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State Government
Health Officials Warn Residents of Exposure to Measles PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 15 October 2019 11:20
RALEIGH — The Guilford County Health Department and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services are alerting residents of a potential exposure to measles in the Greensboro area. A patient with laboratory-confirmed measles traveled through Guilford County Oct. 2–3 while infectious. 
 
People may have been exposed at the following locations, dates and times:
 
Piedmont Triad International Airport 
Oct. 2, 11:15 p.m.–1:30 a.m.
Oct. 3, 1:45 p.m. –4:45 p.m.  

 

Greensboro Wyndham Garden Hotel  
Oct. 2, 11:30 p.m.–midnight
Oct. 3, midnight–4 p.m. 

 

There is no ongoing risk of exposure at any of these locations. However, if you have not been vaccinated against measles and were at either of these location during the time frames listed above, call the Guilford County Health Department at 336-641-7777 during business hours, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. and at 336-641-2697 after-hours and on weekends and contact your doctor as soon as possible. People who have received at least one dose of measles containing vaccine or who were born before 1957 are considered protected.
 
Measles is a highly contagious disease that is spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms begin seven to 14 days after contact with the virus and typically include high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. These symptoms are followed three to five days later by a rash that typically appears first on the head, and then spreads to the rest of the body. People with measles are usually contagious for four days before and four days after the rash appears.
 
If you experience symptoms of measles call your doctor right away. Do not go to the hospital or a doctor’s office without calling first to avoid putting other patients at risk. Your doctor can make special arrangements to evaluate you.
 
Vaccination is the best protection from measles. One dose of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine is about 93 percent effective and two doses are about 97 percent effective at preventing a person from contracting the disease if they are exposed.
 
More information about measles is available at https://epi.dph.ncdhhs.gov/cd/diseases/measles.html and https://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/faqs.html. 
 
Two Bills Signed Into Law PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 15 October 2019 11:11
Governor Roy Cooper signed the following bills into law: 

 

House Bill 1001: Raise the Age Funding 

 

House Bill 387: Growing G.R.E.A.T. 

 

Gov. Cooper shared the following comment on House Bill 1001: 
"Funding for Raise the Age will enable the state criminal justice system to handle juvenile offenders appropriately and is sorely needed. It is disappointing that other changes in this bill play politics by realigning judges and district attorneys instead of following a non-partisan formula."
 
Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 October 2019 11:12
 
NCDHHS Releases New Information on the Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak in WNC PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 11 October 2019 09:45
Officials with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Public Health today released an interim report and FAQ related to the investigation into the Legionnaire’s disease outbreak associated with the NC Mountain State Fair.
 
As of Oct. 9, the Division of Public Health has confirmed 134 cases of Legionnaires’ disease or Pontiac Fever in residents of multiple states and North Carolina counties who attended the 2019 NC Mountain State Fair, which took place Sept. 6–15, 2019 at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center in Fletcher, NC. Eighty-eight people have been hospitalized and two deaths have been reported. To protect the privacy of the families, the decedents’ personal information including location of residence, ages and genders will not be released.
 
“We send our sincerest condolences to the families of the two people who have died and to all those who have been affected by this outbreak,” said Dr. Zack Moore, State Epidemiologist. “Legionnaires’ disease is a serious illness which can lead to complications and death, especially in older individuals or those with underlying conditions.”
 
The interim report outlines the timeline and process that the Division of Public Health, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services, other local health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) used throughout the investigation.   
 
The preliminary epidemiologic and environmental findings suggest that exposure to Legionella bacteria occurred in the Davis Event Center of the WNC Ag Center, particularly near the hot tubs and during the last five days of the fair. Hot tubs are a well-established source of aerosolized water exposure and have been associated with previous Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks nationally and internationally. These results highlight the importance of caring for and maintaining equipment that can aerosolize water.
 
There were no other significant sources of aerosolized water at the WNC Ag Center and no other ongoing potential sources of exposure identified. 
 
This report provides preliminary information from the investigation to date. Additional information will be provided when the environmental and epidemiologic investigations are complete.   
 
Legionella bacteria are found naturally in the environment. These bacteria can become a health concern when they grow and spread in human-made building water systems like hot water tanks, cooling towers of air conditioning systems, decorative fountains and hot tubs or spas that aren’t properly maintained. Approximately 200 cases are reported annually in North Carolina. If you experience symptoms consistent with pneumonia, please contact your health care provider.
 
For additional information or to report possible cases, please call your local health department or the NCDHHS Division of Public Health at (919) 733-3419. In Buncombe County, call BCHHS Communicable Disease at (828) 250-5109. In Henderson County, please call (828) 694-6019. 
 
 
 
 
House Passes Budget Bills For Transportation And Community Colleges PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 11 October 2019 09:38
Billions of state dollars for the North Carolina Community College System and the Department of Transportation (DOT) were approved by the state House of Representatives as the legislature continues to fund state government priorities blocked by the Governor’s budget veto through stand-alone appropriations bills.  
 
House Bill 100 DOT Budget for 2019-2021 Biennium and Senate Bill 61 Community Colleges Budget/2019-2021 Biennium received broad bipartisan support in the state House.  
 
H.B. 100 was given final legislative passage and sent to the Governor, while S.B. 61 was returned to the North Carolina Senate.  
 
H.B. 100 is consistent with the vetoed state budget to adjust appropriations and availability schedules for over $8 billion in the Highway Funds and Highway Trust Funds over the biennium.  
 
The bill also includes spending directives for transportation capital, repairs, and renovation needs, as well as standard statutory language governing DOT’s receipt and use of grant funds and establishing or increasing fees.  
 
It further provides more than $12 million in general airport funding, addresses budgeting for DOT salary increases, and contains special provisions governing DOT’s operations.  
 
North Carolina dramatically reformed its approach to transportation funding under Republican leadership this decade, moving from direct budget appropriations decided by legislators to the formulaic Strategic Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).  
 
S.B. 61 provides over $2 billion to community colleges in North Carolina and contains special provisions for their operations, including the NC Career Coaches program, instruction in local jails, the system’s reorganization authority, and a tuition waiver for dependents of fallen correctional officers. 
 
The primary providers of workforce training, licensure, and certifications statewide, a recent national study found six of North Carolina’s community colleges were among the 10 best in the nation.   
 
North Carolina has the third largest community college system in the country, with 58 colleges serving all 100 counties.
 
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