, 2003
STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT STRESSES IMPORTANCE OF
RABIES VACCINATIONS FOR PETS
(Richmond, Va.) - The Virginia Department of Health is urging citizens to keep their pet's vaccinations up-to-date and to avoid contact with wild animals. The message of Rabies Awareness Week, March 2-8, 2003, is "Help Make Rabies a Thing of the Past," and emphasizes the importance of vaccinating companion animals, such as dogs and cats, against rabies for their protection as well as the protection of families.

In 2002, 27 cats and 4 dogs tested positive for rabies in Virginia. Among those cases, most of the animals were strays, and probably not vaccinated. That total is the third highest number of rabid cats in the history of rabies statistics in Virginia. more


February 24, 2003
STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT RELEASES RESULTS IN UNEXPLAINED DEATH INVESTIGATION
(Richmond, Va.)-The Virginia Department of Health announced today that laboratory results indicated that two of the five unexplained death cases were infected with influenza B, and one was infected with invasive group A streptococcus. Two of the cases remain under investigation. No link has been found among any of the cases, and no new cases of unexplained and sudden death in children in Virginia are under investigation at this time.

"The deaths of these children are very unfortunate, however we do expect to have a few deaths in children each year due to these types of illnesses," State Health Commissioner Robert B. Stroube, M.D., M.P.H. "At this time of the year many children have upper respiratory infections and flu, and at this point I have no reason to believe children are at any increased risk of serious illness." The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that an average of 36,000 people die from influenza-related complications each year in the United States. more

 

February 21, 2003

VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CONTINUES INVESTIGATION INTO RECENT DEATHS
(Richmond, Va.)-The Virginia Department of Health continues to investigate five deaths in children between the ages of two and seven that occurred within the past week. Four of the cases are from the Tidewater area, and one case in Richmond. At this time, no cause of death is known and no link has been determined in any of the cases. All five of the children had experienced upper respiratory symptoms.

"I understand that all parents will be concerned about their children," said State Health Commissioner Robert B. Stroube, M.D., M.P.H. "However, at this time of the year many children have upper respiratory infections and flu, and at this point I have no reason to believe children are at an increased risk of serious illness." more

 

February 05, 2003
VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH BEGINS SMALLPOX VACCINATION
(Richmond, Va.)-The Virginia Department of Health announced today the beginning of smallpox vaccination for designated volunteer health care personnel. The first doses of smallpox vaccine for civilians in Virginia were provided today to five public health employees and one hospital employee by the Charlottesville health department. Local health departments throughout Virginia will begin to administer smallpox vaccine to volunteer public health staff and staff from participating hospitals in their area over the next several weeks.

"Providing the smallpox vaccine to health care responders is an important element of our overall emergency preparedness efforts," said State Health Commissioner Robert Stroube, M.D., M.P.H. "By protecting those people who would be initially called upon to respond, we further strengthen our ability to protect the health of the public if a case of smallpox should occur." more
 

January 30, 2003
VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH OBSERVES NATIONAL BLACK HIV/AIDS AWARENESS DAY 2003
(Richmond, Va.)-The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) encourages communities statewide to participate in the third annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on February 7, 2003. Health departments, community-based organizations, and agencies across the state have planned health fairs, concerts, theatrical performances, and other activities to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), especially among African-Americans.

The U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that AIDS is the leading cause of death for African-Americans between the ages of 25-44. "African-Americans remain disproportionately affected by HIV," said Casey W. Riley, Director, Division of HIV/STD, VDH. "It is imperative that HIV prevention and education initiatives continue to target the needs of this population," said Riley. more

List of Events

 

January 28, 2003
VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH RECEIVES SMALLPOX VACCINE SUPPLY
(Richmond, Va.)-The Virginia Department of Health today received 10,000 doses of smallpox vaccine from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the coming weeks, the smallpox vaccine will be provided to pre-designated volunteer health care providers as part of the state's ongoing emergency preparedness efforts. An exact date for the start of smallpox vaccine clinics has not been determined.

"The Virginia Department of Health will distribute the smallpox vaccine to Local Health Districts once they are ready to begin vaccination," said Deputy Commissioner for Emergency Preparedness and Response Lisa Kaplowitz, M.D., M.S.H.A. "We are working to ensure that when clinics begin all systems are place to properly administer, store and track the vaccine." more

 

January 24, 2003
VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH ORDERS SMALLPOX VACCINE SUPPLY
(Richmond, Va.)-The Virginia Department of Health has submitted its order to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for an initial supply of 10,000 doses of smallpox vaccine. In the coming weeks, the smallpox vaccine will be provided to pre-designated volunteer health care providers as part of the state's ongoing emergency preparedness efforts. The smallpox vaccine supply is expected to arrive in the state within a week, and vaccinations are expected to begin within the next couple of weeks.

"Without a known threat of smallpox, the vaccine is not recommended for the general public at this time," said State Health Commissioner Robert B. Stroube, M.D., M.P.H. "By protecting those people who would be initially called upon to respond, we further strengthen our ability to respond to a smallpox outbreak and protect the health of the public." more

 

January 9, 2003
VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH OFFERS REGIONAL SMALLPOX VACCINE TRAINING TO PUBLIC HEALTH STAFF
(Richmond, Va.)-The Virginia Department of Health will offer smallpox vaccine administration training in five localities throughout Virginia during January 13-15, 2003. In addition, the Fairfax County Health Department will hold a similar training session for their staff on January 16th. After January 24th, health department staff that attends the training will receive the smallpox vaccine and will then administer the vaccine to other volunteer health care response team members.

"The smallpox vaccine is not recommended for the general public at this time. The probability of an intentional release of smallpox is low, but since the consequences of an outbreak would be great, it is important to prepare by vaccinating volunteer health care response teams in Virginia," said State Health Commissioner Robert B. Stroube, M.D., M.P.H. more

 

January 8, 2003
VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH PUBLIC HEALTH NURSES RECEIVE SMALLPOX VACCINE TRAINING
(Richmond, Va.)-As part of a smallpox vaccine training session, five Virginia Department of Health Public Health Nurses traveled to Atlanta on December 17, 2002 to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public Health staff from each state participated in the "Train the Trainer" program to prepare for the first stage of pre-event smallpox vaccination. more
 

January 13, 2003
VIRGINIA HEALTH DEPARTMENT ISSUES GUIDELINES TO PREVENT NOROVIRUS
(Richmond, Va.)- The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced this week that 12 outbreaks of norovirus have been identified in the state since early December. Several more outbreaks of gastrointestinal illnesses involving symptoms compatible with the virus have been reported statewide.

During roughly the same time period last year, three outbreaks of norovirus were confirmed. A total of 18 norovirus outbreaks were confirmed during 2001. State health officials stress that hand washing is one of the best preventative measures people can take to avoid getting sick.

"Norovirus is a common gastrointestinal virus that causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Headache and low-grade fever may also occur," noted State Health Commissioner Robert B. Stroube. M.D., M.P.H. "People with this infection usually recover within two to three days without serious or long-term health effects; however, it can be a serious illness for persons who are unable to drink enough fluids to replace what they lose through vomiting or diarrhea." Infants, young children, and persons who may be unable to care for themselves, such as the disabled or elderly, are at risk for dehydration from loss of fluids. Persons who are immunocompromised are at risk for dehydration because they may get a more serious illness, with greater vomiting or diarrhea. more

     
 
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