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World Tuberculosis Day: Disease Still Very Active in Mississippi

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World Tuberculosis Day: Disease Still Very Active in Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss. – Today is World Tuberculosis Day, and data recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the number of new tuberculosis (TB) cases in Mississippi increased 13 percent from 2013, which should remind Mississippians this disease is still a very present threat in the state.

In 2014, there were 74 cases of TB reported in Mississippi, bringing the state’s case rate to 2.5 (per 100,000 people), compared with the national average case rate of 3.0.

“With today’s level of air travel and the mobility of world’s population, it clear that any disease is only a plane ride away,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs. “Despite the progress made in controlling the disease, the CDC estimates that at current levels of progress, it will take at least 100 years to eliminate TB in the U.S.”

According to the latest numbers released from the CDC, approximately every 64 minutes, someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with TB disease. About one-third of the world’s population is currently infected, and a new infection occurs every second.

Mississippi has benefited from the use of the latest treatment and diagnostic tools in the fight against TB, but Dobbs said that constant diligence is required to identify and treat new cases promptly to reduce the spread of the disease.

“TB rates have remained relatively stable in Mississippi over the past several years, but this disease remains a significant public health problem in our state. We continue to be vigilant in our efforts to reduce the incidence of this disease in Mississippi,” said Dr. Dobbs.

“Expert physicians and nurses at MSDH work tirelessly to treat and prevent TB every day,” he said. “Using comprehensive and aggressive surveillance, the Department of Health can respond quickly and effectively when TB outbreaks do occur.”

Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes TB, is expelled into the air when those with TB disease cough or sneeze. Others may become infected when they breathe the bacteria into their lungs. In fact, an estimated 90,000 Mississippians currently have TB infection, a form of TB that is not contagious but, if left untreated, is capable of becoming active and causing disease.

For more information on TB in Mississippi, visit or call 1-866-HLTHY4U

Follow MSDH by e-mail and social media at

CONTACT: Office of Communications, 601-576-7667
Note to media: After hours or during emergencies, call 1-866-HLTHY4U (1-866-458-4948)

New pulse oximetry screening regulation will ensure all Mississippi newborns receive test to detect heart defects

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Mississippi’s tiniest hearts are about to be better protected
New pulse oximetry screening regulation will ensure all Mississippi newborns receive test to detect heart defects

Jackson, Miss. - Mississippi’s tiniest hearts will have a greater chance of beating stronger going forward. The Mississippi State Department of Health recently included pulse oximetry (pulse ox) screening as a requirement for all the state’s birthing centers as part of its newborn screening panel regulations.

State Health Officer Dr. Mary Currier says this addition is important in our genetic screening process.

“We are very pleased to have added Critical Congenital Heart Defects (CCHD) screening to the list of required screenings for newborns in Mississippi. Screening for CCHD prior to discharge from the hospital will allow those affected babies to be cared for before they have symptoms from their heart defects.”

The American Heart Association, along with advocates and volunteers from across the state, have been working to have pulse oximetry screening added to the newborn screening panel for babies born in Mississippi for several years.

Pulse oximetry screening of newborns can detect congenital heart defects, the number one killer of infants with birth defects.1

“This is wonderful news,” said Dr. Mary Taylor, Division Chief of Pediatric Cardiology & Critical Care and Co-Director of the Congenital Heart Program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. “Pulse ox screening will certainly saves lives. Infants in our state who are born with congenital heart defects will be recognized sooner and get the urgent care that they need. It will truly be life-saving."

Current detection methods miss more than 50% of all newborn cases of congenital heart defects.2 Those methods of detection generally include prenatal ultrasound screening and repeated clinical examinations which can identify many affected newborns. However, these screenings alone still only identify less than half of all cases and critical heart defect cases are often missed during routine clinical exams performed prior to a newborn’s discharge from a birthing facility.

"On my husband's side of the family, our nephew died from an undetected congenital heart defect," Claire Hick, AHA volunteer from Hernando, Miss. explained. "As a new mom, it gives me peace of mind to know that the American Heart Association has worked to protect my child against the most common type of heart defect that can be treated when caught early."

Pulse oximetry screening is a non-invasive test that estimates the percentage of hemoglobin in blood that is saturated with oxygen. The test is simple, merely wrapping the small Band-Aid like oxygen sensor around the baby’s toe or foot. When performed on newborns in the delivery center it is effective at detecting life-threating defects which otherwise can go undetected by current screening methods.3

American Heart Association staffer Amy Bass of Petal knows about congenital heart defects first hand. After a difficult pregnancy in 2004, her daughter Abby was born a seemingly perfectly healthy little girl. It wasn’t until the next morning that the doctors informed her that Abby had the congenital heart defect coarctation of the aorta. Results of a pulse ox test had raised a red flag and spurred additional testing which determined the diagnosis.

Doctors performed open heart surgery on Abby when she was just four days old and then another at 18 months old. Today Abby is a healthy, happy thriving eleven year old.

“Abby is a walking miracle,” said Bass. “Had she not received a pulse ox test her CHD could have gone undiagnosed, which might have been fatal for her. It is so reassuring to know that parents across our state won’t have to endure the tragedy of undiagnosed heart defects that result in the loss of a life. Pulse ox testing is going to save so many lives.”

What’s more, pulse oximetry screening is cost effective and could drastically cut healthcare costs. One study calculated that the savings in healthcare costs from the prevention of one case of complications of circulatory collapse resulting from an undiagnosed congenital heart defect may exceed the cost of screening two thousand newborns.4

In 2011, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services recommended that pulse oximetry screening be included as part of the Recommended Screening Panel for Newborns.5

To learn more about pulse oximetry screening, visit

About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Wesley House Community Center Health and Prevention Fair

Apr 15, 2015 3:00 - 5:00 pm

1520 8th Ave., Meridian, Ms., 39301
Health and Prevention Fair is a community event that will showcase all six agencies of Wesley House. Activities will include self defense demonstrations, welfare and health checks, children health related games and activities, free food and drinks, Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign and much more!
April 15th, 3:00 - 5:00 pm

Maya Edwards; 601-485-4736

The Lung Cancer Cause

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My name is Jessica Miller. I work for an organization called The Lung Cancer Cause. We specialize in creating awareness about Lung Cancer. I focus on helping NON-SMOKING patients identify what caused them to develop Lung Cancer. Radon Gas is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and is 2nd overall after smoking according to CDC.
We have a compelling story about AMERICANS DYING FROM RADON RELATED CANCER and would like to share this story with you in hopes that you will get the story in front of the American public. The topic of "Radon" has only been skimmed by news stories in the past despite how big of an issue this actually is throughout the country. According to the EPA, there are over 20,000 deaths per year from radon related cancers. To put that in perspective, that's more deaths every year than drunk driving; and more American lives lost every year than the total casualties from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined!

Although Radon has been mentioned in the news from time to time, there has yet to be "a face" to go along with the devastating effects that Radon causes (until today.) Radon exposure is a serious problem and Americans need to be properly educated which is the reason that I'm writing to you today:

We are currently working with a brave, non-smoking young woman who recently developed Lung cancer from Radon exposure and wants to speak out to ensure this doesn't happen to any more American families. Her family has lived in a small, normal town in the Midwest; residing in the same home for over 20 years. Unbeknownst to her, they have been living in a "Radon-contaminated" home all of those years resulting in her development of lung cancer. Although she never smoked in her life, she was diagnosed with lung cancer at an incredibly young age (mid-40's.) This prompted her to test their home for radon and she was shocked to find that the levels were over 3-times higher than the "national limit." She is convinced that being exposed to Radon for so many years lead to her illness and wants to help create awareness and save lives.

The EPA estimates that over 8 million U.S. homes currently have dangerous levels of Radon. These homes spread across the entire country so all Americans are at risk and should test for the gas. Even though all major health organizations agree that radon kills thousands of Americans each year, the problem has been ignored for far too long. Everyone cares about breast cancer because the media shows dying women all the time. Everyone knows smoking gives you cancer because you see the national ads running constantly. Americans need to be made aware that their homes could be giving them lung cancer! It shouldn't take a dying woman to gain attention from the media, but the public needs to see that this problem is real and people really are dying.

With her bravery and willingness to share her story, we feel people are going to listen and action will be taken to save lives. Please contact us right away if you would like to get involved and we can put you in touch with our brave advocate so you can help her share her story and promote awareness about the silent killer known as Radon.

Thank you,
Jessica Miller
The Lung Cancer Cause
Primary Phone Contact: 1-800-259-4071

4th Annual Wellness Conference

Apr 10, 2015 - Apr 12, 2015 6:15pm, 10:00am & 11:00am

Fresh Anointing House of Worship 3101 12th Street Meridian, MS 39301
Join us for an exciting 3-day Wellness Conference, beginning:
April 10, 2015

Friday, April 10, 2015..........................6:15pm
Saturday, April 11, 2015.....................10:00am
Sunday, April 12, 2015......................11:00am

Fresh Anointing House of Worship, 3101 12th Street, Meridian, MS 4th Annual Wellness Conference. Feeding The Mind, The Body & The Soul
Nutrition to Prosper, on April 10-12, 2015.
All we need is you. Please accept this rose as your personal invitation to attend our 4th Annual Wellness Event.

Pastor, Charles Montgomery

(601) 616-6122

2Serve Community Outreach ... Annual Health Fair

EMEPA Auditorium
2Serve Community Outreach will be having their Annual Health Fair this year on April 18, 2015 from 11am-2pm at the E.M.E.P.A's Auditorium where we will heave Anderson Fitness Center, blood pressure checks, hearing health information, nutritionist on-site, mental health information and much more. We would love for WTOK to cover this awesome event. Please call the Director Paris Hearn for more info at 601-513-4148

Go Red for Women ...

Newton Family Medical Associates 252 Northside Drive Newton, MS
Go Red for Women ...
An American Heart Association Event
RSVP by calling .... (601) 683-3117

Heartthrob 5K Run/Walk

Quitman High School
The Heartthrob 5K Run/Walk .....
Pre-registration is $20 "Thru Feb. 23rd"
T-shirts for the first 150 participants
Proceeds from this event will go to the Lion's Club of Clarke County.
Contact Pacesetters of Lakeside Living Center
(601) 776-2141

Anderson Regional Medical Center ... kicks off Heart Month with a Go Red

MSU Riley Center Downtown Meridian, MS
Join Anderson Regional Medical Center and American Heart Association as they kick off Heart Month with a Go Red Event on Friday, February 6th from 10am-1pm at the MSU Riley Center. Attendees will learn about heart health from Dr. Jennifer Rodriguez, as well as stress relief, exercise, healthy cooking tips and more! The event includes lunch and a special fashion show featuring local survivors. Tickets are $25. Call 601-321-1209 to reserve your spot today

Ann Weddington

Anderson Regional Medical Center
2124 14th Street
Meridian, MS 39301
W 601-553-6894
F 601-553-6144

Mississippi Recognized for Highest Kindergarten Vaccination Rates Nationwide

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Mississippi Recognized for Highest Kindergarten Vaccination Rates Nationwide

JACKSON, Miss. – Mississippi has the highest rate of vaccination coverage for kindergarten students nationwide, according to a recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The 45,719 kindergarten students enrolled in public and private kindergarten classrooms throughout the state during the 2013–2014 school year had 99.7 percent vaccination coverage, greater than the national median of 93.3–95 percent for the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine; the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTap); and the varicella vaccine.

Mississippi requires five different vaccines to be administered prior to entering first grade.

“We continue to be very proud of our vaccination rates,” said MSDH State Health Officer Dr. Mary Currier. “Mississippi’s strong school entry immunization law is protecting Mississippi residents from outbreaks of measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases that other states have experienced.”

The MSDH grants all requests for medical exemptions submitted by a licensed Mississippi pediatrician, family physician or internist. Mississippi is one of 31 states that do not allow philosophical exemptions for children attending school or daycare. The Mississippi Supreme Court deemed religious exemptions unconstitutional in 1979.

“Vaccines not only protect the children who are vaccinated, but also protect those around them who may be too young to be fully immunized or those with weakened immune systems,” said Dr. Currier. “Mississippi children continue to die unnecessarily from vaccine-preventable diseases. Two children died from whooping cough in 2008 and 2012, which is preventable through vaccination.”

In fact, for U.S. children born between 1994 and 2013, immunizations are estimated to prevent more than 300 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations, and 732,000 deaths.

For more information on the importance of childhood vaccinations, visit the MSDH website at or call us toll-free at 1-866-HLTHY4U (1-866-458-4948).

Follow MSDH by e-mail and social media at

St Joseph Catholic Church Annual October Festival

Oct 4, 2014 11:00 am to 2:00 pm

St Joseph Catholic Church 1914 18th Ave. Meridian, MS
Health Fair, White Elephant Store, Country Store, Fun Games for Children and Bar B Que and Fish Plates.

Saturday, October 4, 2014
11:00 am to 2:00 pm

Rhonda G. Carr

Harvest Ministries' Health Screening

Oct 4, 2014 9am until 3pm

Harvest Ministries, Cromwell, Alabama
Health Screening and Clothes Closet open.

Saturday, October 4, 2014 9am until 3pm

Annie Walton 205-398-3159

Choctaw Behavioral Health is hosting a “Suicide Awareness Health Fair

Pearl River Facility Building
Choctaw Behavioral Health is hosting a “Suicide Awareness Health Fair” on September 10, 2014 10:00-am to 2:00pm at the Pearl River Facility Building.
40th Annual National Suicide Prevention Week is September 8th-14, 2014.The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Federation for Mental Health, is hosting World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th, 2014. This year’s theme is “Suicide Prevention: One World Connected,” and will focus on raising awareness that suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death on a global level.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Choctaw Behavioral Health at (601) 389-6291.

Community Health Fair

Antioch Missionary Baptist Church
The Health & Wellness Ministry is sponsoring a
Friends and Family Community Health Fair on
Saturday, August 23, 2014 @ 8:00 a.m.- 12:00 noon.
There will be free glucose, blood pressure and
Cholestrol screening. Please come FASTING.
Refreshments will be served.
Free door prizes.
Free diabetic, cholestrol and blood pressure
Free counseling.

Facilitator: Apostle Cleveland Hayes




@ 8:00am- 12:00 pm

There will be free blood glucose, blood pressure, BMI,
and cholesterol screening. PLEASE COME FASTING !
Refreshments will be served.

* Free door prizes.
* Free diabetic, cholesterol and blood pressure materials.
* Free counseling.