Healthier You Tip #10

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It is tick season once again! Check out CDC’s web site for information about ticks and how to avoid contact with ticks.

 

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It’s also not too early to start thinking about canning season.  The CDC has information on safe home canning.  Refresh your memory about canning here by using proper techniques and materials.

Free Hepatitis A Vaccine

Are you 19 or older?

Are you uninsured or does your insurance not cover vaccines?

If so, you qualify for a free dose of Hepatitis A vaccine from the Public Health offices in Afton and Kemmerer. Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease caused by the Hepatitis A virus. It is usually spread by close personal contact and sometimes by eating food and drinking water contaminated by the Hepatitis A virus. It can be easily passed onto others in the same household. Hepatitis A can cause a flu like illness, jaundice (yellow skin and eyes or dark urine), severe stomach pains and diarrhea. People with Hepatitis A often have to be hospitalized and adults can often be too ill to work for up to a month. People with Hepatitis A can also die from the virus. If you’ve never been vaccinated for Hepatitis A or if you are a traveler and want to reduce your chances of contracting it in the places where you are traveling, consider getting the vaccination. It is a two dose series, spaced 6 months apart. Just one dose of Hepatitis A can provide a significant amount of protection against the virus.

If you would like to be vaccinated for free against Hepatitis A, contact the Public Health offices in Afton (307-885-9598) or Kemmerer (307-877-3780) to set up an appointment or to learn more about the vaccine.

2015 Immunizations Schedules

The CDC’s immunization schedules for children and adults for 2015 have been released and are available in a colorful, easy to read, downloadable format on the Immunization Schedules page. Check them out right here.

If you need a refresher on Lincoln County Public Health’s immunizations program for children and adults, prices, insurance billing policy, and how to access immunization records, visit our Vaccinations page.

With the current outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases occurring in the country right now, it is more important than ever to educate yourselves on the efficacy and safety of vaccines as well as familiarize yourself with the schedules healthcare providers recommend for fully protecting your child (or children) and yourselves from these harmful and potentially deadly diseases. Please visit CDC.gov for more information about vaccines and vaccine safety and for consistently updated information on the current measles outbreak.

HPV Vaccines Available

Are you a female aged 19 to 26, or a male 19-21? Are you uninsured or underinsured*? If so, you are eligible to receive the vaccine for Human Papillomavirus (HPV) at the Public Health offices in Kemmerer and Afton. The Wyoming State Health Department’s Immunization Program has supplied our offices with reduced cost vaccine for adults aged 19 and older who are uninsured or underinsured. If you are eligible for this vaccine, we can start the HPV series vaccine for you at no cost for the month of January. The vaccine is given as a series of three shots spaced over 6 months.

Human Papillomavirus is a common virus. Each year in the United States about 17,500 women and 9300 men are affected by HPV related cancers. Many of these can be prevented with the vaccine. HPV can cause anal and mouth/throat cancer in both men and women, cancer of the cervix, vulva and vagina in women, and cancer of the penis in men. HPV is passed via skin to skin sexual contact. HPV is so common, almost all sexually active people will get some form of it in their lives. The body’s immune system can and does fight off HPV but in some cases it does not. These are the cases that can cause cancer and genital warts. The vaccine helps to prevent those cancers and other health issues that may be caused by HPV, including genital warts.

It is recommended that girls ages 11-26 and boys ages 11 through 21 (though the vaccine may be given at age 9) receive the series prior to sexual activity so the body has time to develop an immune response. Public Health offices in Kemmerer and Afton also carries the HPV vaccine for this age group. If your child is: aged 18 years or younger, Medicaid eligible, uninsured, underinsured, American Indian/Alaskan Native, they are able to receive the HPV vaccine in our offices for a $10 per dose administration fee (the fee can also be waived for those who cannot afford to pay it).

Call the Kemmerer office at 307-877-3780 or the Afton office at 307-885-9598 to make an appointment or to ask any questions you may have about the HPV vaccine. You can also email us at phnkemmerer@wyo.gov or phnafton@wyo.gov.


* Underinsured people are defined as people who have health insurance but that insurance does not cover vaccines. This definition does not include people who simply have high deductibles.

 

 

Flu Shots Are Still Available

Our out of the office clinics are over but we still have flu vaccine available in our offices located in Afton and Kemmerer. Give us a call to make an appointment or call before you come in to see if a nurse is available to give you your shot. We accept Medicare. Medicaid, KidCare Chip, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Winhealth, cash, checks, and credit cards. The cost for Trivalent Fluzone is $20, and we also have a limited amount of Quadrivalent Fluzone for $25. Give us a call in Afton at 885-9598 or in Kemmerer at 877-3780.

Flu Vaccine is In!

Flu shots are now available at the Public Health offices in Afton and Kemmerer.

whoneedsvaccine_red_120x600The vaccine is the standard trivalent (2 A strains and 1 B strain) and is available to all people ages 6 months and up. The cost for a flu vaccine for ages 3 years and up is $20. The cost for a child ages 6 months to 2 years is $10. We accept Medicare, Medicaid, Kidcare Chip, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and most other private insurances. Please bring your cards with you in order to receive your shots. You can call and make an appointment for your shots or walk in as long as a nurse is in to administer the vaccine.

We will have our standard flu shot clinics all through the month of October. Visit the  Flu Shots page for a current schedule of our clinics. Do your part to help keep knock the flu out of our communities – get immunized!

Contact the Kemmerer office at 877-3780 and the Afton office at 885-9598 to make your flu shot appointments.

official flu fighter

NPM: Connecting with Family During an Emergency

Disaster could strike at anytime! It is very possible that you and your family will not be together, some
may be at work, school, traveling, out shopping, or somewhere in between. Because of this, it is very
important that you have a family communications plan. Planning recommendations include:

  •  Identify an out-of-town contact, such as a friend or relative, who family members can call to let
    them know they are safe. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town,
    because phone lines can be jammed. An out-of-town contact may be in a better position to
    communicate among separated family members.
  •  Teach your family members how to text. It may seem like second nature to some of us, but not
    everyone texts. During an emergency, it is often easier to get a text message delivered rather than a
    phone call.
  • If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) in your phone.
    If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold
    of someone you know. Make sure to tell your family and friends that you have listed them as
    emergency contacts.
  • Subscribe to an emergency alert system. Check with your local health department or emergency
    management agency to see if there is one offered for your area. Post emergency telephone numbers
    by home phones or save them in your cell phone (fire, police, ambulance, etc.).
  • Teach children how and when to call 911 for help.
  • Identify a location to meet in town and out of town
    For more information and templates for developing a Family Communication Plan, visit
    http://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan

The Ready.gov Make A Plan site includes information and templates for:
 Family Communication during an emergency
 Family Communication Plan for Parents and Kids
 School and workplace plans
 Commuter Emergency Plan

Download this Family_Emegency_Plan and this Family Communication Plan today.


 

All information in this blog post is courtesy of FEMA and Wyoming Department of Health Emergency Preparedness. 

September is National Preparedness Month

AP!_General_Web_Banner_300x250Are you and your family prepared if disaster strikes? The universal building blocks of preparedness are:

1. Be Informed

2. Make a Plan

3. Build a Kit

4. Get Involved

Last year was an important reminder to all of us that disasters can strike anytime and anyplace. Nearly every region
of the country experienced some form of extreme weather event, including devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma,
scorching wildfires near Yosemite National Park, and destructive flooding in Colorado.

As with many life events, preparation is the key to success. When you prepare and practice for an emergency in
advance of an event, it makes a real difference in your ability to take immediate and informed action when it matters
most. Early action can also help you to recover more quickly.

That’s why thousands of individuals, organizations, schools, houses of worship, and local governments across the
Nation are actively participating in a new national campaign for action – America’s PrepareAthon!
(www.ready.gov/prepare).

Preparing for disasters is a year-round activity. It’s not a matter of if the next disaster will happen, but when. Start taking action and prepare now! Simple steps such as having a discussion and/or conducting a quick drill can help determine what you need to do next to become more prepared. Be smart, take part, and prepare for emergencies before they strike!

 


The information in this blog post is courtesy of FEMA and Wyoming Department of Health Emergency Preparedness. 

 

NIAM: Vaccines are for adults, too!

Adults

 

All adults should get vaccines to protect their health. Even healthy adults can
become seriously ill, and can pass certain illnesses on to others. Immunization is
especially important for adults 60 years of age and older, and for those who have
a chronic condition such as asthma, COPD, diabetes or heart disease.
Immunization is also important for anyone who is in close contact with the very
young, the very old, people with weakened immune systems, and those who
cannot be vaccinated.

All adults should get:
Influenza (flu) vaccine: Each year to protect against the seasonal flu.

Td or Tdap: Every adult should get the Tdap vaccine once if they did not
receive it as an adolescent to protect against pertussis (whooping cough),
and then a Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster shot every 10 years. In
addition, women are also recommended to get the Tdap vaccine each
time they are pregnant, preferably at 27 through 36 weeks.
The need for other adult vaccines – such as shingles, pneumococcal, hepatitis,
HPV – depends on one’s age, occupation, travel, health status, and other risk
factors.

Vaccination is important because it not only protects the person receiving
the vaccine, but also helps prevent the spread of certain diseases to those
who are most vulnerable to serious complications, such as infants and
young children, elderly, and those with chronic conditions and weakened
immune systems.

Unfortunately, far too few adults are receiving the recommended vaccines,
leaving themselves and their loved ones vulnerable to serious diseases.

In 2102: (NHIS 2012)
o Only 14% of adults 19 years or older had received Tdap
vaccination.
o Only 20% of adults 60 years or older had received zoster
vaccination.
o Only 20% of adults 19 to 64 years at high risk had received
pneumococcal vaccination.
• Although adults believe immunization is important, many are unaware that
they need vaccines. Health care professionals play a critical role in
educating their patients about recommended vaccines and ensuring that
they are fully immunized.
• CDC asks ALL health care professionals – whether they provide
immunization services or not – to routinely assess the vaccine needs of
their patients and make a strong recommendation for needed
vaccinations.
• Adults should talk with their doctors to learn which vaccines are
recommended for them and take steps to stay up to date.
• Vaccines are available at private doctors’ offices, as well as other
convenient locations such as pharmacies, workplaces, community health
clinics and health departments.

 

 

Call us to find out if you could be due for some booster immunizations. We carry TdaP, Td, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Pneumococcal, Shingles, HPV, and Meningitis for adults. If you are a Wyoming resident age 19 and older and are uninsured or your insurance does NOT cover immunizations, you could qualify for our Vaccines for Uninsured Adults program where you can receive vaccines for a reduced price. Call us at 885-9598 to make an appointment. Flu shots should be available in our offices as early as the end of September. Watch for ads for flu clinics in October.


All the information and infographics in this blog post are courtesy of the National Public Health Information Coalition and by the Center for Disease Control.

 

NIAM: Back to School!

BackToSchool

Now that a new school year is upon us, it’s time to start thinking beyond the school clothes and supplies shopping and check your child’s immunization records to make sure they’re up to date on their shots. The Lincoln County School District has an immunization policy that is important to follow in order to make sure your child has all the protection they need against vaccine preventable diseases that become so much easier to be exposed to when kids get together in enclosed spaces (such as classrooms and lunchrooms) for long periods of time.

When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk for disease and can spread disease to others in their classroom and community – including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions. Schools are highly susceptible to outbreaks of infectious diseases because students can easily transmit illnesses to one another as a result of poor hand washing, uncovered coughs and dense populations.

Children age 4 to 6 are due for boosters of four vaccines: DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis), chickenpox, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and polio. Starting at 11 or 12 –preteens and teens – need Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis), MenACWY (meningococcal conjugate vaccine) and HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccines. A yearly flu vaccine is recommended for all children 6 months and older.

Some key things to consider during this back to school season: 

  • Immunizations create a shield of protection at school and at home.Given recent outbreaks, it’s important that children be protected from dangerous and highly contagious diseases like pertussis (also called whooping cough) and measles.
  • Vaccines don’t just protect your child. Some diseases, like whooping cough, can be deadly for newborns or infants. You can help protect our littlest community members from being exposed to vaccine-preventable diseases by making sure your child is up to date.
  • Many parents have never witnessed the damaging effects of a vaccine-preventable disease. As a result, they are not aware of the continued importance of getting all children vaccinated.
  • Diseases like measles are only a plane ride away. Measles epidemics are occurring in the Philippines with nearly 32,000 cases as of April 20, 2014.
  • Vaccines are among the safest and most cost-effective ways to prevent disease. Protecting your children from preventable diseases will help keep them healthy and in school.
  • When a child comes down with a disease such as whooping cough, chickenpox or the flu, he or she may miss a lot of school while recovering. Somebody will need to stay home to provide care and make trips to the doctor.
  • Schools are a prime venue for transmitting vaccine-preventable diseases, and school-age children can further spread disease to their families and others with whom they come in contact.
  • As you get ready to send your children back to school, educate yourself. Learn about the benefits and possible side effects of vaccinations.
  • If you haven’t already, check your child’s immunization record and schedule a visit to their physician or clinic. Doing so now will avoid a potential last minute rush and will help make sure there are no surprises on the first day back to school.
  • The Lincoln County School District requires children to be up to date on vaccinations before enrolling or starting school in order to protect the health of all students.
  • If you are unsure of your state’s school immunization requirements, check with your child’s doctor, school or give Public Health a call.
  • Take advantage of any visit to the doctor – checkups, sick visits, even physicals for sports or college – to ask the doctor about what vaccinations your child needs.

Kindergarten does not mark the end of our immunization needs. Your preteens and teens need them, too. The following are very important vaccines that are available to this age group: 

Click parent-version-schedule-7-18yrs for an easy to read schedule of immunizations for preteens/teens.

HPV is cancer prevention.

  • HPV is short for human papillomavirus. HPV is a life-saving vaccine that protects against cervical and anal cancers and other diseases caused by HPV. Preteens and teens need the HPV vaccine now to prevent HPV cancers later.
  • About 79 million people in the U. S., most in their teens and early 20s, are infected with HPV.
  • HPV vaccine is recommended by CDC and major medical groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and) and other medical societies, for 11 or 12 year olds, for protection from HPV infection and HPV-related disease. For teens who have not started the series at 11 or 12 years, it’s not too late and can still be beneficial to get the vaccine as soon as possible.
  • HPV vaccine works best when it is given to boys and girls at age 11 or 12 years. Also preteens need to complete the HPV vaccines series prior to any exposure to HPV. That’s why HPV vaccination is recommended for preteen girls and boys at age 11 or 12 years—the idea is true prevention.
  • Either HPV vaccine (Cervarix® or Gardasil®) can be given to girls or young women. Only one HPV vaccine (Gardasil®) can be given to boys and young men.
  • The HPV vaccine has a very good safety record. More than 67 million doses have been distributed, and vaccine safety studies continue to show that HPV vaccines are safe.
  • Take advantage of any visit to the doctor – checkups, sick visits, even physicals for sports or college – to ask the doctor about what shots your preteens and teens need.
  • For more information about HPV and HPV vaccine: www.cdc.gov/hpv

Influenza: Get the flu vaccine every year.  

  • The single best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccine, which protects against different strains of seasonal influenza.
  • Everyone 6 months and older – including preteens and teens – should get a flu vaccine every year, both to protect themselves and to help keep illness from spreading.
  • Children under the age of 9 may require more than one dose. Talk to your child’s health care professional to find out if they need more than one dose.
  • Flu vaccine protects against flu and the other health problems flu can cause, like dehydration (loss of body fluids), which can make asthma or diabetes worse, or even pneumonia.
  • Children should get the flu vaccine every year as soon as it’s available, usually in the fall. It is very important for children with chronic health conditions like asthma or diabetes to get the flu shot, but the flu can be serious for even healthy children.
  • Flu seasons are unpredictable and can be severe. Annual flu vaccination should begin by September or as soon as vaccine is available, and continue throughout the flu season. Flu season can begin as early as October and last as late as May. Seasonal flu activity usually peaks in January, February or later.
  • It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop for protection against influenza virus infection. Flu vaccines will not protect against flu-like illnesses caused by non-influenza viruses.
  • Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma or diabetes.
  • A 2013 study by CDC flu experts estimated that cumulatively over six flu seasons, from 2005 to 2011, flu vaccination averted approximately 13.6 million illnesses, 5.8 million medical visits, and approximately 112,900 flu-related hospitalizations in the U. S.

For more information: www.cdc.gov/vaccines/who/teens/vaccines/flu.html

Tdap: Help keep whooping cough from spreading.

  • Tdap vaccine is a booster recommended at age 11 or 12 to protect against three serious diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (also called whooping cough). It is also recommended for any teens (13 to 18 years old) who haven’t had this shot yet.
  • The Tdap vaccine takes the place of what used to be called the tetanus booster.
  • If your child has not received any or all of the DTaP vaccine series, or if you don’t know if your child has received these shots, your child needs a single dose of Tdap when they are 7 to 10 years old. Talk to your health care professional to find out if they need additional catch-up vaccines.
  • Tdap vaccine is especially important for older children and adults who will have close contact with newborn babies or infants younger than 1 year.
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis are all caused by bacteria.
    • Both diphtheria and pertussis are spread from person to person.
    • Tetanus enters the body through cuts, scratches or wounds.
  • Data show that more than 48,000 cases of pertussis occurred in 2012, a nearly 60-year high. While overall reporting of pertussis declined during 2013, 13 states and Washington, D.C. reported an increase in pertussis cases compared with the same time during 2012.
  • CDC’s current estimate is that Tdap vaccination protects about 65 out of 100 adolescents who receive it.
  • Tdap is an effective vaccine, but it does not protect as well as we would like and may only protect against whooping cough for a few years.

Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine: Protection against meningococcal disease.

  • The meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY) is recommended for all preteens at age 11 or 12 for protection against some of the bacteria that cause meningococcal disease. The two most severe and common illnesses caused by meningococcal disease are meningitis (an infection of the fluid and lining around the brain and spinal cord) and septicemia (a bloodstream infection).
  • Meningitis can be very serious, even fatal.
  • A second shot is recommended for teens at age 16 to continue providing protection when their risk for meningococcal disease is highest.
  • Teens who didn’t receive meningococcal conjugate vaccine for the first time until age 13 through 15 years will also need a second dose at 16.
  • Older teens who haven’t received any meningococcal conjugate vaccine shots should get one as soon as possible.
  • If your teenager missed getting the vaccine altogether, ask his or her health care professional about getting it now, especially if your teenager is about to move into a college dorm or military barracks.

For more information about the meningococcal conjugate vaccine:  www.cdc.gov/vaccines/who/teens/vaccines/mcv.html


So inform yourself during this back to school season and make the best choice for your children’s health. Lincoln County Public Health carries all recommended and required vaccines for school children. Give us a call at 885-9598 to ask questions or make an appointment for your child.


 

All the information and infographics in this blog post are courtesy of the National Public Health Information Coalition and by the Center for Disease Control.