• 14th Aug, 2015
    Strategic National Stockpile Training Exercise

     
    SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today tested its ability to receive and distribute medicine and medical equipment during a public health emergency.  In the event there is an emergency (terrorist attack, flu outbreak, earthquake) severe enough to cause local supplies to run out, the State can request what is called the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS).  The SNS is a national repository of antibiotics, chemical antidotes, antitoxins, life-support medications, IV administration, airway maintenance supplies, and medical/surgical items.  The SNS is designed to supplement and re-supply state and local public health agencies in the event of a national emergency anywhere and at anytime within the U.S. or its territories.
     
    “The anthrax...

  • 12th Aug, 2015

    Exemption certificate requires health care provider signature
     
    SPRINGFIELD – Parents or legal guardians who object, for religious reasons, to their child being immunized for school entrance must submit a Certificate of Religious Exemption, which now must be signed by a health care provider.  Signed into law on August 3, 2015, this new legislation requires a health care provider to sign the certificate confirming they have provided education to the parents or legal guardians about the benefits of immunizations and the health risks of not vaccinating students.
     
    “Vaccines not only help protect vaccinated individuals, but also help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases,” said Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.  “Because vaccines are not...

  • 11th Aug, 2015

    Illinois is one of 8 states to obtain national public health accreditation
     
    SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D., announced today that IDPH has achieved national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB).  To receive accreditation, a health department must undergo a rigorous, multi-faceted, peer-reviewed assessment process to ensure it meets or exceeds a set of quality standards and measures.
     
    “The accreditation process helps ensure the programs and services we provide are responsive to the needs of our communities,” said Director Shah.  “Achieving accreditation demonstrates our accountability and credibility to the public and our partners, and our commitment to continuously strive to improve the health of all Illinois citizens.”
     
    IDPH’s mission is to...

  • 6th Aug, 2015

    SPRINGFIELD – Whether it’s the state fair, county fair, or a summer festival, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. says taking five simple precautions can help keep you healthy.
     
    “We want people to enjoy their visit to the state fair, as well as other outdoor events.  These tips will help everyone avoid some of the more common hazards associated with the summer season,” said Director Shah.
     
    #1 Wear sunscreen:  Applying sunscreen is a quick and easy thing to do, and all skin types need protection from the sun.  For the most effective protection, be sure to apply your sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside and then reapply every two hours.  Unprotected skin can be damaged by the sun’s harmful rays in as little as 15 minutes, yet it can take up to 12 hours for skin to show the full effects of sun...

  • 4th Aug, 2015
    Illinois Department of Public Health, Champaign-Urbana Public Health District and University address mumps outbreak

     
    SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD), and McKinley Health Center are recommending students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign receive a booster shot of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine as soon as possible, even if they have already received one or two previous MMR vaccinations.
     
    “We continue to see new mumps infections in students at the University and are working to stop the spread,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah.  “While most cases on campus have already received two doses of MMR, a third dose may help control the outbreak.  Although the vaccine against mumps is extremely effective, it is not perfect.  This...

  • 29th Jul, 2015

    August marks National Immunization Awareness Month
     
    SPRINGFIELD —  As students are preparing to head back to school, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) encourage parents and guardians to ensure their children’s immunizations are up to date. There is a new school-entrance immunization requirement for the upcoming school year.
     
    Beginning this fall, a meningococcal conjugate vaccination (MCV4) requirement becomes effective for students entering grades six or 12. Sixth-graders must show proof of one dose of MCV4; 12th-graders must show proof of having received two doses. Twelfth-graders who received the first dose after 16 years of age need only one dose.
     
    In addition, any child entering kindergarten, sixth grade or ninth grade for the first time shall show proof of having...

  • 23rd Jul, 2015

    Enhancements to the Illinois Comprehensive Automated Registry Exchange (I-CARE)
     
    SPRINGFIELD – Illinois is one of three state immunization programs in the country to receive the AIM (Association of Immunization Managers) Bull's-Eye Award for Innovation and Excellence in Immunization.  The award recognizes immunization strategies that “hit their mark” by achieving identified goals.  The award also serves to increase awareness of outstanding initiatives and encourages other state immunization programs to replicate or adopt similar efforts to improve performance. 
     
    The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Immunization Program enhanced its Illinois Comprehensive Automated Registry Exchange (I-CARE).  Staff developed vaccine ordering and accountability enhancements to allow providers to easily order and manage vaccines online.  These added...

  • 14th Jul, 2015

    SPRINGFIELD - With high temperatures expected over the next couple of days, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav Shah, M.D., J.D. is urging Illinoisans to take preventive actions to avoid heat-related illness like heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
     
    “It’s important for people to recognize the signs of heat-related illness and take action to prevent becoming sick.  High heat and humidity can lead to serious health problems,” Director Shah said.  “To help your body cope with high temperatures, take steps to stay cool, increase your fluid intake, decrease your activities and wear appropriate clothing.”
     
    Stay Cool

  • 2nd Jul, 2015

    SPRINGFIELD - As we head into the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. urges residents to take a few easy steps to help avoid injury and illness during the summer.
     
    “During the Fourth of July holiday, many people have plans for picnics and pool time.  I would like to remind everyone that taking a few simple precautions can help prevent foodborne illness, heat exhaustion and insect bites,” said Director Shah.
     
    FOOD SAFETY – for cookouts and picnics, temperature is key to avoiding foodborne illness.

    • Wash hands with soap and water and keep surfaces clean
    • Keep hot food hot and cold food cold
    • Make sure all meat and poultry are properly cooked
    • Refrigerate leftovers within two hours, and if you have doubts, throw it out
    • Use...
  • 26th Jun, 2015

    Food, water, safety, and cleaning information
     
    SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D., is urging residents in and around flooded areas to take precautions to help prevent disease and stay safe.
     
    “Flood waters can contaminate food, water, house appliances, and just about anything it touches,” said Director Shah.  “To avoid illness it is important for people whose homes have been affected by flooding to make sure their water is safe to drink, to know if food needs to be thrown out, and to clean all items touched by flood waters properly.”
     
    Disease
    Flood water and sewer overflows can contain bacteria, fecal material, viruses and other organisms that may cause disease.  The following information can help protect communities from illness and...

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