Welcome Commissioner Toomey

Governor Brian Kemp has appointed Kathleen Toomey, M.D., the new Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. 

An epidemiologist and board-certified family practitioner, Dr. Toomey’s career in public health is long and distinguished. Toomey attained her undergraduate degree at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts and received her M.D. and M.P.H. degrees from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. As a Fulbright Scholar, she studied indigenous healing practices in Peru. 

Most recently, Dr. Toomey served as Director of the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness, leading the department’s transition to become the Fulton County Board of Health and continuing as District Health Director of the Fulton Board of Health until January 2019.

“Dr. Toomey is a world-renowned epidemiologist with a distinguished career in public health through her work as a physician, researcher and expert in her field. Over the years, she has earned a stellar reputation, and I am confident that Dr. Toomey will serve Georgians well as Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health," said Governor Kemp.

Preventing Flu in Georgia

The flu season in Georgia begins in early October and can run as late in the year as May.  The Georgia Department of Public Health recommends these practical steps to stay influenza-free during the fall and winter.   

  • Get the flu vaccine. Everyone six months-old and over should get a flu vaccine every year before flu activity begins in their community.  
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.  
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

The single most effective way to prevent the flu is the flu vaccine.  DPH urges Georgians to get vaccinated against flu. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu, so it’s important to take preventive measures now.

If you do get sick and think you may have the flu, contact your health care provider right away. There are medications that can be used to treat flu but they are most effective when taken within 48 hours of the onset of flu symptoms.

For more information on preventing the flu, visit dph.georgia.gov/seasonal-flu-influenza.

You can also track flu activity in Georgia at dph.georgia.gov/flu-activity-georgia.

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