The Jackson County Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are advising patients and their families to use antibiotics only when necessary to further reduce antibiotic resistance, the spread of superbugs and protect patients from side effects of antibiotics. 

During U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week (Nov. 18-24) and throughout the year, JCDPH and the CDC promote Be Antibiotic Aware, an educational effort to raise awareness about the importance of safe antibiotic use.

The Be Antibiotic Aware initiative educates the public about when antibiotics are needed, when they are not, how to take antibiotics appropriately and the potential side effects of antibiotics.

JCDPH and the CDC encourage patients to:

• Get the facts about antibiotics. Antibiotics do not work on viruses, such as those that cause colds, flu, bronchitis or runny noses even if the mucus if thick, yellow or green.

• Remember, using antibiotics when they aren’t needed will not help you and the side effects could hurt you.

• Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about the best way to feel better.

• While your body fights off a virus, pain relievers, fever reducers, saline nasal spray or drops, warm compresses, liquids and rest can help you feel better.

• If you need antibiotics, take them exactly as prescribed.

• Talk with your provider if you develop any side effects.

“When it comes to viruses, the best medicine is often prevention. Do your best to stay healthy and keep others healthy by cleaning your hands, covering your cough and staying home when you are sick,” said Carla Morgan, nursing director.

To learn more about the Be Antibiotics Aware initiative, visit https://tinyurl.com/y5ewcn8n.

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The Jackson County Department of Public Health is hosting a baby clothes drive to support the families in our community Mondays-Fridays, from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The department seeks clothing items including sleepers, hats, mittens and socks in sizes newborn to 3 months. All donations should be new or gently used and clean.

Donations will be used to support the families in our community who participate in the Obstetrics Care Management Program. This program offers case management services, education, resources and referral information to any pregnant woman who is Medicaid eligible. For more information about OBCM or about the baby clothes drive, call Martha Smith at 587-8268.

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Diabetes awareness month 

calls for education

More than 30 million Americans have diabetes, a disease with complications that include vision loss, kidney disease and heart attack.

November is recognized as National Diabetes Awareness Month by the American Diabetes Association. The ADA hopes to share a message of diabetes prevention as well as management.

Millions of Americans have diabetes, but they need to know that they are not alone. Building a support network of family and friends is an important component of diabetes management.

The benefits of managing diabetes are increased energy, improving healing and fewer skin and bladder infections. Knowledge of your blood sugar numbers, a healthy diet, adequate physical activity and getting routine healthcare are key elements to effective diabetes management.

Remember the ABCs of managing diabetes:

• A1C test for blood sugar. 

• Blood pressure.

• Cholesterol.

A certified diabetes educator can help you understand your numbers and work with you and your medical team to develop a plan to help you better manage your diabetes.

The Jackson County Department of Public Health offers diabetes self-management education and support as well as medical nutrition therapy from a team of professionals. This team includes Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator Lee Lillard, Registered Dietitian Jessi Basset and Pharmacist Amanda Holloman.

Classes are available free; a physician’s referral is required. Sign up and start diabetes education this month. For more information, contact Lillard at 587-8240 or visit http://health.jacksonnc.org/diabetes-education.