Month: March 2014

Health Fair Blood Draws

Public Health has received a lot of phone calls and some emails regarding the blood draws for this year’s Health & Safety Expo. Star Valley Medical Center is in charge of that  event and have changed the way they are handling the blood draws this year. Please look at the attached scan of a recent newspaper ad that appeared in the Star Valley Independent and give the Star Valley Medical Center Lab a call (307-885-5827) to schedule your blood draw appointment or call your Star Valley Medical Center provider to access the Wellness Screening Voucher today.

Click SVMC wellness program to download the newspaper ad. It is in PDF format so you will need Adobe Reader to open it.

Flood Awareness & Safety

With the influx of wet weather in Star Valley lately comes the possibility of flood waters reaching our homes. Public Health encourages the community to take necessary precautions to prevent harm from flood waters. If you are in need of sandbags, please contact Dean Burnham at 885-4763.

Part of the necessary steps to ensure you and your family’s safety from flood water is education. Visit the Centers for Disease Control’s website on Flood Response for information on preparing for the possibility of a flood, ensuring safety and health after flooding, and how to handle the possible contamination of drinking water.

 

For information on water safety, visit this site. Lincoln County has a water testing lab. If you feel you need your wells tested, contact the lab at 307-885-9698. For commercial, large or multiple dwelling water systems, contact Wayne Cook at 307-279-3536.

For information on the clean up of flood water, visit this site.

To remove mold, use a solution of 1 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water. That’s 1 cup of bleach – to 1 gallon of water.

Remember, never mix bleach or products containing bleach — with ammonia — or products containing ammonia. Read the label on any product to see what it contains.

If you see mold that covers more than 10 square feet, consider getting a professional to remove it.

Lincoln County has a disaster clean up business located in Smoot. Visit their website for information on their services.*

*Public Health does not endorse any singular business entity. This link is for informational purposes only as Public Health does not have an Environmental Section with resources to test for mold or help remove mold. 

Healthier You Tip #5

Tip #5: Protect Yourself From Wildfire Smoke

Wildfire_in_California

When wildfires burn in our region they produce smoke that may reach our communities.  Smoke from wildfires is a mixture of gases and fine particles from burning trees and other plant materials.  Smoke can hurt your eyes, irritate your respiratory system and worsen chronic heart and lung diseases.

 

Who is at greatest risk from the wildfire smoke?

 

People who have heart or lung diseases, like congestive heart failure, angina, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (including emphysema), or asthma, are a higher risk from wildfire smoke.

 

Older adults are more likely to be affected by smoke.  This may be due to their increased risk to heart and lung diseases. 

 

Children are more likely to be affected by health threats from smoke.  Children’s airways are still developing and they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults.  In addition, children often spend more time outdoors engaged in activity and play. 

 

Steps you can take to decrease your risk from wildfire smoke:

 

Keep indoor are as clean as possible.  Keep windows and doors closed.  Run an air conditioner and keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.  If you don’t have an air conditioner and it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed, seek shelter in a designated evacuation center or stay with family or friends away from the wildland fire and/or smoke. 

 

Follow the advice of your doctor or other healthcare providers about medicines and about your repertory management plan if you have asthma or another lung disease.  Consider evacuating the area if you have having trouble breathing.  Call for further advice if your symptoms worsen.

 

Do not rely on dust masks for protection.  Paper dusk masks commonly found at hardware stores are designed to trap large particles like sawdust.  These masks will not protect your lungs from the small particles found in wildfire smoke.

 

If you have to evaluate from the area take any prescriptions drugs you will need, clothing, personal items, and take your pets with you or make arrangements with others to take care for your pets. 

 

Check other web sites for additional information on what to do in case of evacuation.  (www.FEMA.gov, Lincoln County Emergency Management, www.NIFC.gov, Prevent wildfires, www.smokeybear.com to mention a few)  

Healthier You Tip #6

TIP # 6

 Got Mice? 

 catmouse
Seal, Trap and Clean up to Control Rodents
 
It is getting colder outside and rodents may enter your home to find food and shelter. Seal up holes or gaps in your home, trap any existing rodents and clean up any sources of food or water and items that might provide shelter for them. Mice are pesky critters that can enter your home through small holes or gaps. Mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a nickel! 
 
Rats! What to do About Rodents!
 
If you find signs of rodents or their droppings in your home, take precautions to clean up the area safely.
 
Funny-pictures-kitten-toy-mouse
Remember, you can’t always rely on your kitty friends to take care of your mouse problems for you. So be proactive and follow these tips to deal with rodents or the possibility of rodent visitation in your home.

 

Healthier You Tip #7

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. 

Flu Shots Are Still Available

Flu Shots are still available in the Public Health offices. We have plenty of flu vaccine. Call us at 885-9598 to make an appointment for your shot. Protect yourselves against flu and get immunized!

Flu is now considered widespread in Wyoming for this flu season: According to the Wyoming Department of Health’s surveillance epidemiologist, influenza activity is picking up in the State of Wyoming. Public Health still has plenty of flu vaccine available. Flu shots are $20 and we do accept Medicaid and Medicare!