Upcoming Events/NEWS: 

News from the Wyoming Department of Health

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, June 17, 2019

Contact: Kim Deti

Phone: 307-777-6420

 Swim Safely to Avoid Disease

 Officials with the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) are warning people about diseases that can be caught when swimming in pools, lakes and other bodies of water or when drinking contaminated water.

 Courtney Smith, WDH epidemiologist, says such diseases as cryptosporidiosis, giardiasis and shigellosis are each threats in the state connected to recreational water. Disease symptoms typically include diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea and loss of appetite.

 Smith noted many of the germs come from feces and only a small amount is required to make people sick. “Some of these germs are very tolerant of chlorine and may not be killed right away. Cryptosporidium, in particular, can survive for more than 10 days in chlorinated water,” she said.

 “The germs causing these diseases also flourish in untreated water such as hot springs, lakes, rivers and streams,” Smith said. “So whether swimming or considering a drink during a hike, be aware of the risks. No one should drink untreated water even if it looks clear and clean.”

 Smith advises people to take the following steps to protect themselves:

  • Avoid swimming on days when experiencing diarrhea. Germs can spread into the water and make others sick.
  • Don't swallow swimming water and avoid getting water into the mouth.
  • Practice good hygiene. Shower with soap for at least 1 minute before swimming and wash hands after using the toilet or changing diapers. Germs on the body can end up in the water.
  • Don’t pee or poop in the water.
  • Wash hands with soap and water after swimming and before eating.

 Parents of young children should remember to:

  • Wash children before swimming (especially their rear ends).
  • Check diapers every 30–60 minutes. Change diapers in a bathroom or a diaper-changing area and not right by a pool or lake. Germs can spread in and around the places we swim. Take children to the bathroom every 30–60 minutes. Waiting to hear “I have to go,” may mean it's too late.

 

For more information about healthy swimming, visit https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/.

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News from the Wyoming Department of Health

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, June 10, 2019

Contact: Kim Deti

Phone: 307-777-6420

 West Nile Virus Already Active in Wyoming for 2019

 West Nile virus may be off to an earlier than usual start in Wyoming this year, with the state’s first case involving a Campbell County adult already reported, according to the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).

 “Wyoming residents should take steps to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites,” said Clay Van Houten, Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit manager with WDH. Mosquitos spread West Nile virus (WNV) when they feed on infected birds and then bite people, animals or other birds. 

 “In past years, we typically haven’t seen cases reported until late in July or August,” Van Houten said. “We don’t think this early case necessarily means we’re in for a tough season, but we want people to know they should protect themselves.”

 In 2018, WDH was notified of four WNV cases in Wyoming, including one death in Goshen County. Since the disease first reached Wyoming in 2002, the number of reported human cases has varied widely from year to year. “We expect many people who are ill due to WNV are not getting tested, which makes it difficult to know the true number of cases,” Van Houten said.

 Van Houten said most people infected with WNV don’t have symptoms. Among those who become ill, symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, skin rash and swollen lymph nodes. A very small number develop West Nile neuroinvasive disease with symptoms such as severe headache, fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions and paralysis.

 The “5 D’s” of West Nile virus prevention include:

 1) DAWN and 2) DUSK - Mosquitos prefer to feed at dawn or dusk, so avoid spending time outside during these times.

3) DRESS - Wear shoes, socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt outdoors. Clothing should be light-colored and made of tightly woven materials.
4) DRAIN - Mosquitos breed in shallow, stagnant water. Reduce the amount of standing water by draining and/or removing.
5) DEET - Use an insect repellent containing DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide). When using DEET, be sure to read and follow label instructions. Other insect repellents such as Picaridin (KBR 3023) or oil of lemon eucalyptus can also be effective.

 

More information about WNV in Wyoming is available at https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/infectious-disease-epidemiology-unit/west-nile-virus/

 

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