Warm Weather Insect Advisory Issued

Thursday, May 17, 2018
The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department offers these precautions so residents can protect themselves, their families, neighbors and pets as the combination of increasingly warmer weather, people getting outside to enjoy it and rising insect populations brings potential for insect-borne diseases, also called vector-borne diseases. 
 
Tick-borne Diseases
Several varieties of ticks in our local area carry bacteria that can be transmitted through a tick bite. It is important to recognize these general symptoms and seek medical attention as soon as possible:
•         Fever and chills;
•         Aches, pains and fatigue, sometimes joint pain;
•         Rash, sometimes in unusual shapes like a “bull’s eye,” or spots that may appear elsewhere on the body or an ulcer at the bite site;
•         Some people will not develop rashes, but most do;
•         Rashes can occur within hours or up to 30 days after the tick bite.

 
Prevent tick-borne diseases by using insect repellent, avoid getting off trails and roads, and checking your entire body for ticks as soon as possible after being outdoors. Check children, gear, and pets thoroughly. More in-depth descriptions and pictures can be found at cdc.gov/ticks.  
 
Mosquito-borne Diseases
Overall, mosquito-borne illnesses in Tennessee are rare. The greatest risk statewide is for West Nile virus, which can cause fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash, and in rare cases even death. 
 
Although the Zika virus is currently not established in our local area, two major concerns are contracting the illness while traveling to an affected region of the world, and the risk to the unborn babies of pregnant women. The virus is known to cause birth defects such as microcephaly, and also brain damage, seizures, or problems with vision and hearing. Zika virus is also transmitted through sexual fluids for up to 8 weeks by infected women and up to 6 months by infected men. Condoms should be worn during these time frames, even within monogamous relationships. The virus can also cause Guillain-Barré Syndrome in anyone.
 
To prevent mosquito bites, use insect repellent, wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible, and eliminate standing water on your property.
 
Parasites
While not a vector-borne disease, two intestinal parasites found locally that are of concern this time of year are Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Giardia may produce vomiting, chills, headache, or fever, while “Crypto” can cause watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, and headaches. Both can be treated with anti-parasitic medications. They can be prevented by filtering or boiling untreated water and avoid getting untreated water in your mouth and nose while swimming.
 
For more information, call our Environmental Health Services at 209-8110 or the Epidemiology section at 423-209-8190.


Pollinator Festival Held On Lookout Mountain

The Pollinator Festival was held on Sunday in the Lookout Mountain School gym. It wa sponsored by the Bee City U.S.A., which both the Tennessee and Georgia. towns have joined. The aim is to promote best practices and to encourage people to help pollinators. The event was also sponsored by the Lookout Mountain Beautiful Garden Club.  (click for more)

8th Annual EMS Week Bass Tournament Set For Monday

May 20-26, 2018 is National EMS Week.  In Chattanooga, officials will be celebrating and recognizing emergency service personnel by holding the eighth annual EMS Week Bass Tournament at Chester Frost Park Boat Ramp on Monday. Emergency medical technicians, paramedics, firefighters, police officers and hospital personnel throughout the Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina ... (click for more)

City Stormwater Board Approves Water Quality And Development Fee Increases

The city Stormwater Regulations Board on Monday recommended that the city approve water quality and land development increases sought by the Berke administration, though board members said there had not been enough time for the board and the public to study the fee hikes. Bill Payne, city engineer, said the water quality fee increase would amount to an average $11 per year per ... (click for more)

Blakemore Gets 23-Year Prison Term For Selling Heroin That Caused Death Of Red Bank Man

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Liberal Conspiracy Afoot

According to Roy Exum’s Sunday column, there are now upwards of six or seven Democrats in Hamilton County, and all of them have secretly maneuvered their way onto the boards of a couple of dozen local organizations. Unlike Republicans, some of them serve on multiple boards and some of them serve with one another on the same boards. This is outrageous. We all know that boards and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Words For The Ages

I was probably one of few people in the entire world who didn’t get caught up in the Royal Marriage of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry this weekend. I got over having any semblance of ‘pomp and circumstance’ a long time ago and, as a rule, studiously avoid those apt to ‘put on airs and graces.’ By ignoring the magnificent occasion, I made a big mistake and today it is with delight ... (click for more)