The North Shore Health Department Highlights for 3/14/2017

Did You Know?

During Patient Safety Awareness Week (March 12-18), it is important to discuss antibiotic resistance. At least 30 percent of antibiotics used in the United States are unnecessarily prescribed. Colds, flu, most sore throats, bronchitis, and many sinus and ear infections are caused by viruses. While antibiotics have saved many lives from bacterial infection, they do not help fight viruses and when misused can cause antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in a way that reduces the effectiveness of drugs, chemicals, or other agents designed to cure or prevent infections. The drugs may only work on the original bacteria, so the newly-changed bacteria survive, despite treatment, and continue to multiply and cause illness. It may be tempting to stop taking an antibiotic as soon as you feel better. However, failure to complete the full treatment as prescribed by your physician can result in the need to resume treatment later or require stronger antibiotics, and may promote antibiotic resistance. The overuse and misuse of antibiotics has become a growing problem in the United States and across the world.

What can you do?

  •         Ask your healthcare professional about what you can do stop or slow antibiotic resistance.
  •         Ask your healthcare professional if there are steps you can take to feel better and get relief from your symptoms without using antibiotics.
  •         Take prescribed antibiotics exactly as your healthcare professional tells you.
  •         Safely discard any leftover medication. All police departments in the North Shore accept unneeded medications for disposal.
  •         Do not take antibiotics for viral infections such as colds, flu, most sore throats, most coughs and bronchitis, most sinus infections, and most ear infections. It is best to discuss an illness with your physician to determine what treatment you need.

Learn more at:



The North Shore Health Department Highlights for 3/07/2017

Did You Know?

Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can infect both men and women. It can cause infections in the genitals, rectum, and throat. A recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the total combined cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis reported in 2015 reached the highest number ever. There were nearly 400,000 cases of gonorrhea reported. There is a growing concern about gonorrhea becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics normally used to treat it. The CDC currently recommends a combination gonorrhea treatment with two antibiotics – an oral dose of azithromycin and single shot of ceftriaxone. The CDC also mentions that STI programs have experienced budget cuts resulting in reduced access to care. Gonorrhea that goes untreated can cause complications such as chronic pelvic pain, life-threatening ectopic pregnancy, and even infertility.

How can STIs be prevented?

Providers: Make STI screening a standard part of medical care, especially in pregnant women. Integrate STI prevention and treatment into prenatal care and other routine visits. If treatment is needed, use the CDC recommended treatment guidelines.

Community: Talk openly about STIs, get tested regularly, provide education to your children as well as the community.


  •         Vaccinate- Vaccines are safe, effective, and recommended ways to prevent hepatitis B and HPV. 
  •         Reducing number of sex partners- Reducing your number of sex partners can decrease your risk for STIs. It is still important that you and your partner get tested, and that you share your test results with one another.
  •        Condoms-Correct and consistent use of the male latex condom is highly effective in reducing STI transmission.
  •         Mutual Monogamy- Mutual monogamy means that you agree to be sexually active with only one person, who has agreed to be sexually active only with you. Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner is one of the most reliable ways to avoid STIs. 
  •         Abstinence: The most reliable way to avoid infection is to not have sex.

Visit the links below to get information on STI’s and clinics




The North Shore Health Department Highlights for 3/01/2017

Did You Know?

March is National Nutrition Month. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines provide recommendations based on current scientific and medical knowledge. Chronic diseases have risen due to poor eating and physical activity patterns. Eating more fruits and vegetables may lower a person's risk for chronic diseases such as certain cancers and cardiovascular disease The key recommendations of a healthy eating pattern include:

• A variety of vegetables from all subgroups. (dark green, red and orange, legumes, starchy, and other)

• Fruits, especially whole fruits.

• Grains, at least half of which are whole grains.

• Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy.

• A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds, and soy products.

• Limiting saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium.

Another important aspect in having a healthy lifestyle is increasing physical activity. Exercise does not have to be a chore. Choose something that you enjoy such as taking your dog for a brisk 10-minute walk, join an exercise class, or care for a vegetable/flower garden. Visit https://www.choosemyplate.gov/physical-activity-tips for more tips on physical activity.

For tips, recipes, or more information please visit:

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/dietary-guidelines  http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/

The North Shore Health Department Highlights for 2/21/2017

Did You Know?

 Vitamin D is important for overall health and strong and healthy bones. Most people get vitamin D from diet and sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency can result in health problems such as causing your bones to become thin, brittle or misshapen which can put people at an increased risk for falls. Vitamin D that you get from your diet may not be enough, but sunlight can often make up the difference. Vitamin D deficiency may not be a concern for everyone but certain groups such as individuals who are obese, have dark skin and who are older than age 65 may be more at risk. These individuals may have low levels of Vitamin D due to their diets as well as little sun exposure.

 It can be especially difficult to increase Vitamin D through sun exposure during the winter months. Dietary supplements can help, as well as eating Vitamin D rich food, including salmon, tuna, fish liver oils, milk, yogurt, and eggs. Use caution when taking supplements, as it is also possible to have too much Vitamin D which can affect your health. We encourage you to talk to your healthcare provider about your needs and the use of dietary supplements to determine what may be best for your overall health.

To learn more about Vitamin D visit this link: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-Consumer/

The North Shore Health Department Highlights for 2/14/2017

Did You Know?

Happy Valentine’s Day, and Happy American Heart Month!  Did you know that hypertension (also known as high blood pressure) affects one out of every three adults over the age of 20?  Damage to your blood vessels from undetected or uncontrolled high blood pressure (HBP) can lead to heart attack, stroke, heart failure and other serious health threats.

Some of the risk factors that could increase your chances of developing this largely-symptomless disease are:

·    Family history—parents or other close blood relatives with HBP

·    Age—as you age, blood vessels lose elasticity, increasing the chance of HBP

·    Gender--until age 45, men are more likely to have HBP; from age 45 to 64, men and women have similar rates of HBP, and at 65 and older, women are more likely to have HBP

·    Race—in the US, African-Americans tend to develop HBP more often than people of any other racial background

·    Lack of physical activity--not getting enough physical activity increases your risk of HBP

·    An unhealthy diet—a diet too high in sodium (salt), calories, saturated fat and sugar increases your risk of HBP, but healthy food choices can lower blood pressure

·    Being overweight or obese—extra weight puts extra strain on your heart and can cause HBP

·    Drinking too much alcohol—can cause HBP and many other health problems

·    Smoking and tobacco use—cause an increase in blood pressure

·    Excess stress--may contribute to HBP or encourage behaviors mentioned above (poor diet, inactivity, tobacco and alcohol use), which contribute to HBP

·    Preexisting medical conditions—some medical conditions (including pregnancy, some heart defects, kidney disorders, sleep apneas) or medications taken for other medical conditions may cause HBP

The American Heart Association provides a free health risk calculator where you can calculate your High Blood Pressure Health Risks, and plan lifestyle changes to decrease your risk: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/UnderstandSymptomsRisks/Calculate-Your-High-Blood-Pressure-Health-Risks_UCM_301829_Article.jsp

The North Shore Health Department offers free blood pressure clinics (no appointment needed) at area locations.  See our website for locations and times:  http://www.nshealthdept.org/Clinics.aspx

The North Shore Health Department Highlights for 2/7/2017

Did You Know?

Knowing a loved one is struggling with addiction is heartbreaking and scary. As a support person, it is important to get informed and know where to turn for help. Fortunately, addiction is considered a highly treatable disease and recovery is attainable. If you suspect someone you love is addicted to alcohol or drugs, here are steps to take:

  •          If your loved one has asked for help, start by finding a treatment provider https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/ and schedule an assessment appointment.
  •          If your loved one is resistant to help, attempt to interest them in an assessment with a health care provider. Often people will listen to a trusted professional rather than family or friends. Ensure this provider is comfortable speaking with their patients about addiction. If not, ask for a referral to another doctor with more expertise in the area of addiction.
  •          If your loved one is not ready for an assessment, locate an appropriate physician or health professional, and leave this information in a place your loved one can find it when they are ready.  

For extra support: https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/treatment/what-to-do-if-your-adult-friend-or-loved-one-has-problem-drugs


Help us take 1 Billion Steps!

Walking is one of the easiest ways to improve your health — and it’s more fun if we do it together. That’s why we are participating in APHA’s 1 Billion Steps Challenge. We’ve created a team called North Shore Health Department. When you join you’ll be able to track how many steps you take, see total steps for our team and the collective progress of all teams toward the goal of 1 Billion steps. You can synch your step counting device or enter steps manually if you don’t have a device. So register today, and let’s get walking! We’ll have a lot of fun, improve our heath, and walk more than any other team! You can view the link to sign up on our website: www.nshealthdept.org