• 28th Sep, 2018
    Grants designed to improve and strengthen Illinois communities

    SPRINGFIELD – The Serve Illinois Commission (Serve Illinois) today announced that funding is available for agencies interested in administering AmeriCorps programs in the state.  The grant places AmeriCorps members in communities to improve education and health care, protect public safety, safeguard the environment, provide disaster relief, and promote civic engagement through service. Last year, Serve Illinois’ AmeriCorps programs invested more than $87 million in Illinois communities and served nearly 400,000 people.
    “Each year, AmeriCorps members dedicate a year of their lives to get things done in Illinois,” said Scott McFarland, Executive Director of the Serve Illinois Commission. “Members work with disadvantaged youth, veterans and...

  • 24th Sep, 2018
    Nasal spray a recommended option for 2018-2019 flu season

    SPRINGFIELD – As soon as the influenza (flu) vaccine is available in your community, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) recommends everyone six months and older be vaccinated.  The nasal spray flu vaccine is now a recommended option for influenza vaccination.  During the past two flu seasons, the nasal spray was not recommended due to concern about its effectiveness.  
    “It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.  “The flu season typically starts around October so we recommend you make plans to get vaccinated now, before flu season begins.”
    Flu activity peaks between December and February, but activity can last as late...

  • 21st Sep, 2018
    Continue to take steps to avoid tick bites

    SPRINGFIELD –The risk of tickborne illness is still out there, even as we head into the fall.  A Kankakee resident recently tested positive for Heartland Virus, the first reported case in Illinois.  Reported cases of Heartland virus disease are relatively rare.  Likely spread by the Lone Star tick, more than 30 cases of Heartland virus disease have been reported in the Midwest and southern United States.
    “We’ve been seeing much warmer weather than usual for this time of the year, which people have taken advantage of by spending time outside,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.  “While the weather is still warm, continue to take steps to protect yourself from tick bites.”
    Heartland virus was first identified...

  • 5th Sep, 2018

    Hepatitis A outbreaks reported in neighboring states

    SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to prevent hepatitis A outbreaks in Illinois, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is working with almost two dozen local health departments1 around the state to make hepatitis A vaccine more readily available. States across the country, including states bordering Illinois, have been seeing hepatitis A outbreaks. IDPH is not currently reporting any hepatitis A outbreaks.

    “Hepatitis A is an infection that can damage the liver, and is passed easily from one person to another through food, water, drug use, and sex,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. “To help prevent people in Illinois from getting hepatitis A, the Illinois Department of Public Health has requested large numbers of hepatitis A vaccines from the Centers for Disease Control and...