Wednesday, August 5, 2015

First West Nile Virus Pool Found in Jefferson County

Environmental Health Services has received results for the first positive mosquito pool for West Nile Virus (WNV) in Jefferson County. With all of the rain that has occurred this summer, stagnant pools of water are bound exist. These pools serve as ideal breeding sites for mosquitoes, some of which carry WNV. West Nile virus infection is spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms.
It is important to realize that West Nile virus can be debilitating and life threatening. Your backyard or patio is not a "safe zone." Even a quick trip to the trash, barbecue or garden allows time for an infected mosquito to bite. Everyone should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
The best way to prevent West Nile virus is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes this summer and fall. Residents should also eliminate standing, stagnant water where mosquitoes breed. Remember the 4 Ds:
  • Use DEET or alternative;
  • DRESS in long sleeves and pants;
  • Avoid DUSK until DAWN; and,
  • DRAIN standing water.

Visit the JCPH West Nile Virus webpage for more information and helpful tips, or contact the JCPH Zoonosis Program at 303-271-5730 or the Jefferson County Environmental Health Services office at 303-232-6301.

Halting and Reversing the AIDS Epidemic

The most effective way to do your part to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic is to be in the know by getting tested and knowing your status. HIV/AIDS prevention methods, such as testing, have successfully slowed the AIDS epidemic worldwide. New research findings, released by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), suggest the disease may be fully eradicated by 2030, just 15 years after the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were first created as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.
In 2000, eight MDGs were created to tackle a range of issues such as global education and children's health. MDG 6 specifically focused on tackling HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases across the world. Two targets were set to combat HIV/AIDS:

  • To achieve universal access to treatment for all those who need it by 2010; and,
  • To have halted the disease by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS.

In the year MDGs were developed, the world experienced an extraordinary surge of new HIV cases. An estimated 3.1 million HIV new infections were recorded, with 8,500 people becoming newly infected and 4,300 people dying of AIDS-related illnesses every day. In 2000, it was estimated new HIV infections would rise to 6 million by 2014 if urgent action and measures were not taken.
However, the report reveals that between 2000 and 2014:
  • New HIV infections dropped from 3.1 million to 2 million, a reduction of 35%
  • 15 million people now have access to antiretroviral therapy
  • Among those infected, deaths from tuberculosis fell by 33%
  • 83 countries that account for 83% of all people living with HIV/AIDS have now halted and reversed the epidemics
  • The percentage of pregnant women living with HIV with access to antiretroviral therapy rose to 73% and new HIV infections among children dropped by 58%
  • The price of medicines for HIV has decreased by 99%
Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) offers screening, diagnosis and treatment for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) at our Lakewood site, 645 Parfet Street. Visit the JCPH HIV website for more information.

Dear Americans, Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables!

Jefferson County Public Health is continually working to increase knowledge about balanced, healthy diets and active living, beginning very early in life and continuing across the lifespan. Eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables and leading an active lifestyle can drastically improve overall health. For example, did you know that eating more fruits and vegetables can increase a person’s intake of essential nutrients and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers? Plus, fruits and veggies can also help manage body weight, as they are a filling, healthy substitute to other unhealthier and more energy-dense foods. So, then, why are only 13.1% of American adults eating enough fruits (based on the national dietary recommendations) and only 8.9% eating enough vegetables?
Being active and eating healthy is paramount to achieving a healthier weight and minimizing the negative health consequences of being overweight or obese. Spurred by sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets, it is now estimated that more than 1/3 of American adults are obese and 17% of all children and adolescents are obese in the United States. New efforts are needed to build consumer desire and demand for fruits and vegetables through more reasonable and competitive pricing, as well as promotion of the associated health benefits of a balanced diet in child care centers, schools, grocery stores, communities and at work.
Are you ready to make some healthy diet changes right away? The American Heart Association includes the following among their tips for increasing daily intake of fruits and vegetables:

§  Fill at least half your plate with fruits and vegetables
§  All produce counts: canned, dried, fresh and frozen
§  Compare food labels on canned, dried and frozen fruits and vegetables and choose the lowest sodium and added sugar content
§  Add a fruit or vegetable salad to lunch or dinner
§  Eat raw vegetable sticks instead of chips
§  Carry dried fruit, such as raisins, dates or dried apricots for snacks
§  Add chopped vegetables like onions, garlic and celery when preparing soup, stew, beans, rice and sauces

For more information on nutrition resources available through JCPH, visit the Nutrition Services and Women, Infants and Children webpage

Parents! Add Immunizations to your School Readiness Checklist

Books, backpacks, clothes, pencils and IMMUNIZATIONS!

We all need shots (also called vaccinations or immunizations) to help protect us from serious diseases. To help keep our community safe, Jefferson County Public Health is proudly participating in National Immunization Awareness Month.
Shots can prevent serious diseases like the flu, measles, and pneumonia. It’s important to know which shots you need and when to get them.
Everyone age 6 months and older needs to get a flu vaccine every year. Other shots work best when they are given at certain ages.



Talk to your doctor or nurse to make sure that everyone in your family gets the shots they need. Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) provides vaccinations by appointment only at our Lakewood clinic, 645 Parfet Street, Lakewood, CO 80215. There is an administrative fee of $21.68 per vaccine. Vaccine fees for adults and children vary depending on the vaccine requested and insurance coverage. Service will not be denied due to inability to pay for any childhood vaccine, and fees may be waived.  We can bill for Medicaid, CHP+, and a number of private insurances, please check when registering. Call 303-239-7078 for an appointment or visit the JCPH immunization website for more information.

Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life



Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is committed to promoting and supporting optimal breastfeeding practices toward the ultimate goal of improving the public's health.  August 2015 is National Breastfeeding month, take time to celebrate this year’s theme of “Breastfeeding and Work: Let’s Make it Work.”

Public Health and medical professionals recommend exclusively breastfeeding for the first year with the introduction of complementary foods around 6 months of age, due to the health benefits it provides both mothers and infants.  In an effort to increase breastfeeding rates throughout the county, Jefferson County Public Health is encouraging large and small businesses throughout the County to follow Colorado law and provide employees “reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for two years after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express milk.”  It’s easy for employers to support breastfeeding, and public health can help with information as needed.

Colorado’s breastfeeding law passed in 2008 states, “A mother may breastfeed in any place she has a right to be.” In addition, under the Affordable Care Act, Section 4207 requires employers to provide at a minimum:  support from supervisors and colleagues, adequate break time (paid or unpaid) to express breast milk, and a private area to express her milk that is not a restroom.  All employers, regardless of their size or number of employees, must comply with the “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” law

Jefferson County has worked together with various departments and facilities to provide Quiet Rooms where mothers can breastfeed in various locations within the Jefferson County Government Campus.  Jefferson County employees are encouraged to ask their departments/divisions about accommodations. Mothers are one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. labor force and several studies have indicated that support for lactation at work benefits not only families, but employers as well by improving productivity; enhancing the employer’s public image; and decreasing absenteeism, health care costs, and employee turnover.

  • Jefferson County Public Health’s WIC Program (Women, Infants and Children) provides breastfeeding consultations and education to eligible participants and County residents.  For more information about breastfeeding or workplace accommodation and quiet rooms, please visit the JCPH Breastfeeding Education and Support page or call Kelsey Rivera, RD, IBCLC at 303-239-7139.


  • If you are a breastfeeding friendly establishment and would like to be included in a list we are creating for the County as well as receive a breastfeeding friendly decal, please contact Kelsey at 303-239-7139 or email at krivera@jeffco.us.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

ICS: Do You Know What it is?

Preparing and planning for potential large scale public health emergencies is something the public health workforce in Jefferson County has become accustomed to. The staff is regularly trained on various aspects of incident management and response by the JCPH Emergency Preparedness Program and is involved in frequent planning exercises with both state and federal partners. Last month, JCPH staff had an opportunity to plan for an event using the Incident Command System (ICS).  ICS is a management system designed to enable effective and efficient domestic management of incidents by integrating a combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure. ICS was first developed as a tool for managing multi-agency responses to wild fires. It has been successfully adapted to a wide range of emergency and disaster management applications. The beauty of this national system is that it can be used to manage any event and has been adopted across the country, allowing a wide range of responders, planners, and individuals to work effectively with public safety organizations to manage and support response efforts.  For more information on Jefferson County Public Health’s ICS and Emergency Preparedness program, visit the Emergency Preparedness website

Splish. Splash. Practice Healthy Swimming Behaviors This Summer!


Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) encourages healthy swimming behaviors to reduce the risk of recreational water illnesses.  Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs) are illnesses that are spread by swallowing, breathing or having contact with contaminated water from swimming pools, spas, lakes, rivers or oceans. RWIs can cause a wide variety of symptoms, including gastrointestinal illness, skin, respiratory, neurological and wound infections. The most commonly reported RWI is diarrhea. Diarrheal illnesses can be caused by germs such as Cryptosporidium, Girardia, Shigella, Norovirus and E. coli.

Practice healthy swimming behaviors:

  • Refrain from swimming when ill, especially if you have diarrhea.
  • Avoid swallowing pool water or even getting it in your mouth.
  • Shower before swimming and wash hands after using bathroom or changing diapers. Change diapers in bathroom and not at poolside or near water.



For more information about Recreational Water Illness Prevention and Healthy Swimming, call 303-271-5700.
Information can also be found on the Centers for Disease Control web site at: www.cdc.gov/healthyswimming