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Virginia Department of Health

Free CME and CE Training Opportunities Available for Health Care Professionals

Free CME and CE courses on public health for physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals discuss topics such as nutrition, child health, prevention and health promotion. Visit the training opportunities page to learn more.

Grilling Safety Month

food on grillOutdoor grilling is one of the most popular ways to cook food during the summer. As you and your family cook outdoors, its' important to follow food safety guidelines to prevent foodborne illnesses. For more information and tips for safe grilling:

National Breastfeeding Awareness Month

August is National Breastfeeding Month in Virginia!  Exclusively breastfeeding provides babies the perfect nutrition and everything they need for healthy growth and development.  Breastfeeding is good for mom too!  It burns calories, and makes it easier to lose those excess pounds gained during pregnancy.

Virginia Health Information
'Virginia Health Information' is a resource for patients and consumers looking to learn about and compare options on everything from obstetrical services, to heart care, to pricing information on commonly performed medical procedures. Virginians can use VHI information to make informed health care purchasing decisions and as the basis for an informed conversation with their health care providers. Learn more>>

Algae Bloom

Algal Blooms

Algae are naturally-occurring microscopic organisms found in fresh and salt waters of Virginia and around the world. During hot summer months it is not uncommon for algae to multiply rapidly creating what is called an algal bloom. Algal blooms often result in a noticeable change in the color of the water. They can be many colors, but are most commonly red or brown and are referred to as “red” or “brown” tides. An odor may also be present in the vicinity of the bloom, and bioluminescence may also be visible at night. Most algal blooms are not harmful, but some do affect humans, fish, birds, and marine mammals. more>>

Ensure a Healthy Future

National Immunization Awareness Month

Each year in August, National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) provides an opportunity to highlight the value of immunization across the lifespan.  Immunizations play an important role in protecting the health of ourselves, our families and our communities.  Now is the perfect time to ensure that you and your loved ones of all ages are up to date on all recommended vaccines.  Remember, vaccines aren’t just for young children.  Specific immunizations are recommended for tweens and teens entering middle school and college, anyone who may be traveling abroad or have certain underlying health conditions, and senior adults age 60 and over.  As we celebrate NIAM, August is the perfect time to schedule time to talk with your healthcare provider about what vaccines you and your family members may need.  Immunization schedules for all stages of life may be found on CDC’s website:

child swimming

Healthy & Safe Swimming

Warm weather and sunny days are here! Public pools, lakes, rivers and beaches around Virginia are open for swimming fun this summer. This is an ideal time to maximize the health benefits of recreational water activities by promoting healthy and safe swimming. VDH encourages those using and maintaining swimming pools and water parks, and those heading to their favorite beach, lake or river to focus on taking simple steps to help ensure a healthy and safe swimming experience for everyone.

Vibrio, a group of bacteria that are naturally found in saltwater and brackish (somewhat salty) waters, can cause a potentially serious intestinal illness called vibriosis. The bacteria can also cause wound infections. To prevent Vibrio wound infections, it is important to avoid exposing open wounds or cuts to saltwater or brackish water. If exposed, wash the affected area right away with soap and clean water. If the wound shows signs of an infection, visit a health care provider right away. Learn how to prevent waterborne illnesses and swimming-related injuries.

Extreme Heat Chart

Stay Safe and Healthy This Summer

The temperatures are rising and the days are getting longer. Extreme heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the United States. Heat stress ranges from milder conditions like heat rash and heat cramps to the most common, heat exhaustion. The most serious heat-related illness is heat stroke. Your best defense against heat-related illness is prevention. Staying cool and making simple changes in your fluid intake, activities, and clothing during hot weather can help you remain safe and healthy. Here are some tips to help make your summer the best and healthiest one yet.

Home with damaged roof

Image courtesy of VDEM, Damage from Hurricane Irene in 2011

Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricanes are destructive and dangerous. Not only do strong winds cause severe damage but after a storm there may be flooding, downed power lines, damage from mold and other health risks. Even if there is no risk of a hurricane, right now it is the perfect time to prepare. Don’t delay.

Learn more about hurricanes and other tropical storms so you can be prepared to keep your family safe.

Well-BeingVDH Would Like Your Help

VDH is working collaboratively with public and private partners to develop a population health plan – better referred to as a plan for well-being - for Virginia. This plan will provide the organizational framework to work towards improving the health of all Virginians. If you would like to give input, please complete this survey.

Last Updated: 08-21-2015

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