DPH Advises Delaware Residents of Multi-State Salmonella Outbreak Involving Turkey Products

 

Image credit: FDA. Thermometer in cooked turkey

DOVER – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is advising Delawareans of a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Reading infections linked to raw turkey products. According to the CDC, 164 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading have been reported in 35 states, including one person in Delaware. Of the cases reported nationally, 63 people have been hospitalized. No Delawareans have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported from Delaware. One death was reported from California.

The CDC says the outbreak strain has been identified in samples taken from raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products and live turkeys. Of the 85 people interviewed, 44 (52 percent) reported preparing or eating turkey products that were purchased raw, including ground turkey, turkey pieces and whole turkey. People who were ill reported buying many different brands of raw turkey products from multiple stores. Additionally, three of the 85 people who were interviewed said they became sick after pets in their home ate raw ground turkey pet food. Another three people interviewed worked in a facility that raises or processes turkeys, or lived with someone who did.

A single, common supplier of raw turkey products or of live turkeys has not been identified. As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday period, the CDC is not advising consumers to avoid eating properly cooked turkey, and is not advising retailers to stop selling raw turkey products. However, individuals should follow these steps to help prevent Salmonella infection from raw turkey:

  • Always handle raw turkey carefully and cook it thoroughly to prevent food poisoning. This outbreak is a reminder that raw turkey can have germs that spread around food preparation areas and will make you sick.
  • Wash your hands. Salmonella infections can spread from one person to another if hands have Salmonella germs on them. Wash hands before and after preparing or eating food, after contact with animals, and after using the restroom or changing diapers.
  • Cook raw turkey thoroughly to kill harmful germs. Turkey breasts, whole turkeys, and ground poultry, including turkey burgers, casseroles, and sausage, should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F to kill harmful germs. Leftovers should be reheated to 165°F. Use a food thermometer to check, and place it in the thickest part of the food.
  • Don’t spread germs from raw turkey around food preparation areas. Washing raw poultry before cooking is not recommended. Germs in raw poultry juices can spread to other areas and foods. Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils with warm, soapy water after they are touched by raw turkey. Use a separate cutting board for raw turkey and other raw meats if possible.
  • CDC does not recommend feeding raw diets to pets. Germs like Salmonella in raw pet food can make your pets sick. Your family also can get sick by handling the raw food or by taking care of your pet.
  • Thaw turkey (https://www.cdc.gov/features/turkeytime/index.html) in the refrigerator, in a sink of cold water that is changed every 30 minutes, or in the microwave. Never thaw your turkey by leaving it out on the counter.

Most people with Salmonella infections develop diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment. Children younger than 5, adults older than 65, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe illness.

People who experience these symptoms should seek medical attention.

For more information about this outbreak, visit https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/reading-07-18/index.html . For more information about preventing Salmonella infection, visit https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/general/prevention.html.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

The Department of Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.


Diabetes Wellness Expo on November 13 Inspires People With Diabetes to Live Healthier Lifestyles

DOVERWoman using glucometer to check blood sugar – People with diabetes are encouraged to attend the free Diabetes Wellness Expo on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018, at the Dover Downs Conference Center, located at 1131 N. DuPont Highway in Dover. More than 50 exhibitors and screeners will showcase diabetes services, supplies, and programs from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The 17th annual event, organized by the Delaware Diabetes Coalition (DDC), the Division of Public Health (DPH) and other partners, brings together health care facilities, diabetes-related organizations, and businesses to promote self-management and healthier lifestyles for people with diabetes and pre-diabetes.
More than 85,000 Delawareans have diabetes and an additional 85,000 people have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, adult blindness, lower-limb amputations, heart disease, and stroke in the United States. The disease requires extensive medical monitoring and costly, lifelong treatment. However, the health impacts of the disease can be managed through healthier lifestyle choices, the use of self-management techniques, and properly prescribed medications, which allow many to enjoy a higher quality of life.

The expo includes educational presentations on diabetes/pre-diabetes management, medication adherence, healthy eating, A1C control, and the benefits of exercise. Blood sugar, blood pressure, foot care, eye exams and other screenings are available. Free flu shots will also be provided. A box lunch including a gourmet sandwich, fruit and beverage will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Overweight and obesity are major contributing factors for developing diabetes. According to the 2017 Delaware Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (BRFS), 19.6 percent of Delaware adults who report being obese have been diagnosed with diabetes, compared with 6.1 percent of adults who report normal weights. The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse estimates between 90 percent and 95 percent of people with diabetes have type 2. People with pre-diabetes are at risk for developing type 2 (previously called adult onset) diabetes, but they can significantly reduce that risk by increasing physical activity and eating a healthier diet.

The 2017 BRFS also provides information about compliance with recommendations for people with diabetes.

  • 60.4 percent say they check their blood glucose (sugar) levels one or more times per day. The recommended frequency is three times a day for most adults with diabetes.
  • 33.8 percent see their doctor four or more times a year. An additional 35 percent say they see their doctor two or three times a year.
  • 92 percent say they have been checked by a doctor for Hemoglobin A1-C one or more times in the past year.
  • 76.9 percent of people with diabetes had an eye exam in which their pupils were dilated during the past year.
  • 15.8 percent of people with diabetes said they have been told by a doctor that diabetes has affected their eyes, or they have retinopathy.
  • 80.9 percent said a health professional had checked their feet for sores or irritations one or more times in the past year.
  • Half (50.4 percent) of all adults diagnosed with diabetes say they have taken a course or class in how to manage diabetes.

For more information, call the DDC at 302-388-9728 or DPH’s Diabetes and Heart Disease Prevention and Control Program at 302-744-1020. You can also learn more about diabetes programs and resources at http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/dpc/diabetes.html.


A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.


Flu is in Delaware! DPH Announces Influenza Cases Just Before Official Start of 2018-2019 season

The words Get Flu Shot written on a CalendarDOVER — The Division of Public Health (DPH) is announcing two laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza, just three weeks before the official start of the 2018-2019 flu season, which begins September 30. Two women, one 50 years old from Sussex County, and one 70 years old from New Castle County, were diagnosed with the flu within the last week. Both were diagnosed with A strain influenza; neither was hospitalized. During the 2017-2018 flu season, Delaware recorded 9,041 flu cases, (including the above) the highest number of laboratory-confirmed flu cases since record keeping began in 2005, and 35 flu-related deaths. Last season’s first flu cases were not confirmed until late October.

“While it is unusual to see flu occur this early, we should not rush to assume that means this coming season will be a harsh one,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “The flu is unpredictable. But what is predictable is that getting your annual flu vaccine can prevent you from getting the flu, and from spreading it to family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. The flu is highly contagious and can even be deadly so we urge you to get your flu vaccine now. It is not too early.”
The flu vaccine is recommended for Delawareans 6 months of age and older. Since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against influenza virus infection to develop in the body, it is important to get vaccinated as early as possible to give your body time to build immunity. Getting the flu vaccine now will also provide protection during the entire flu season.

On Friday, Oct. 5, DPH will hold a free flu clinic at the Porter State Service Center, 511 W. 8th St., Wilmington, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The first 200 people to get their flu vaccines will receive a free gift card. On Tuesday, Oct. 9, DPH will hold a drive-thru flu clinic at the DelDOT Administration Building, 800 S. Bay Road, Dover, from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. or until vaccines run out. Eagle 97.7 and Cool 101.3 will hold live broadcasts. Both clinics will be held rain or shine.

DPH will also offer various other flu clinics throughout the season. A schedule can be found at https://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/fluclinics.html. Flu vaccines are also offered through physician offices, many pharmacies and some grocery stores. To locate where flu vaccines near you are being offered, Google “CDC flu finder” and enter a ZIP code.

The flu is easy to transmit and you can get it even from seemingly healthy, but unvaccinated, children and adults. Vaccinations not only prevent people from getting the flu, but they can also reduce the severity of flu illness and prevent visits to the doctor, clinic, emergency room, along with hospitalizations and serious consequences (including death) from influenza. Vaccinated people have less chance of missing family, school and work events due to influenza illness.

In addition to getting an annual flu shot, Delawareans can prevent the spread of the flu and other respiratory illness with good hygiene: Wash hands frequently with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers, cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and dispose of tissues immediately. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your inner elbow. Droplets from a sneeze can travel up to six feet. Also avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Keep your distance from people who are coughing or sneezing.

Flu symptoms come on suddenly, and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches and body aches, chills and fatigue. Some people get complications including pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections. Those sick with the flu should stay home from work, school and other gatherings and not return until they have been free of fever — with temperature less than 100 degrees F (37.8 degrees C), without the use of fever-reducing medications for at least 24 hours.

They should avoid close contact with well people in the household and stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other clear liquids. Over-the-counter medicines can provide symptom relief but if you suspect you have influenza, call your doctor as they may decide to provide antiviral medications to help hasten recovery and prevent serious complications. This is particularly important for those who feel very sick, are pregnant or have chronic medical conditions.
For more information about the flu and where to get vaccinated, visit flu.delaware.gov or call 1-800-282-8672.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.


DPH Invites Public Comment on Delaware Statewide Health Assessment

DOVER — The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is seeking input from Delawareans on a draft version of a statewide assessment identifying the primary health needs of First State residents. DPH worked with a broad range of non-profit and medical partners, and community-based and government agencies to create the draft Statewide Health Assessment (SHA) document.

The SHA is an examination of the health of our population. Data gathering for a needs assessment to develop this document began in 2016. The data, pulled from a variety of sources including focus groups, were used to identify local and statewide trends for the identification and prioritization of strategies. The ultimate goal of a SHA is to develop strategies to address critical health needs and identify challenges and assets in the state in a comprehensive way.

All results were compiled and analyzed collectively to paint a collective picture of Delaware’s health. This comprehensive process yielded the following four top-level priority areas of focus:

1. Chronic Disease: specifically -heart disease, diabetes, and asthma
2. Maternal and Child Health: specifically – teen pregnancy, premature births, and low birth weight
3. Substance Use/Misuse: specifically -the opioid epidemic, accidental overdose, and smoking/e-cigarette use
4. Mental Health: specifically – mental health diagnoses (especially in youth), suicide/suicidal ideations, and impact of trauma.

The plan is posted at http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/files/shna.pdf. Comments can be submitted at http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/files/shaform.pdf. The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, July 31, 2018.

Residents are encouraged to provide feedback about the information presented in the draft SHA. After receiving public comments, DPH will organize partners again to develop strategies and goals to address Delaware’s major health needs.

“It’s important to hear from residents about our draft plan for the health and well-being of Delawareans,” said DPH Associate Deputy Director, Cassandra Codes-Johnson. “We want to know what’s important to you. All residents should have the opportunity to provide input on the issues that are closest to their hearts.”

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.


DPH TO HOLD MASS CARE EXERCISE AT SUSSEX CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL JUNE 19-20, 2018

picture of bunk beds used in a shelterGEORGETOWN — The Division of Public Health (DPH) Emergency Medical Services and Preparedness Section (EMSPS) will host a two-day, operations-based exercise on Tuesday, June 19, and Wednesday, June 20, at Sussex Central High School, 26026 Patriots Way, Georgetown. The purpose of the exercise is to test the division’s ability to operate a shelter for residents who may be displaced or unable to occupy their homes in the event of a disaster.

Area residents will notice DPH staff and emergency vehicles at the Sussex Central High School campus in Georgetown during this two-day timeframe, but should be advised that activities taking place are simulation only, and should not to be mistaken for a real-life event. A site survey and exercise preparation will take place from noon to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 19, and the full exercise will run from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 20.

This full-scale exercise is one of several emergency planning events that are designed to test public health responsibilities during mass care operations. This exercise focuses on the mass care shelter components of a response. The exercise planning team will test several capabilities relating to staff notification, intelligence sharing, and Medical Reserve Corps training. Testing all functions simultaneously will provide evaluators with an accurate assessment of response plans and responders.

“This is a vitally important exercise as it will test our staff’s readiness to assemble and effectively run a shelter in the event of an actual emergency,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Our commitment to keeping all Delawareans safe during a disaster is a top priority and one we take seriously. I look forward to a successful exercise over the course of these two days.”

DPH will incorporate the lessons learned from this exercise into existing plans to improve future responses. A critical area during exercises such as this one is to train with partner agencies identified as having a responsibility in emergency planning. DPH continues to partner with federal, state, and local stakeholders to prepare for a seamless response during future events.

For more information about the EMSPS exercise schedule, visit http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/php/excalendar.html.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.