News

Hepatitis A Exposure Update: Restaurant Worker

Release from the Georgia Department of Public Health, Northwest Health District

Rome, GA:  The Northwest Health District’s ongoing investigation and surveillance in response to the Hepatitis A press release from 3/28/19 regarding McDonald’s at 106 Lafayette Road, Chickamauga, GA, indicate that there is a need to extend the risk period of hepatitis transmission to March 29, 2019. Therefore, health officials recommend anyone who consumed food or drink at this restaurant from March 4 through March 29, 2019 contact their healthcare provider or local health department to determine if a Hepatitis A vaccination is needed to prevent the disease.

The Hepatitis A vaccine is safe, effective, and well tolerated. It is the best protection against the Hepatitis A virus. Health officials also urge the public to continue to practice normal preventive measures of hand washing and sanitation.

Free Hepatitis A vaccination will continue to be provided at the Walker & Catoosa County Health Departments on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, April 3, Now – 6:00 pm
  • Thursday, April 4, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Friday, April 5, 8:00 am – 12:00 Noon
  • April 8 to April 12 during regular hours of operation

(Walker County Health Department is located at 603 E. Villanow Street, LaFayette, GA. Their number is 706-638-5577.)

Anyone who consumed food and/or drink at the restaurant during this time should also:

  1. Monitor their health for symptoms of Hepatitis A infection up to 50 days after exposure.
  2. Wash their hands with soap and warm water frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food.
  3. Stay home and contact your healthcare provider immediately if symptoms of Hepatitis A infection develop.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver that can cause loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, fever, stomach pain, dark-colored urine and light-colored stools. Yellowing of the skin or eyes may also appear.  People can become ill up to fifty days after being exposed to the virus.

Hepatitis A is acquired when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. The virus spreads when an infected person does not wash his/her hands adequately after using the toilet or engages in behaviors that increase risk of infection. Careful hand washing, including under the fingernails, with soap and water, along with vaccination of anyone at risk of infection, will prevent spread of this disease.  

For more information on hepatitis A, go to www.cdc.gov/hepatitis or https://nwgapublichealth.org

 

Do You Know How to Two-Step with Fire Ants?

Walker County UGA Extension Agent Wade Hutcheson tells us how to two-step our way to get rid of fire ants in our yards. Information comes from the publication: Managing Imported Fire Ants in Urban Areas and Texas A&M University.

http://walkercountyga.gov/tag/podcast/feed

 

Walker County Awards Contract to Pave 13 Roads

LaFayette, GA – Walker County Commissioner Shannon Whitfield awarded a contract last night to Talley Construction to resurface 13 roads.

The project includes Peavine Road, East Long Hollow, Ringgold Road, Five Points Road and Five Points Spur, Osburn Road and Osburn Court, South Dicks Creek Road, South Burnt Mill Road, Dry Valley Road, West Schmitt Road, Glass Mill Road and Jones Road.

The Transportation Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) approved by voters in November 2017 and state LMIG (Local Maintenance Improvement Grant) funds will pay for this project, which is to be completed by September 30, 2019.  This allows the county to effectively pay “cash” for roads and avoid taking out costly loans that charge interest.

TSPLOST generates about $290,000 a month and helped fund three road projects in 2018: Nickajack Road, Nickajack Lane and Diamond Circle.

Walker County is working with area utility providers to ensure underground lines that need to be replaced are addressed before road work begins.  This could impact the order of the 13 roads contracted for resurfacing.

Potential Hepatitis A Exposure from Restaurant Worker

News Release from the Georgia Department of Public Health, Northwest Health District:

The Georgia Department of Public Health Northwest Health District officials have confirmed a case of hepatitis A in a food handler at McDonalds, 106 Lafayette Road, Chickamauga, GA. An investigation found that this employee worked at the restaurant while infectious, from March 4 through March 17. While it is relatively rare for restaurant patrons to become infected with hepatitis A virus due to an infected food handler, there might be some risk to the public,” says District Health Director Dr. Unini Odama, and therefore we are doing everything necessary to protect the public and anyone that might have been inadvertently exposed to the hepatitis A virus.We recommend that anyone who consumed food or drink at this restaurant during this time contact their healthcare provider or local health department to determine if a hepatitis A vaccination is needed to prevent the disease. The hepatitis A vaccine is safe, effective, and well tolerated. It is the best protection against the hepatitis A virus. Additional protective measures, such as immune globulin injections, may be recommended for certain people.

Free hepatitis A vaccination will be provided at the Catoosa and Walker County Health Departments on Thursday, March 28, 8 am6:30 pm; Friday, March 29, 8 am2pm; and Saturday, March 30 from 8 am to 12 noon.

  • Walker County Health Department, 603 E. Villanow Street, La Fayette, GA 30728 706-6385577
  • Catoosa County Health Department, 145 Catoosa Circle, Ringgold, GA 7064062000

Anyone who consumed food and/or drink at the restaurant during this time should also:

1. Monitor their health for symptoms of hepatitis A infection up to fifty days after exposure.

2. Wash their hands with soap and warm water frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food.

3. Stay at home and contact your healthcare provider immediately if symptoms of hepatitis A infection develop.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver that can cause loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, fever, stomach pain, darkcolored urine and lightcolored stools. Yellowing of the skin or eyes may also appear. People can become ill up to fifty days after being exposed to the virus. Hepatitis A is acquired when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. The virus spreads when an infected person does not wash his/her hands adequately after using the toilet or engages in behaviors that increase risk of infection. Careful hand washing, including under the fingernails, with soap and water, along with vaccination of anyone at risk of infection, will prevent spread of this disease.

For more information on hepatitis A, go to www.cdc.gov/hepatitis or https://nwgapublichealth.org

How Walker Works – Clean & Lien

Walker County’s new “Blighted & Derelict Property” Ordinance, also known as the clean and lien initiative, aims to remove old buildings that are falling down and pose a hazard to society.

Here’s how it works: After a code enforcement official investigates and identifies a structure as a public nuisance, a formal complaint will be filed in Magistrate Court.  The property owner will then be notified and given an opportunity to answer the complaint.  If the judge moves forward with the case, the property owner will be given an opportunity to come into compliance on their own or demolish the structure on their own.  If the owner fails to comply with the court order to repair or demolish the building, the court can grant the county authority to tear it down and place a lien on the property for the expense.

The county plans to tackle 12 abandoned properties at a time. The following properties have been targeted for 2019:

  1. 25 Park Drive
  2. 44 Keller
  3. 78 Keller
  4. 350 Devine Street
  5. 624 James Street
  6. 7085 Highway 136 West
  7. Mission Ridge (Parcel 0108014)
  8. 17 Cleveland Road
  9. 217 Up Our Way
  10. 5098 Highway 337
  11. 15 Davis Circle
  12. 1101 Salem Road

http://walkercountyga.gov/tag/podcast/feed/

New Landfill Hours Effective April 15th

Chickamauga, GA – In an effort to improve the customer experience, the Walker County Landfill will begin opening to the public on Wednesdays, starting the week of April 15th.  The move comes as the county adjusts gate hours at the landfill to make public access times more consistent and less confusing.

Effective April 15th, gate hours will run 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday for all customers, residential and commercial.  Customers will need to be in line before 4:00 p.m. in order to receive service.

Also, beginning the week of April 15th, Walker County Police will begin issuing fines for unsecured/uncovered loads.  Georgia law (O.C.G.A. 40-6-248.1) clearly states no vehicle shall be driven or moved on any public road unless such vehicle is constructed or loaded or covered so as to prevent any of its load from dropping, escaping or shifting in such a manner as to:

(1) Create a safety hazard; or
(2) Deposit litter on public or private property while such vehicle is on a public road.

Unsecured/uncovered loads lead to littering and motor vehicle crashes.

Walker County Maintains 3/3Y ISO Rating

LaFayette, GA – Walker County maintained a 3/3Y ISO rating following a rigorous review of fire services in the unincorporated areas of the county and city of Chickamauga.

The 3/3Y classification by the Insurance Service Office will benefit homeowners and business owners.  Insurance companies use ISO ratings in their calculations to determine insurance rates in a community.

“This validates all the hard work being done by our team to improve fire service in Walker County, while reinforcing the fact that our efforts provide a financial savings too,” said Chief Blake Hodge.  “These surveys take a lot of time and effort to coordinate. It’s not easy to attain this mark.”

The ISO evaluation looked at all aspects of the fire department, including equipment, manpower, training, number of stations and response times.  ISO also evaluated area water authorities, 911 communications, public education, fire prevention efforts, code enforcement and inspections, among other areas.

Walker County received high marks for communications, water supply, fire hydrants and firefighter training.

ISO rates communities one on a scale of 1 to 10.  A lower number means fire service in a given area is better equipped to put out a fire and save a home or business.  The ISO 3 rating, which is good for four years, places Walker County in the Top 12% in the nation for fire protection, ahead of more than 37,800 other cities and counties.

March 21st is Down Syndrome Day in Walker County

LaFayette, GA – Walker County Commissioner Shannon Whitfield issued a proclamation recently designating March 21, 2019 as “Down Syndrome Day” in Walker County.

Residents are encouraged to wear brightly colored socks and share pictures of those socks on social media with the hashtag #LotsOfSocks joining a global effort to get the world talking about Down syndrome.

March 21st has been selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication of the 21st chromosome which results in an individual having Down syndrome

Each year, one in every 691 children are born with Down syndrome in the United States, representing approximately 6,000 births nationwide and 90 to 100 births in Georgia

While research and early intervention have resulted in dramatic improvements in the length and quality of life of those affected, more investigation is needed into the causes and treatment of Down syndrome

People with Down syndrome possess a wide range of abilities and are active participants in educational, occupational, social and recreational circles in our community.

The citizens of Walker County are urged to support efforts enabling people with Down syndrome to live productive lives and achieve their potential.