• 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...

  • 29th Aug, 2018

    SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has confirmed the first human West Nile virus-related death in Illinois for 2018.  A LaSalle County resident over 65 years who became ill during the first part of August and tested positive for West Nile virus has died.
    “Although we’re moving toward the end of summer, West Nile virus remains a risk until the first hard frost,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.  “It’s important for everyone to continue taking precautions like using insect repellent, wearing long sleeve shirts and pants, and staying indoors between dusk and dawn.”
    Last year IDPH reported the first human West Nile virus death in Illinois on September 29, 2017. During 2017, there were 90 human West Nile virus cases, including eight deaths.  IDPH is currently reporting 22 human cases.  West Nile virus positive results...

  • 27th Aug, 2018

    SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) moves to lower the level at which public health interventions are initiated for children with blood lead levels from 10 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL) to 5 µg/dL.  IDPH has submitted rules to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) to adopt the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) childhood lead reference level.  JCAR must approve the proposed change.
    “The new lower action level means that more children will be identified as having lead exposure, allowing parents, doctors, public health officials, and communities to take action earlier to reduce the child’s future exposure to lead,” said Governor Bruce Rauner.  “We’ve made great strides in reducing the number of children exposed to lead, and now we’re taking it to the next level to protect our future generations.”

  • 9th Aug, 2018
    Learn which vaccines you need during National Immunization Awareness Month

    SPRINGFIELD – When most people hear the words vaccine or immunization, they think about childhood vaccines.  And while vaccinating babies and children is critical to staying healthy, you never outgrow the need for immunizations.  During National Immunization Awareness Month, learn what vaccines you, your kids, and other family members need.
    “Vaccination is a shared responsibility,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.  “Although you may be healthy and only experience mild illnesses from a vaccine preventable disease, you could pass that disease to people around you who may become seriously ill.  Babies who are too young to be vaccinated, older adults, and people with chronic conditions like...

  • 27th Jul, 2018
    Timely Testing and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis Can Save Lives

    SPRINGFIELD – In recognition of World Hepatitis Day, July 28, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is encouraging people to talk with a health care provider to see if they should be tested or vaccinated for hepatitis A, B, or C.  Viral hepatitis is caused by several different viruses that can infect the liver.  Each virus is transmitted differently, though in general, they are highly transmissible through bodily fluids, sexual contact, and contaminated water. 
    “A person with hepatitis B or C may not show symptoms for years or decades,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.  “According to the World Health Organization, at least 60 percent of liver cancer cases are due to late testing and treatment of viral hepatitis B and C. ...

  • 20th Jul, 2018

    SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) continues to work with local, state, and federal public health officials to investigate an increase in the number of Cyclospora illnesses in counties all across Illinois. Since mid-May, IDPH has received confirmation of 243 cases of cyclosporiasis, an intestinal illness caused by the microscopic Cyclospora parasite. Of those, 92 reported eating salads produced for McDonald’s restaurants in the days before becoming ill. A new outbreak of cyclosporiasis linked to a private event at Evanston Golf Club in Skokie, Illinois, was identified this week. Not all sources of illness have been identified.

    “Our investigation includes interviewing people who have become ill to learn what they ate, where they ate it, when, and if there are any commonalities,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. “Additionally, we’re...

  • 18th Jul, 2018

    SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced the 2018 Second Quarterly Report of Nursing Home Violators is now posted on IDPH’s website.  The report contains additional information about the violations.
    The facilities listed below were cited with type “AA” or “A” violations of the Nursing Home Care Act and processed between April-June 2018.  An “AA” violation is cited when there is a condition or occurrence at the facility that proximately caused a resident’s death.  An “A” violation pertains to a condition in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious mental or physical harm will result, or has resulted.
    The following facilities were cited with “AA” violations and fined $50,000.

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