Educate: Wildfires are a part of life in the west, and a single wildfire can burn thousands of acres before they are contained. Some wildfires are necessary for ecosystem health, but wildfires always produce smoke. Particulate matter, a term for small particles suspended in the air, are the primary pollutant in smoke from wildfires.
Enact: Particulate matter may lead to respiratory issues, even in healthy individuals, and may aggravate pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality works with other agencies to monitor wildfire activity and evaluate potential impacts from smoke.
Empower: While the average Wyoming resident cannot fight a wildfire themselves (unless of course they are on a fire response team) there are strategies for reducing smoke exposure. AirNow recommends, among other things, staying indoors and running an air conditioner with a clean filter if possible. To see current air quality conditions in Wyoming for particulate matter and other pollutants visit http://www.wyvisnet.com/.
It is tick season once again! Check out CDC’s web site for information about ticks and how to avoid contact with ticks.
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.
We deal with thunderstorms every summer. They can be deadly.
Some points to remember:
- Lightning can strike you even with the main thunderstorm 10 miles away.
- Lightning can travel through sprinkler pipe, fences and anything metal.
- Take cover during a thunderstorm.
More information on lightning safety can be found at the following website:
Check out the “more information” portion of that site for additional resources about lightning and thunderstorm safety.
So all of you with outdoor activities remember to “Read and Heed.” Are you taking a scout or youth group out camping? Know the dangers of lightning and what you can do to be safe.
–written by Dean Burnham
written by: Dean Burnham
Wyoming and its Spring Time!!!
You just got to love it! Wyoming has a rough time jump starting into spring. It can be sunny and warm, cloudy and rainy, cold, cloudy and snowing all within a few hours.
You have been waiting for the warmer weather so you can get out and go hiking, enjoying the out-of-doors, taking photos of nature, yard work or just plain kicking back and enjoying the change in the weather.
Remember it is wood tick season. Make sure you use an insect repellent with “deet” and make sure you spray areas where wood ticks can enter. Waist and leg openings, shirt collar, arm openings. Wood ticks can hitch a ride when you brush up against vegetation. Open ridges, side slopes, aspen stands and forested areas are home to wood ticks.
So have fun outdoors this spring and summer but take care not to bring any of these little guys back with you.
TIP # 7
Flu Season in Progress
Did you get your flu shot?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the flu season is upon us. CDC reports (as of December 21, 2013) 10 states have widespread flu reports occurring. Wyoming is one of them. Of the lower 48 states, Wyoming is the only state in the West that has widespread outbreaks. Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, and Montana have local outbreaks. Go to Flu View on the CDC website to see weekly reports and how Wyoming stacks up to the rest of the Nation.
You should consider getting a flu shot to combat the flu. Young people are more susceptible to the N1H1 flu strain that is out there in the world of viruses this year.
According to a CDC official health advisory from November to December 2013, there are a number of reports of severe respiratory illness amount young and middle-aged adults, many of whom were infected with Influenza A (N1H1). Multiple cases have request intensive care unit admission and some fatalities have been reported related to influenza.
Wyoming for the week of December 21, 2013: there were 192 cases of flu reported by the State. The Laboratory confirmed 171 cases of Influenza A, 5 cases of Influenza B, and 16 cases of unknown Influenza. So far this flu season there have been 460 cases of laboratory confirmed influenza. Those cases are the ones identified by the Wyoming State Lab. Many cases in Wyoming go unreported.
It is recommended by the CDC that everyone over the age of 6 months get the flu shot. Shots are still available at Public Health. Please call us at 885-9598 to make your appointment.
Do your part to protect your health and the health of people too young or who are unable to receive the flu shot.