City of York - Bureau of Health Newsletter
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August 2016

Each year, thousands of children become ill from diseases that could have been prevented by basic childhood immunizations. Countless more miss time from childcare and school because they are under-immunized or inappropriately immunized. Additionally, anyone who has ever had chicken pox is at risk for getting the Shingles virus. 1 out of 3 Americans will have shingles at some time in their lives.
Back to school and Zoster vaccine clinics will be held Monday, August 15, and Wednesday August 31 from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm at the City of York - Bureau of Health located at 435 W. Philadelphia Street, York, PA 17401.
Back to school vaccines are FREE to City residents, uninsured or underinsured and children on Medicaid. Zoster vaccines are FREE to City residents 50 years of age or older and are uninsured or underinsured.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact the City of York - Bureau of Health at 717-849-2299.  Walk-ins will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.

National Breastfeeding Awareness Month

August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. The breastfeeding campaign, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, hopes to empower women to commit to breastfeeding by highlighting new research showing that babies who are exclusively breastfed for six months are less likely to develop ear infections, diarrhea and respiratory illnesses, and may be less likely to develop childhood obesity. The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action also designates August 1-7 each year as World Breastfeeding Week.  This year's National Breastfeeding Month theme will focus on reflecting back and looking forward in celebration of the five-year anniversary of The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding (SGCTA).

Recent research shows that if 90% of families in the United States breastfed exclusively for 6 months, nearly 1,000 infant deaths could be prevented each year and over 2.2 billion dollars would be saved in health care costs.  According to the CDC 2014 Breastfeeding Report Card, 72.9% of babies in Pennsylvania are breastfed at hospital discharge but only 45.7% of babies are exclusively breastfed at 6 months. 

The cells, hormones and antibodies in breastmilk help protect babies from illness.  Research suggests that breastfed babies have lower risk of asthma, eczema, ear and lower respiratory infections, SIDS, Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC), obesity, and Type 2 diabetes.  Breastfeeding also lowers a mom’s risk of certain types of breast and ovarian cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis.  It also decreases postpartum bleeding and can help a mom return to her pre-pregnancy weight. 

The Susquehanna Valley Breastfeeding Coalition can provide more information on breastfeeding.  Please contact:

Marilou Yingling, MCH Coordinator - City of York Bureau of Health
Kim Campbell
717-843-7942 x115
Ruthann Lanosz-Harris
Check out this great ydr article on breastfeeding friendly work environments. 

PA Produce Month

The House unanimously passed Rep. Kevin Schreiber's Resolution, HR 955, to make August Pennsylvania Produce Month.

Pennsylvania’s fruit and vegetable industry contributes approximately many millions of dollars a year towards the economy. Pennsylvania’s 3,950 vegetable growers plant 49,400 acres of vegetables and produce more than 280,000 tons of vegetables including sweet corn, potatoes, snap beans, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, cantaloupes, watermelon, zucchini and other squash, lima beans, lettuce, beets, carrots, onions and fresh herbs. The ability to have local fruits and vegetables readily available benefits not only the health of the local economies but the public health as well, as they are part of a balanced diet and provide many nutritional benefits.  Be sure to stop by Penn Market or Central Market and shop local!

City of York - Bureau of Health in the Community

Health Bureau staff participated in several National Night Out events on August 2, 2016.
Graduates from our most recent A Matter of Balance program at White Rose Senior Center.
Craig Walt and our William Penn High School interns visited York Fresh Food Farms to check out the farm site and learn from farm manager Bruce Manns.
Some of the produce harvested from the United Way community garden.

Community Events

Let's Walk with Mayor Bracey - Penn Park
August 23 at 12 pm

City Hall for a Day - Avenues Neighborhood
August 24 from 4pm - 6pm

Yorkfest Fine Arts Festival
August 27 from 10am - 5pm
August 28 from 10am to 4pm

York Fresh Food Farms Open House
August 30 from 6pm - 8pm

Notes from the Doc:
Dr. Matthew Howie

Protect your children, born and unborn…

The month of August starts us thinking about the return to school for children of all ages.  In the many roles each of us plays, including as parents, providers, and community members, we want to protect our children from serious and sometimes deadly diseases.   Most young parents in the U.S. have not seen the devastating effects that diseases like measles or whooping cough can have on a family or community.  The truth is they still exist.  Working with medical providers to ensure children are up to date with their vaccines is one of the best ways you can protect them from harmful and potentially deadly diseases.  When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk and can spread diseases to others in their family and community – including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions.

Just as vaccines provide proven protection against serious diseases, one of the most highly effective preventive measures a mother can take to protect the health of her infant is to breastfeed. The cells, hormones, and antibodies in breast milk protect babies from illness.  This protection is unique and changes to meet the baby’s needs. Breastfeeding helps a mother’s health and healing following childbirth and leads to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, certain types of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Finally, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention Zika virus.  While most people infected with the virus have NO symptoms, Zika virus infections during pregnancy can cause severe brain defects in the unborn child and has been associated with other adverse pregnancy outcomes. Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. Aegypti and Ae. Albopictuis).  Zika virus can also be passed between sexual partners. As of August 3, 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only the Wynwood area of Miami Florida has been identified as having local mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission in the Continental United States.  Pregnant women or those planning on becoming pregnant should:
  • Avoid traveling to known infected countries and locations
  • Follow steps to prevent mosquito bites, if travel to infected areas cannot be avoided
  • If you travel to an infected area or your partner travels to infected areas, consistently and correctly use condoms to prevent infection during sex or abstain from sex during the remainder of the pregnancy
  • Consult your medical provider if you have any concerns or questions
Yours in health,
Dr. Matt
Dr. Matthew Howie, MD, Medical Director

Barbara Kovacs, MPA, Director
Clinician's Corner

July 2016 Communicable Disease Report

Zika Media Room - Pennsylvania Department of Health

Pennsylvania Continues Efforts to Control Zika as Mosquitoes Spread Virus in Florida
C. Kim Bracey, Mayor
Copyright © 2016 York City Health Bureau, All rights reserved.

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York, PA 17405

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