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.
Thursday, July 2, 2015
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
Jefferson County Public Health encourages all individuals and families to get health insurance. The Affordable Care Act benefits all families by providing a medical home and regular health care visits. Shop for and compare health insurance plans online with Connect for Health Colorado.
If you are interested in applying for adult only Medicaid, please call the Jefferson County Human Services Department at 303-271-1388. Check out this site for information on how to get your family covered with Medicaid: https://www.colorado.gov/hcpf/how-to-apply
If you have children and have applied for Medicaid but have been denied, you may be eligible for Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+). CHP+ can help you get medical care for children ages 18 years and under. There is a small annual fee and co-pays are based on factors such as income and family size. Please call 1-800-359-1991 for more information.
If you are already on Medicaid but need help finding medical, dental, vision or mental health care, contact the Jefferson County Public Health Healthy Communities Program at 303-239-7041. They can help you with available resources.
For more information:Apply for food, medical and cash assistance programs at Colorado PEAK! or call Human Services at 303-271-1388.
The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing administers the Medicaid and Child Health Plan Plus programs.
Worldwide, 400 million people are living with hepatitis B or C. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year 1.4 million people die from viral hepatitis. These deaths could be prevented through increased education and understanding on how to prevent hepatitis. Here’s the quick and skinny on the 5 Types of Hepatitis (also available on http://www.worldhepatitisday.info/
Transmission: Hepatitis A is spread mainly through eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated by the faeces of an infected person. It can also be spread by eating raw shellfish that have come from water contaminated by sewage.
Prevention: There is a vaccination for hepatitis A. Treatment within a few weeks of exposure to the virus can also bring short term immunity. You can reduce the risk of exposure by practicing good hygiene and sanitation, and avoiding drinking water that has come from a potentially unsafe source.
Transmission: Hepatitis B is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids (i.e. saliva, semen and vaginal fluid) of an infected person. It can be passed on from mother to child during childbirth.
Prevention: There is a vaccination that can prevent infection. If you have not been vaccinated, to reduce chances of exposure it is best to use condoms, and to avoid sharing needles or items such as toothbrushes, razors or nail scissors with an infected person. It is also wise to avoid getting tattoos or body piercings from unlicensed facilities.
Transmission: Hepatitis C is mainly spread through blood-to-blood contact. In rare cases it can be transmitted through certain sexual practices and during childbirth.
Prevention: There is no vaccination for hepatitis C. It is therefore necessary to reduce risk of exposure, by avoiding sharing needles and other items such as toothbrushes, razors or nail scissors with an infected person. It is also wise to avoid getting tattoos or body piercings from unlicensed facilities.
Transmission: Hepatitis D is spread through contact with infected blood.
Prevention: Hepatitis D is only found in people who are already infected with the hepatitis B virus. People not already infected with hepatitis B, should get the hepatitis B vaccination. To reduce exposure, avoid sharing needles and other items such as toothbrushes, razors or nail scissors with an infected person. It is also wise to avoid getting tattoos or body piercings from unlicensed facilities.
Transmission: Hepatitis E is mainly transmitted through eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated by the feces of an infected person. It can also be spread by eating raw shellfish that have come from water contaminated by sewage.
Prevention: Currently there is a vaccine to prevent hepatitis E, but it is not widely available. You can reduce the risk of exposure by practicing good hygiene and sanitation, and avoiding drinking water that has come from a potentially unsafe source.
For more information and helpful educational brochures, visit JCPH’s Hepatitis website.
Lack of hydration and water intake can have significant repercussions on a child’s physical and cognitive and emotional functioning abilities. Even mild dehydration can cause health issues such as headaches, irritability, poorer physical performance, and reduced cognitive abilities.
Drinking enough water is extraordinarily important in Colorado, where we live at elevation and the climate is arid, dry and hot during the summer months. Make sure to bring water with you everywhere, and focus on having yourself and your family drink more water—at low-cost, no-calorie beverage—to improve overall health. Improving a child’s hydration status may allow them to feel better in general and do better in school.
The recent rains followed by warm weather have increased the number of tiny flying insects in the county. At this time, many of these insects are nuisance species like midges or gnats but the mosquito season is here and their numbers will increase in the coming weeks along with possible exposure to West Nile Virus. The best way to protect yourself, your family and your community from mosquito bites and the potential of contracting West Nile Virus is to follow the four Ds: Drain, Dusk/Dawn, Dress, DEET.
· DRAIN: Even the smallest containers like coffee and soda cans can be enough water for mosquitoes to lay eggs so everyone should thoroughly inspect all areas around their home and work for standing water and drain or empty all standing water.
· DUSK/DAWN: Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing during evening and early morning (dusk and dawn) or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times when mosquitoes are most active.
· DRESS: Dress in long sleeves and pants during dusk and dawn or in areas where mosquitoes are active. Wearing light-colored clothing may also help prevent being bitten.
· DEET, Picariden or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus: Wear insect repellant containing either DEET, Picariden or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
o Follow label instructions.
o Apply repellants to exposed skin and/or clothing.
o Never use repellants over cuts, wounds or irritated skin.
o If using DEET, choose the concentration that best fits the amount of time spent outside. 25 percent DEET lasts up to 5 hours, 5 percent lasts 45-90 minutes. Use a concentration of 30 percent or less for children.
o DEET should not be used on children less than 6 months of age. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children less than 3 years of age.
In 2014, as reported by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, a total of 118 cases of human West Nile Virus (WNV) infection were identified in Colorado from 24 different counties.