Free A1C Testing – November 2018

Get your FREE A1C test to screen for Diabetes and Prediabetes
In support of National Diabetes Month, the Southwest Utah Public Health Department is offering FREE A1C testing to screen for diabetes and prediabetes during the month of November. To qualify for the free screening you must be a resident of either Washington, Iron, Kanab, Garfield, or Beaver County. You do not need to make an appointment, but be sure to check your local public health clinic hours of operation. Clinic hours vary by location.
The A1C test involves a simple finger prick and you will know your results within a few minutes. The results will place you in either the range of normal, prediabetic, or diabetic.
It is estimated that one-fourth of people with diabetes are unaware they have it, and 90% of people with preidabetes are unaware of their condition. Left untreated, these health conditions can lead to very serious health problems down the road. That is why it is so important to be screened for diabetes and prediabetes. Plan to get your FREE A1C test in November!

Kane County “Flu Shootouts”

The Southwest Utah Public Health Department (SWUPHD) will be holding its annual Flu Shoot-outs in Kane County starting in September. Residents can get a free flu shot while helping the SWUPHD and community partners practice their emergency pandemic response plans.

The Shootouts are held throughout the five-county district before flu season arrives. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends vaccination for everyone over 6 months of age in order to reduce the risk of influenza infection and serious complications.

Kane County residents receive flu shots at no cost and can participate in the event closest to them:

Big Water: September 11 (Tuesday, 2:30-3:30pm Utah time), Town Hall

Alton: September 13 (Thursday, 2-3pm), LDS Church

Duck Creek: September 13 (Thursday, 3:30-4:30pm), across from Trophy Real Estate

Orderville: September 19 (Wednesday, 3-4:30pm), LDS Church

Bullfrog: September 20 (Thursday, 3-6pm). Lake Powell School

September 21 (Friday, 10-11am), Offshore Marina

Kanab: October 13 (Saturday, 9am-1pm), Kane County Health Fair at the Middle School

Save time by printing the consent form found HERE. Fill it out and bring it to the Shoot-out and don’t forget to wear a short-sleeved shirt. Although the vaccinations are free to Kane County residents, we ask that you bring your insurance cards, if you have them, to assist with costs.

E. coli Bacteria Risks

Update: Health Advisory:

By Order of the Health Officer:

Drinking, swimming, or other contact with the water at Nisson Park in Washington City, Utah is not  recommended, while the water is being tested for possible E. coli contamination.

As more information becomes available, it will be posted this website.

 

Recent news about E. coli outbreaks serves as a reminder to take precautions against this bacteria that can cause illness in humans, especially during the summer months. Although the most notable current E.coli outbreak has been linked to romaine lettuce, this bacteria can be found in a variety of sources.

E. coli are common bacteria which can be spread to people when tiny pieces of feces enter the mouth through unwashed hands; contaminated soil, water, and food. Sources of infection include under-cooked meat, unpasteurized dairy products, infected animals, and manure. Most types of E. coli are harmless, but some strains are harmful to humans.

Health officials continue to encourage following the practices listed below to help prevent infection from E. coli and other diseases:

  • Keep sick animals separated from people and consider consulting a veterinarian
  • Wash your hands with warm, soapy water
    • After contact with animals or exposure to animal feces
    • Before and after preparing or eating food
    • After using the bathroom and changing diapers
    • Before touching anything that enters an infant’s mouth
  • Wash produce thoroughly
  • Keep raw food separate from cooked food
  • Carefully clean all surfaces and objects that have touched raw meat
  • Cook meats thoroughly. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees (use a meat thermometer)

For more information about E. coli and preventing infection, visit: cdc.gov/ecoli/general

 

Here is more detailed information about E. coli:

What is E. coli and how is it spread?

  • Escherichia coli (E. coli) are bacteria commonly found in the environment, foods, and the feces of people and animals.
  • E. coli can be spread through unwashed hands, contaminated food (like_53234379_escherichia-coli.gif undercooked ground beef or unpasteurized food), water, animal exposure, and soil (where it can remain for several months).
  • People can become infected when they swallow tiny particles of infected human or animal feces which contain E. coli

What happens if people are infected?

  • Most types of E. coli are harmless, but some strains can make people sick.
  • The type involved in this outbreak is called E. coli O157:H7.
  • Symptoms usually begin 3-4 days after exposure to the bacteria and include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting.
  • Most people recover within a week without treatment. Some people with E. coli O157:H7 develop a life-threatening complication called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), which can cause kidney failure.
  • HUS is more common in children younger than 5 years of age and older adults, although people any age can be affected.

When should people seek medical care?

  • Contact your healthcare provider if you have diarrhea that lasts for more than three days or is accompanied by fever, blood in the stool, or severe vomiting.
  • Seek emergency medical care if you experience any of these HUS symptoms following a diarrheal illness: urinating less often; fatigue; pale skin; or small, unexplained bruises or bleeding from the nose and mouth.

How can E. coli infection be prevented?

  • Always wash your hands with warm, soapy water
    • Before and after preparing or eating food.
    • After using the bathroom and changing diapers.
    • After contact with animals or their environments where there is exposure to animal feces.
    • Before preparing or touching anything that enters an infant’s mouth.
    • Use hand-sanitizer if soap and water is not available.
  • Don’t allow raw food to touch cooked food. Don’t use the same cutting board or plate. Carefully clean countertops, dishes, and utensils which have touched raw meat with hot, soapy water.
  • Cook meats thoroughly. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Use a meat thermometer.
  • Avoid raw (unpasteurized) milk and unpasteurized dairy products/juices.
  • Don’t swallow water when swimming

 

Precautions if you (or family members) are sick

E. coli precautions: For people who are sick or who have family members who are sick, it’s important to follow precautions to prevent passing the infection to other people:

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water immediately after using the restroom or changing a diaper.
  • Wash your hands before and after preparing food or drinks for yourself and others.
  • When possible, find a separate area to change diapers for children with diarrhea that is away from the area where healthy children’s diapers are changed. Clean and disinfect the area right after changing diapers.
  • Stay home from school or work while you have diarrhea. Most people can return to work or school when they no longer have diarrhea, but special precautions are needed for food handlers, health care workers, and child care providers and attendees. Check with your employer before returning to work, and check with your child’s child care center before resuming child care.

Also, continue the following prevention practices:

  • Always wash your hands with warm, soapy water
    • Before and after preparing or eating food.
    • After using the bathroom and changing diapers.
    • After contact with animals or their environments where there is exposure to animal feces.
    • Before preparing or touching anything that enters an infant’s mouth.
    • Use hand-sanitizer if soap and water is not available.
  • Don’t allow raw food to touch cooked food. Don’t use the same cutting board or plate. Carefully clean countertops, dishes, and utensils which have touched raw meat with hot, soapy water.
  • Cook meats thoroughly. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Use a meat thermometer.
  • Avoid raw (unpasteurized) milk and unpasteurized dairy products/juices.
  • Don’t swallow water when swimming

Outbreak Updates (2017)

  • Update (7-21-17, 5:00pm): While the investigation continues into a source for this E. coli outbreak, we’ve determined ground beef is not a likely cause.  The advisory not to consume previously purchased ground beef is discontinued. In the meantime, health officials encourage you to follow these practices to prevent infection:
    • Wash hands with warm, soapy water before and after preparing or eating food, after using the bathroom and changing diapers, after contact with animals or environments with exposure to animal feces, and before touching anything that enters an infant’s mouth.
    • Don’t allow raw food to touch cooked food. Carefully clean all surfaces and objects that have touched raw meat.
    • Cook meats thoroughly. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Use a meat thermometer.

    Update (7-20-17, 4:30pm): Investigation of the E. coli outbreak continues with the combined efforts of the Southwest Utah Public Health Department, Mohave County Department of Health, Utah Department of Health, and the Arizona Department of Health Services. These agencies have also been joined by representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    • Confirmed case count is 12.
    • The source of this outbreak has not been identified.
    • Because E. coli can be passed from several different sources, including person to person, it is always important to follow these practices to prevent infection:
      • Wash hands with warm, soapy water before and after preparing or eating food, after using the bathroom and changing diapers, after contact with animals or environments with exposure to animal feces, and before touching anything that enters an infant’s mouth.
      • Don’t allow raw food to touch cooked food. Carefully clean all surfaces and objects that have touched raw meat.
      • Cook meats thoroughly. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Use a meat thermometer.
      • Avoid raw (unpasteurized) milk, dairy products, and juices.
      • Don’t swallow water when swimming.
  • Update (7-11-17, 9:00am): There are currently 11 confirmed cases of E.coli involved in this outbreak, which remains under investigation.  The Southwest Utah Public Health Department is advising residents of Hildale and surrounding areas not to consume raw milk or any previously purchased ground beef until further notice.
  • Update (7-7-17, 4:30pm): The Southwest Utah Public Health Department is advising residents of Hildale and surrounding areas not to consume any previously purchased ground beef until further notice.
  • Update on E.coli investigation (7-7-17): Water testing continues to show no E.coli in the drinking water. Residents can view information on local water systems at www.waterlink.utah.gov. There have been 9 confirmed E.coli cases related to this outbreak.
  • Update on E.coli investigation (7-5-17): Testing continues this week as part of the effort to identify the source of this outbreak. Results so far indicate that there is no E.coli in the city water system. Due to the seriousness of the E.coli strain being investigated, those experiencing symptoms should seek medical care.

Why back-to-school vaccines?

(Source: Amy Vance, LiveWell/Spectrum)Clinical-featured

Vaccines are not made for trivial diseases that are simple to treat. Required childhood vaccines protect against these serious and potentially life-threatening diseases: polio, pertussis (whooping cough), diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis, chickenpox, measles, mumps, and rubella.

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Summer Heat Safety

Due to high temperatures affecting southwestern Utah, the Southwest Utah Public Health Department is advising the public to take precautions to avoid heat-related injury; especially children, people over 65 years of age or having health issues, and new residents who are not familiar with the climate.

Try to stay indoors in an air-conditioned environment during the hottest parts of the day (usually 10am to 4pm). Air-conditioning is the best way to protect against heat-related illness. If your home doesn’t have air-conditioning, go to a public place that does.  Avoid strenuous activity outdoors during the heat of the day.

If you must be outside, stay hydrated with plenty of water and seek shade. Avoid sunburn by applying a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Wear a hat and sunglasses as well.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion may include heavy sweating, paleness, cramps, weakness, faintness, headache, and nausea. Get into an air-conditioned environment, drink fluids, rest, and take a cool shower or bath. Seek medical attention if these symptoms last longer than an hour.

If people exposed to heat have a temperature of 103 degrees or over, red/hot/dry skin, rapid pulse, dizziness, confusion, or unconsciousness, they may be experiencing heat stroke. Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Cool the victim down however you can (cool bath or shower, garden hose, wet sheet and fan).

LINK to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Frequently Asked Questions About Extreme Heat

 

Are plague-infected fleas a concern in southern Utah?

flea-29538_640(KCSG.com / Melissa Anderson) It’s known as the “Black Death” or bubonic plague. Recent reports of fleas infected with the bubonic plague in parts of Northern Arizona has caused questions about the potential of the fleas traveling to southern Utah.

“Fortunately in Utah, fleas are uncommon in our state because they thrive with humidity, which we don’t have,” said Southwest Utah Public Health Department PIO, Dave Heaton.

Utah reported two cases of the plague since 2009 in the entire state. No human plague cases in southwest Utah for at least the past 16 years.

 

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