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South Brunswick: Hepatitis, Lyme Disease Most Common Local Diseases

By Brenda Stolyar

The South Brunswick Council announced Tuesday that it’s met with the township’s Health Department to address issues involving immunizations and health precautions within the town.

The 2013 annual health report, with the help of St. Peter’s Hospital, states that the main diseases within the township were Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and Lyme disease. In all, there were 129 children immunized with 229 separate immunizations.

After being issued three notices of violation for immunization audits in 2013, the Health Department made inquiries to follow up with the 22 daycare centers that occupy South Brunswick. They noticed the main issues involved parents simply not wanting to have their child immunized, or were exempted due to religious reasons. 

In order to keep track of the children who need to receive vaccinations, the Health Department requires that each daycare center keep this on a certain record. If this information is not provided to the daycare center, and the child has no religious restrictions, then that child is automatically refused care.

The Health Department explained that if only one or two families within the daycare centers were missing records of immunizations, they would personally work with that family to guarantee the child is qualified. If they see that a daycare has several families without the proper records, then that facility would be issued a notice of violation.

In terms of flu season, there was recently an outbreak in one of the South Brunswick senior facilities. No one was forced to be hospitalized due to serious conditions since they all had immunizations prior. 

The Health Department, with the help of St. Peter’s hospital, stated that overall there were various vaccinations given out for the flu/pneumonia as well as 26 educational events held on the serious illness.

The South Brunswick Township website now has a special feature called ‘Find a Flu Site’ which educates families on which particular pharmacy they can find flu shots. The website is also informative of what precautions to take if diagnosed with the flu.

The goals for the health department in 2014 focus on improving the services that are provided throughout the town of South Brunswick, and keeping track of how frequently certain tasks are done. They will also make it a priority to have training programs once or twice a year. 

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