50th Annual Macon County 2015 GEMBOREE :: Thursday, July 23 through Sunday, July 26 :: CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS!

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Features Health & Wellness

Every three years, the Macon County Health Department completes a community health assessment to get an idea of how the county stacks up to other counties in the state. With the last assessment being completed in 2012, health department staff are gearing up to complete the assessment in 2015. In off years, to stay on track, the department completes a State of the County Health Report, to stay on top of health issues in Macon County.

The 2014 assessment shows that heart disease stands as the greatest cause of death in Macon County, claiming 231 deaths according to the report. Trachea, bronchus, and lung cancer are listed as the second highest death cause in the county, followed by chronic lower respiratory disease, Cerenrovascular disease, and Alzheimer's disease.

While the top five leading causes of death in Macon County were discussed by the board of Health, Becky Barr, Population Health Section Administrator for the county, also noted that Macon County has several causes of death ranking in higher than the state average, something she hopes the county can work to improve in the future. Macon County is above the state average for deaths related to each of the top five leading causes of death in the county, as well as, breast cancer, suicide, and liver disease.


Influenza (flu) activity throughout North Carolina has decreased; however, Mission Health asks that family and friends continue to limit their visits to patients in the hospital. Mission Health has lifted the Visitor Restriction Policy and reinstituted the Visitor Limitation Policy, which suggests children under age 12 and people who do not feel well should call patients and not visit them at the hospital. Mission Health is implementing this precaution at Mission Hospital and all Mission Health member hospitals and affiliates in western North Carolina including CarePartners in Asheville, McDowell Hospital in Marion, Transylvania Regional Hospital in Brevard, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine, Angel Medical Center in Franklin and Highlands-Cashiers Hospital in Highlands.

In addition to limiting exposure, the spread of the flu can be controlled with frequent hand washing. All hospital visitors are urged to wash their hands before and after visiting.


Where do family members turn when they are faced with the problems and heartaches that come from dealing with a mental illness in a loved one on a daily basis? The NAMI Family-to-Family program, a much acclaimed, free 12-session program for relatives and friends of individuals challenged by mental illness, will be offered in Franklin on Tuesdays, starting Feb. 24, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sponsored by NAMI Appalachian South, the local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, this course provides up-to-date information about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, panic disorder, anxiety and other mental illnesses. The course has the dual focus of education, and understanding the experience of living with mental illness. It encompasses such topics as how the brain and medications work, early signs of relapse, communications, local resources and self care.


Parents advised to talk about the dangers

Macon County Schools administrators are advising parents and guardians to have a conversation with their children about "The Choking Game" or also known as "The Pass Out Game." Students in Macon County are participating in this dangerous practice. Parents have been notified and action is being taken through county schools. Families are encouraged to have the conversation.

“The Choking Game” – is a thrill-seeking activity that involves strangulation and often fainting in order to induce a temporary feeling of euphoria caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain. Also called the “fainting game,” it involves cutting off circulation to the carotid artery with hands, objects or the subject simply holding his breath. It may occur alone or in groups. The hashtags of #thechokinggame and #passoutchallenge have revived the social media trend.


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