Thursday, December 1, 2016

Obesity Rates Decline Among Young Children Enrolled in WIC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) jointly released a report on the decrease in obesity among young children enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The study, published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), found that obesity among 2 to 4 year old children enrolled in WIC decreased from 15.9 percent in 2010 to 14.5 percent in 2014. The prevalence of obesity decreased among all racial and ethnic groups and among 34 of the 56 WIC State Agencies included in the report. The data for this study were based on the weight and height measurements taken during WIC certification visits and submitted by State Agencies to USDA for the WIC Participant and Program Characteristics biennial reports.

Obesity during childhood negatively affects a child’s health and increases his or her risk of obesity and its related health consequences during adulthood. Preventing obesity during early life is an important public health priority. The modest decreases in obesity noted in this study are most likely due to a combination of prevention efforts at the national, state, community and family levels. Federal efforts include USDA’s revision of the WIC food package to align with the updated U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans and to establish successful long-term breastfeeding, CDC’s Early Care and Education Childhood Obesity program, and State Public Health Actions.

Jefferson County Public Health WIC's mission is to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutrition risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care.

WIC is a nutrition program for:

  • Pregnant women
  • Breastfeeding women (up to one year postpartum)
  • Non-breastfeeding, postpartum women (up to 6 months postpartum)
  • Infants
  • Children until the age of five years
The WIC Program provides:
  • Nutrition education including breastfeeding support
  • Nutritious foods to supplement a person's regular diet
  • Screening and referral
  • Specialty Formulas
  • Prenatal Classes
  • WIC participants must meet certain financial requirements and be "nutritionally at risk" to qualify for the program.

Nutrition Services

For more information on CDC’s childhood obesity prevention efforts, visit

Caring, Sharing and Preparing this Holiday Season

Believe it or not, there is something that you can get for the people on your list that they probably don’t already have, likely will use at some point and will never ruin their healthy eating habits. That’s right: items for their preparedness kits.

Most Americans don’t have a preparedness kit, but we all could use one. Many disasters strike with little or no notice, like tornadoes, wildfires, and earthquakes, and being prepared can help people weather the storm. That hand-crank radio may not be the most sparkly gift your loved one receives this year, but they will be thinking of you fondly when it helps them stay informed during an emergency.

So far this year, FEMA has declared 45 major disasters and 16 emergencies. People from Alaska to Florida and everywhere in between have faced disasters. If you give your loved ones an item or two for their preparedness kit, they will probably need it at some point and it could help keep them safe and protect their health. Isn’t that what we really want for our loved ones?

There are lots of ways that you can show that you care and help your loved ones prepare for emergencies this holiday season. You don’t even have to buy anything - just start a conversation. If the whole family is together, take a few minutes to talk about preparedness and ways that they can stay safe and healthy during a disaster, especially how everyone will get in touch after a storm.

Whether you’re thinking of buying something for a loved one’s preparedness kit or just talking with them about how they could be better prepared, check out some tips from CDC and the Red Cross that will help you stock a preparedness kit, make a plan and stay informed.

At Jefferson County Public Health, Our  Emergency Preparedness and Response staff is here to serve the public health needs of the community before, during and after an event.  Emergency Preparedness involves the resources of public health, emergency response teams, law enforcement, community members and our dedicated volunteers. The Jefferson County Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response website is your resource for information, planning and response needs.

Campaign urges teens to prioritize sleep for optimal health

Like many teens, you may go through each day feeling like your batteries are running low. You need a long-lasting power boost to look, feel and perform your best. What you need is sleep.

With no additives, preservatives or chemicals, sleep is an all-natural energy supplement. It's 100% pure. Sleep is legal in every state, with no prescription required. Best of all, it's completely free.

Sleep is the original performance enhancer. All others are just cheap imitations.
Sleep is your power source. Sleep recharges you.

It’s time to stop struggling to make it through the day. It’s time for optimal health and peak performance. It’s time to look and feel your best. It’s time for more fun and fewer regrets. It’s time to be smarter at school and happier at home.

It’s time to make sleep one of your top priorities.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that teens between 13 and 18 years of age should sleep 8 to 10 hours per night on a regular basis to promote optimal health.

Take the challenge: Sleep at least 8 hours nightly this week. See how sleep recharges your mind, mood and body.

How can you make time for sleep? You’ll be surprised to find that sleep will make time for you. When your body is fully recharged by sleep, you will think more clearly and feel energized. You’ll get more done in less time each day. Sleep will help you maximize the time that you have.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Identify a consistent bedtime that allows you to get at least 8 hours of sleep.
  • Make it a goal to be in bed with the lights out by bedtime each night.
  • Set a bedtime alarm to remind you when it is time to get ready for bed.
  • Power down at least 30 minutes before bedtime by turning off your phone, computer, tablet and TV.
  • Silence your cell phone notifications and keep the phone away from your bed during the night.

Don’t settle for less:  Be the best you. Let sleep recharge you tonight – and every night.

LGBT youth face discrimination, serious health risks

Colorado lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth are more likely to be bullied, experience poor mental health outcomes, and use drugs and alcohol compared to their straight and cisgender (non-transgender) classmates, according to an analysis of the 2015 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey.

However, survey analysis also shows LGBT youth with support at home or in school are less likely to engage in risky behaviors.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment administers the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey every two years to guide its efforts to improve the health of all Coloradans. Approximately 16,000 Colorado high school students responded to the 2015 survey.

According to survey data, transgender students are twice as likely to be bullied at school, four times as likely to feel unsafe at school, and twice as likely to feel sad or hopeless as their cisgender classmates. They are more than twice as likely to consider suicide and four times as likely to attempt it. The survey also shows greater use of drugs and alcohol among transgender youth.

Similarly, lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) students are twice as likely to be bullied at school and electronically, three times as likely to miss school because they feel unsafe, and more than twice as likely to feel sad or hopeless as their straight classmates. They also are more likely to consider or attempt suicide and use drugs or alcohol.

While the data paints an unhealthy picture of LGBT youth, it also shows many factors can support and improve their health and well-being. LGBT students who feel safe at school are significantly less likely to attempt suicide, smoke cigarettes or use marijuana. And those who have an adult to go to with a serious problem are half as likely to attempt suicide.

Health for the Holidays-- the Perfect Gifts!

Health for the Holidays-- the Perfect Gifts!

This year, give your friends and family the gift of health. Jefferson County Public Health professionals have 5 healthy, fun and unique gift ideas.

1. A Reusable Water Bottle: Not only will you be giving the gift of adequate hydration, you’ll save the receiver of the gift money and the world from further plastic bottle pollution! Any reusable water bottle is better than a plastic one that will be thrown away but, ideally, glass or stainless steel bottles are the best because they do not contain chemicals (such as BPA) that many plastic water bottles do. As plastic breaks down over time and loses its integrity, harmful chemicals from the plastic can be released into the water held in the bottle and can be unsafe to drink.

2. A Jump Rope: A classic, proven, tried and true exercise machine, jump ropes are affordable and easy to use. Jumping rope for just 10 minutes is a huge dose of aerobic exercise. This exercise makes you use your arms, your core stabilizer muscles, all the leg muscles, and it gets your heart rate up in that vigorous exercise range. Staying physically active and maintaining a healthy weight is a great way to keep healthy.

3. Electronic Toothbrush for Kids: When we make tooth brushing fun, kids tend to stay at it longer and brush more thoroughly. Today’s awesome technology combined with good oral hygiene provides the perfect oral health gift for children- an electric toothbrush. This fun gadget can make regular tooth brushing fun.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 1 of 5, or 20%, of children aged 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth. Tooth decay (or cavities) is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood in the United States. Untreated tooth decay can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing, and learning. Give a child in your life an electronic toothbrush and help minimize visits to the dentist.

4. Yoga Lessons for friends, family, neighbors and anyone else on your list: The science of Yoga has been used for centuries to enhance physical and emotional well-being. Yoga classes are a wonderful gift to encourage mind and body alignment and improve flexibility. “It’s also a great way to reduce the stresses of everyday life. Yoga helps make the body more flexible and helps you relax, Yoga has something to offer for everyone,” says Elise Lubell, Director of JCPH’s Health Promotion and Lifestyle Management Division.  Check with your local recreation center for affordable, beginner yoga classes.

5. A Healthy Cookbook:  Whether you are cooking for just yourself, one to two people, or a larger group, planning meals is a good place to start improving your food choices. Taking the time to plan a healthy evening meal can help you avoid a less healthful "drive-through" dinner. There are many great and simple cookbook options available, as healthy eating is a major health focus and prevention strategy today. To make preparing health foods as easy as possible, choose a cook book with simple recipes involving as few ingredients as possible. A great online resource to get started is the CDC’s Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight website. 

Healthy Holiday Season: Wash your Hands & Stay Home if You Are Sick!

Wash, Wash, Wash and Wash again! December 6-12, 2016 is National Handwashing Awareness Week. It’s the time of year for parties, get-togethers and holiday celebrations. It’s also flu season, and a common time for the spread of disease and illness. The cold weather in Colorado keeps our windows and doors closed, creating an atmosphere for germs to collect and hide. Here is a cheat sheet on the 7 Germiest Places and Things to clean before the holidays.
Following basic public health practices during the holidays, such as washing your hands, can effectively stop the spread of germs and many diseases.

When should you wash your hands?

  • Before, during, and after preparing food;
  • Before eating food;
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick;
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound;
  • After using the toilet;
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet;
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing;
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste; and, 
  • After touching garbage.

What is the right way to wash your hands?

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Stay Home if You’re Sick (poster); Wash Your Hands (brochure); JCPH Flu shots (web page) Stop the spread of germs (web page). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also offers an excellent Feature on Handwashing, or visit the CDC Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives page.

Shift toward social determinants transforming public health work: Targeting causes of health disparities

Understanding the complex factors that make up a healthy community is essential to the work of public health and its mission to improve health across the lifespan.  In Jefferson County, Healthy Jeffco, is a network comprised of over 300 community partners, working across seven coalitions to address the many factors that contribute to the health of our communities including: employment, housing, economy, education, access to healthy food, active living, transportation, mental health and health care. Where you live, work and play really do matter when it comes to health, more than you may imagine. Learn more from this article by Kim Krisberg from the American Public Health Association’s monthly newsletter, The Nation’s Health.

First in a series on the role of social determinants of health. Visit for related content.

Several years ago, public health workers in Wayne County, Michigan, embarked on a new endeavor to tackle infant mortality, an issue that affected the community’s black newborns at more than twice the rate of white newborns.
But instead of looking to medicine for answers, workers headed upstream to confront social determinants that put black babies at a disadvantage long before conception occurs.

“We wanted to focus on education, employment, social isolation, structural racism — all those factors combined correlate to an unfavorable birth outcome and the chances of a child not celebrating his or her first birthday,” APHA member Mouhanad Hammami, MD, director of the Wayne County Department of Health, Veterans and Community Wellness, told The Nation’s Health. “What happens from the time a girl is born to the time she has a child?”
The Wayne County approach is complex, slow moving and requires buy-in from multiple sectors, but Hammami said public health “cannot continue to do business as usual.”

Among the first steps, he said, was reaching across sectors to educate public officials about their role in health. For instance, when Hammami first asked local transportation authorities for help in reducing infant mortality, he said “they laughed — they said ‘we’re not a health department.’” But Hammami persisted, explaining that for many women, transportation was a major barrier to prenatal care. Now, health and transportation officials work together to make women aware of their transportation options, such as shuttles that can be scheduled in advance.

>> link to entire story in Our Nations Health

World AIDS Day: Raising Awareness, Decreasing Stigma

World AIDS Day is held on the first of December each year as an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for the people living with HIV, and to commemorate those that have died. World AIDS Day 1988 was the first ever global health day.

Did you know…
Stigma and discrimination continue to be a significant barrier for people to get tested for HIV or access treatment. Visit current anti-stigma campaign information at Act Against AIDS’ or the United Kingdom’s

HIV transmission is preventable. In addition to condoms and abstinence, Treatment As Prevention (TaSP) provides a valuable method to eliminate virus transmission. With consistent treatment, people living with HIV are able to significantly decrease the amount of virus in their system to the point where the virus is undetectable, and therefore unable to be transmitted to others. Additionally, medications are now available (known as PEP and PrEP) to decrease the risk of acquiring HIV from a known or potential exposure to the virus. For more information, visit the CDC HIV website at

With early diagnosis, support, and access and adherence to appropriate treatment, people living with HIV have the same life span compared to those living without the virus.

Denver was the fourth North American city to join an international initiative to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. Visit the Fast Track Cities Initiative website at for more information.

Syringe access programs are integral in reducing the risk of disease transmission, including HIV. Jefferson County Public Health began offering syringe access services in February 2016.  The Points West program is free, confidential, and offers injection supplies and equipment, as well as HIV and Hepatitis C testing. The program may be accessed Monday through Friday, from 8:00am to 5:00pm at the Lakewood clinic location. No appointment is necessary.

Jefferson County Public Health offers screening, diagnosis and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) at our Lakewood location. If you have ever had a sexually transmitted disease, you may be at risk for HIV infection. JCPH also offers confidential HIV counseling and testing. For more information or to make an appointment, call: (303) 239-7078.

For more information on HIV/AIDS in Jefferson County or to speak with the JCPH HIV Program Staff, please contact Erin Blau (303-239-7164; or Chris Hammond (303-239-7029;

Friday, November 18, 2016

Privilege in Complex...

The Health Equity group had just their second meeting this week where the group participated in the CDPHE Health Equity and Environmental Justice 101 training for governmental public health workers.

We talked about an exercise called the "Privilege Walk" and thought it might be enlightening to all staff.  The video was done by BuzzFeed and illustrates how complex privilege can be... Check out the Video here!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Updated guidelines on infant sleep

The American Academy of Pediatrics updated its advice on how to prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related deaths in a policy statement released Oct. 24. The guidelines reaffirm recommendations that infants sleep on their backs in the same bedroom as their parents - but on a separate surface, such as a crib or bassinet, without any soft or loose bedding. What's new is that tired parents should never feed their baby on a couch, armchair or other soft surface. "The process of breastfeeding renders a mom sleepy, physiologically," says Lori Feldman-Winter, co-author of the AAP policy statement. If a mother thinks she may fall asleep while feeding, "we actually recommend that she feed the baby in the bed, because feeding the baby in a sofa or an armchair is more hazardous," she adds. The policy statement is here and a news report is here.

For other information on injury prevention please visit Jefferson County Public Health’s Injury Prevention web page.

CDC recommends only two HPV shots for younger adolescents

Fewer shots offer more incentive to prevent HPV cancers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on October 19, 2016, that it now recommends 11- to 12-year-olds receive two doses of HPV vaccine at least six months apart rather than the previously recommended three doses to protect against cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infections. Teens and young adults who start the series later, at ages 15 through 26 years, will continue to need three doses of HPV vaccine to protect against cancer-causing HPV infection.

“Safe, effective, and long-lasting protection against HPV cancers with two visits instead of three means more Americans will be protected from cancer,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “This recommendation will make it simpler for parents to get their children protected in time.”

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted today to recommend a 2-dose HPV vaccine schedule for young adolescents. ACIP is a panel of experts that advises the CDC on vaccine recommendations in the United States. CDC Director Frieden approved the committee’s recommendations shortly after the vote.  ACIP recommendations approved by the CDC Director become agency guidelines on the date published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

CDC and ACIP made this recommendation after a thorough review of studies over several meetings. CDC and ACIP reviewed data from clinical trials showing two doses of HPV vaccine in younger adolescents (aged 9-14 years) produced an immune response similar or higher than the response in young adults (aged 16-26 years) who received three doses.

Generally, preteens receive HPV vaccine at the same time as whooping cough and meningitis vaccines. Two doses of HPV vaccine given at least six months apart at ages 11 and 12 years will provide safe, effective, and long-lasting protection against HPV cancers. Adolescents ages 13-14 are also able to receive HPV vaccination on the new 2-dose schedule.

CDC will provide guidance to parents, healthcare professionals, and insurers on the change in recommendation. On October 7, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved adding a 2-dose schedule for 9-valent HPV vaccine (Gardasil® 9) for adolescents ages 9 through 14 years. CDC encourages clinicians to begin implementing the 2-dose schedule in their practice to protect their preteen patients from HPV cancers.

ACIP, CDC, FDA and partners monitor vaccines in use in the U.S. year-round. These updated recommendations are an example of using the latest available evidence to provide the best possible protection against serious diseases.

Jefferson  County Public Health offers HPV vaccine at its regular immunization clinics located at Jefferson County Public Health. Please call 303-239-7078 for an appointment or more information.

Jefferson County Public Health is part of the Denver Metro Alliance or HPV Prevention.  This is a collaborative project funded by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment working to decrease rates of the Human Papillomavirus across the greater Denver Metro area.

Happy & Healthy Eating Reminder: Preventing Foodborne Illness this Holiday Season

No matter how large or small your holiday guest list may be this year, it is important to be aware of safety issues when thawing, preparing, stuffing and cooking your turkey and other holiday meal additions. A few simple steps can help keep foodborne illness off the menu.

Safe Preparation:

  • Wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling any food. Kids can sing “Happy Birthday” twice to gauge how long they should wash their hands.
  • Wash food contact surfaces such as cutting boards, dishes, utensils and countertops with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item and before going on to the next item.
  • Kitchen counters and cutting boards can be sanitized using a solution of two teaspoons of unscented chlorine bleach per gallon of water. Spray or wipe on surfaces and allow them to air dry.
  • Rinse fruits and vegetables thoroughly under cool running water and scrub sturdy produce with a clean produce brush.
  • Don’t rinse raw meat or poultry before cooking. Washing these foods can spread bacteria to the sink and countertops.

Safe Handling and Thawing:

  • Thawing turkeys must be kept out of the "danger zone" temperature (between 40 and 140°F) — this is the temperature range where foodborne bacteria multiply rapidly. See Safe Methods for Thawing, (Spanish version).  
  • Keep raw eggs, meat, poultry, seafood and their juices away from foods that won't be cooked. Take this precaution while shopping in the store, when storing these foods in the refrigerator at home and while preparing meals.
  • Consider using one cutting board for foods that will be cooked (raw meat, poultry and seafood) and another for those that will not (raw fruits and vegetables).
  • Keep fruits and vegetables that will be eaten raw separate from raw meat, poultry and seafood. Keep fruits and vegetables separate from kitchen utensils and surfaces used for raw meat until those utensils and surfaces have been thoroughly washed.
  • Do not put cooked meat or other food that is ready to eat on an unwashed plate or surface that has held any raw eggs, meat, poultry, seafood or their juices.

Safe Cooking:

  • Use a food thermometer to make sure meat, poultry and fish are cooked to a safe internal temperature. Color is not a reliable indicator of doneness. To check a turkey for safety, insert a food thermometer into the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. The turkey is safe when the temperature reaches 165 F. For more information on safe internal temperatures, visit's Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures
  • If the turkey is stuffed, the temperature of the stuffing should be 165 F. Follow these steps to safely prepare, cook, remove, and refrigerate stuffing.
  • Bring sauces, soups and gravies to a rolling boil when reheating.
  • Cook eggs until the yolk and white are firm. When making your own eggnog or other recipe calling for raw eggs, use pasteurized shell eggs, liquid or frozen pasteurized egg products, or powdered egg whites.

Safe Cleaning and Storage:

  • Do not leave foods containing meat, dairy, eggs, fish or poultry out at room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers — and any type of food that should be refrigerated — within two hours. This includes casseroles and pumpkin or other custard pies.
  • Never defrost food at room temperature. Food can be defrosted safely in the refrigerator, under cold running water or in the microwave. Food thawed in cold water or in the microwave should be cooked immediately.
  • Plan ahead to allow enough time to thaw the turkey in the refrigerator. You will need a day for every 4-5 pounds.
  • Don't taste food that looks or smells questionable. A good rule to follow is, “When in doubt, throw it out."
  • Leftovers should be used within three to four days.

Remember, only handle and prepare food for others only if you are healthy. It is possible to spread illnesses other than just foodborne illnesses through meal preparation.

  • Don’t handle or prepare food for others if you are sick, especially if experiencing vomiting, diarrhea or flu-like symptoms. The bacteria and viruses that cause these types of symptoms can be transmitted easily to food and anyone who eats it.
  • Use special care when preparing food for anyone considered at high risk for foodborne illness (older adults, infants and young children; pregnant women; and people with a chronic illness or any other condition that weakens their immune system).

Other resources:
JCPH Food Safety web page.

November is American Diabetes Month

Did you know that 1 in 11 Americans today has diabetes? Despite its prevalence, diabetes is an invisible disease. It affects men and women, people young and old, and people of all races, shapes and sizes. Often there are no outward signs from the 29 million Americans who fight this chronic illness every day. That’s why there is a critical need to foster awareness and education while breaking down stereotypes, myths and misunderstandings about this growing public health crisis that affects so many of us.
This is exactly why the American Diabetes Association marks each November as American Diabetes Month—to bring extra attention to the disease and the tens of millions of people affected by it.

This November, the organization will showcase real-life stories of friends, families and neighbors managing the day-to-day triumphs and challenges of diabetes. The 2016 campaign, sponsored by Colgate Total®, National Oral Care Strategic Partner, invites all of us to use #ThisIsDiabetes to share personal stories and to start a dialogue about what it really means to live with diabetes.

You can also update your Facebook profile picture to help raise awareness—and don’t forget that you can always donate or sign up to become an advocate to help the American Diabetes Association continue their critical work.

To learn more and view #ThisIsDiabetes stories from around the country, check out Be sure to also follow the American Diabetes Association on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Jefferson County Public Health has registered dietitians available for consultation on healthy eating and nutrition planning.  Visit the website for information.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surge to a National 20-Year High

New data released show the highest combined rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea,and syphilis (STDs) in the U.S. in 20 years,reports the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Annually, there are 20 million new STD cases, costing the U.S. health care system $16 billion. Rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis increased significantly for the third year in a row, reaching a 20-year high. The long-term health consequences posed by STDs are serious and often irreversible, especially if not diagnosed and treated early. Young people ages 15-24 and gay and bisexual men are at highest risk for STDs. Young people face unique barriers to services, including stigma, confidentiality concerns, and limited access to expert STD providers.

STDs can lead to chronic pelvic pain, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy. A pregnant woman can pass STDs on to her baby, leading to serious disabilities or death in the infant. STDs increase the risk for acquiring HIV, especially men who have sex with men, undoing the gains that have been made in HIV prevention and care. For more information on National trends, please see the recently released STD Report at

Colorado is also experiencing historically high rates of STDs, although at lower rates of disease than the national trends. • There were significant increases in chlamydia. The number of male cases has increased over time, but females remained disproportionately impacted and have a rate twice that of males. • Gonorrhea also significantly increased for the second year in a row. Males continue to be disproportionately impacted by gonorrhea in Colorado, but the state is seeing increases in the number of female cases, particularly in 15-24-year-olds.

October 26, 2016 | Volume 16, Issue 43
Syphilis rates have also increased since 2014, accounting for an over 200 percent increase in this disease since 2006. Ninety-eight percent of primary and secondary syphilis occurs in men, in particular men who have sex with men.

Different than national trends, Colorado has not had a congenital syphilis case reported since 2007. Continued vigilance of testing pregnant women and testing and treating men who have syphilis will keep this trend consistent into the coming years.

An effective national and local response to the current STD epidemic will require engagement from many.  Providers should make STD screening a standard part of medical care, especially in pregnant women. With insurance coverage at an all-time high, there are also more opportunities to integrate STD prevention and treatment into prenatal care and other routine visits.

Individuals can talk openly about STDs, get tested regularly, and reduce their risk by using condoms or practicing mutual monogamy if they are sexually active. Parents and providers can have honest conversations with young people about STD prevention.  State and local health departments should continue to direct resources to those hardest hit by the STD epidemic and
work with community partners to maximize their impact.

American Cancer Society’s annual Great American Smokeout

In honor of the American Cancer Society’s annual Great American Smokeout, Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is encouraging people who use tobacco to quit for the day or quit for life on Thursday, November 17, 2016.

Regardless of the length of time a person has used tobacco, quitting is possible and worth it. Quitting can take practice, which is why quitting for just one day on the Great American Smokeout can get you closer to being tobacco-free for life. Even if it takes more than one attempt to quit for good, the chances of success increase with each attempt. Just remember, it is never too late to quit, and the body begins to heal as quickly as 20 minutes after quitting.

If you or someone you care about is interested in being tobacco-free for the Great American Smokeout on November 17, 2016, preparing for the day in advance increases the chances of success. JCPH recommends using this nine day quit guide to help prepare to quit for the day or quit for life.

For additional support with quitting tobacco, consider using some of the following resources:

  • Call the Colorado QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit
  • The Wellness Now program at Jefferson Center for Mental Health offers low-cost classes on a variety of topics including quitting tobacco. For more information, visit 
  • Attend a free tobacco cessation group hosted by Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge on Tuesdays at 12:00 pm or 5:30 pm. This is a six week drop-in group that provides adults who want to quit smoking with tools and support to achieve their goals. (You do not need to attend all six weeks in order to participate.)
  • Visit the Thinking of Quitting page on the Tobacco-Free Jeffco Website. 
  • Visit for additional information about secondhand smoke, Colorado tobacco laws, and resources to help with breaking free from tobacco addiction. 

Jefferson County Public Health continues to work toward reducing the toll of tobacco in our communities through sustainable solutions to the problem of tobacco use and exposure. To learn more about current initiatives and how to get involved, visit, email, or call 303-275-7555.

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Power of Preparedness . . . National Preparedness Month Reminds Everyone to Plan and Prepare for the Unexpected

Being prepared at all levels saves lives. Public health emergencies might take the shape of an emerging or rapidly spreading disease, a natural disaster, or an act of bioterrorism. While we can’t always anticipate what the next threat will be or where it will begin, National Preparedness Month presents an opportunity to share how we can all act now to reduce the impact of the unknown.  While the month is celebrated in September, every month is an opportunity to learn and prepare ahead.

This 2016 National Preparedness Month, CDC joined more than 3,000 global, national, regional, and local government organizations, as well as private and public institutions, to promote the importance of being ready for emergencies through the power of preparedness.

For more information on planning and preparing for potential public health emergencies, please visit the Jefferson County Public Health Emergency Preparedness Web Page.   Download and view the CDC infographic on preparedness. 

Recommendation to Screen Adults for Latent Tuberculosis Infection

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force,  and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as public health departments across the country are recommending the screening of adults who are at increased risk for latent tuberculosis infection.  Persons with latent TB infection are not infectious and cannot spread TB infection to others, however, without treatment, about 5 to 10% of infected persons will develop TB disease at some time in their lives.

“There are an estimated 158,000 people living with TB infection in Colorado, and most are unaware of their condition,” said Dr.Daniel Shodell, deputy director of the Disease Control and Environmental Epidemiology Division at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “At the heart of Colorado's TB elimination plan is the necessity to screen and test people at higher risk for TB and ensure those found to be infected complete an appropriate drug regimen for TB infection.”

Without routine testing, TB is often forgotten by physicians.  Testing for TB by primary care providers will help ensure that people who are infected have the opportunity to take medicine that will prevent them from getting sick.  Preventing the cycle of transmission to others will help Colorado move closer to eliminating TB in the state.

Anyone can get TB. However, some people have a higher risk of getting infected. People at higher risk include:

  • Individuals who have traveled to or lived in countries where TB is common. This includes most countries other than the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Western and Northern European countries.
  • Individuals who are immuno-compromised, including those with HIV.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends testing for TB infection for other high-risk groups, including:

  • Health care workers and others who work in hospitals, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes or residential homes, as well as current or past residents of these facilities.
  • Someone who has been in close contact with a person who has infectious TB disease.
  • Children, especially those under age 5, if they are in one of the risk groups noted above.
  • Please visit the state health department’s TB Program web pages for more information.

Jefferson County Public Health offers screening for Tuberculosis infection at its regular immunization clinics. Please call 303-239-7078 for an appointment.

The 2015 teen birth rate fell to another historic low for the United States.

According to a new report  from National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and Data from the National Vital Statistics System, the birth rate for teenagers aged 15–19 has fallen almost continuously since 1991, reaching historic lows for the nation every year since 2009.

The report highlights recent and long-term trends as well as health disparities found in teen childbearing. Childbearing by teenagers continues to be a matter of public concern.  Despite declines in all racial and ethnic groups, teen birth rates continue to vary considerably by race and ethnicity. Moreover, the U.S. teen birth rate remains higher than in other industrialized countries.

  • The teen birth rate declined to another historic low for the United States in 2015, down 8% from 2014 to 22.3 births per 1,000 females aged 15–19.
  • The birth rates for teenagers aged 15–17 and 18–19 declined in 2015 to 9.9 and 40.7, respectively, which are record lows for both groups.
  • In 2015, birth rates declined to 6.9 for Asian or Pacific Islander, 16.0 for non-Hispanic white, 25.7 for American Indian or Alaska Native, 31.8 for non-Hispanic black, and 34.9 for Hispanic female teenagers aged 15–19.
  • Birth rates fell to record lows for nearly all race and Hispanic-origin groups of females aged 15–19, 15–17, and 18–19 in 2015.

 Jefferson County Public Health’s Family Planning Program works to reduce teen pregnancy as well as to help individuals and families plan for healthy births when they are ready.  The program provides education, counseling, medical examination, treatment and birth control methods for men and women.

Family Planning (reproductive health and birth control) services are available at our Lakewood location at 645 Parfet Street, Lakewood, CO 80215. Most services are provided on a sliding fee scale. We are also able to bill Medicaid and several private insurances. No one is denied services due to inability to pay. Please call 303-239-7078 to make an appointment.

Raising Awareness About Mental Health and Illness . . . Time to Start Talking

Every individual is different and so is their ability to cope with everyday stresses and life in general.  All of us have mental health and many of us suffer from varying degrees of mental illness.  The National Alliance for Mental Health (NAMI) estimates that there are 60 million Americans living with mental illness each year.

During Mental Illness Awareness Week, which occurs during the first full week of October, and throughout the year, NAMI works to fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care for mental illnesses. And every year, the movement grows stronger, shining a light on mental illness and replacing stigma with hope.  Learn more about NAMI and its new stigma free initiative.  Being Stigma Free means learning about and educating others on mental illness, focusing on connecting with people to see each other as individuals and not a diagnosis, and most importantly, taking action on mental health issues.

Did you know that Colorado lost 1,058 people to suicide last year?  This is the highest number in state history. That puts Colorado’s suicide rate at 19.4 per 100,000 residents — seventh highest in the country.  Suicide kills more Coloradans each year than homicide, car crashes, diabetes, breast cancer, flu or pneumonia.  It is the seventh leading cause of death for all Coloradans and second leading cause of death for young Coloradans.

Public Health Encourages Active Living and Walking (or Biking) to School

Jefferson County Public Health encourages schools, neighborhoods, parents and children to join in events that celebrate active living. One such event, is the annual National Walk to School Day that occurred on October 5, 2016. While this day is nationally-recognized on October 5, 2016, school communities are encouraged to implement Walk (or Bike) to School Day in a manner that works best for them. To gather ideas of how to best implement a Walk (or Bike) to School Day event in your community, go to Colorado Walk to School Day. School teams can organize walking school buses and bike trains that promote and facilitate walking and bicycling to school. 

JCPH encourages everyone to learn more about Colorado Safe Routes to School (SRTS). Colorado Safe Routes to School (SRTS) uses a comprehensive approach to make school routes safe for children when walking and bicycling to school. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) administers Colorado's SRTS program. In Colorado, many communities, parents and schools are fostering a safe environment for their students by using SRTS programs to not only fund education and safe infrastructure, but also to encourage healthy options for our children that are safe for both walking and bicycling. 
Walking or bicycling to and from school can be a first step to changing community culture and creating environments that are more inviting, and safer, for everyone, young and old, to walk, skip or roll to school regularly. Here are some reasons to support walking and bicycling to school:

  • Enhance the health of kids. Increased physical activity can combat a host of health problems facing kids today. 
  • Improve air quality. Replacing car trips to school with walking or bicycling can help reduce air pollution.
  • Create safer routes for walking and bicycling. Sidewalks, education programs and traffic calming measures are some of the ways to improve conditions for young students.

Jefferson County Public Health also encourages schools and families to get involved in the Jefferson County Active Living Coalition.  The Coalition is developing a multi-year plan to address policies and programs to increase access to active living in Jefferson County.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Jefferson County Public Health is proud to participate in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point.

The good news is that many women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early.

  • If you are a woman age 40 to 49, talk with your doctor about when to start getting mammograms and how often to get them.
  • If you are a woman age 50 to 74, be sure to get a mammogram every 2 years. You may also choose to get them more often.
  • Talk to a health care provider about your risk for breast cancer, especially if a close family member of yours had breast or ovarian cancer. Your doctor can help you decide when and how often to get mammograms.

For more information on breast screenings and other cancer prevention services visit the Jefferson County Public Health cancer prevention web page or call the JCPH clinic at 303-239-7078.

Recommendations to Reduce Premature Births and Deaths

Premature birth is the leading cause of infant death in Colorado, accounting for 38 percent of infant deaths each year and contributing to lifelong problems in health and development among surviving “preemies.” Although Colorado infant death rates have been declining for 30 years, they remain three times higher among African-Americans than whites, Hispanics or Asians. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the March of Dimes   released “Recommendations to Reduce Preterm Births in Colorado,” prepared by a work group of public health experts, university researchers and health care providers from across Colorado.

The publication, released in conjunction with September’s National Infant Mortality Awareness Month, provides 11 core recommendations for community groups, health care providers and policy makers. In alignment with national, evidence-based guidelines, the recommendations focus on:

  • Access to services.
  • Preventive care. 
  • Planned pregnancy. 
  • Assisted reproductive technology. 
  • Medical interventions. 
  • Mental health promotion. 
  • Avoidance of substance use, including tobacco. 
  • Innovative uses of technology. 

“While we’ve made progress in reducing the health impacts of premature birth, there are still too many babies born too soon,” said Karen Trierweiler, deputy director of the Prevention Services Division at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “We need to recognize the causes of premature birth and work together to give all babies a healthier start in Colorado.”

Because the causes of and solutions to preterm birth are complex, the guidelines highlight strategies that can be employed, ideally in coordination, by all who have a role in reducing preterm birth: pregnant women, health care providers, policymakers, advocates, public health professionals and other community service and support programs.

About 25,000 infants die each year nationwide, leaving the United States with one of the worst infant mortality rates in the world, ranking 131st among 184 countries. Colorado averages 400 infant deaths per year. Reducing premature births would significantly reduce the number of infant deaths in Colorado and nationwide.

Jefferson County Public Health Home Visitation programs work to help moms and babies be as healthy as they can be:

Nurse Family Partnership: A free, voluntary, nurse home visitation program for Medicaid-eligible, first time moms. Nurses meet regularly with women to develop trusting relationship, provide resources and help moms develop early childhood parenting skills from pregnancy through two years of age. Call 303-239-7074 or visit:

Prenatal Plus Program:  This free program for Medicaid recipients offers home or office visits to support healthy lifestyle choices, including healthy eating and tobacco free living. Prenatal Plus offers nurse home visitations to women during pregnancy and for up to 2 months after the baby is born. Prenatal Plus team members offer support and education, providing answers to questions about pregnancy, labor and delivery, breastfeeding, birth control and how to care for your baby. Call 303-275-6011 or visit:

Public Health – Family Collaboration Program is a voluntary home visit program for any family referred from the Jefferson County Human Services Department. Collaboration nurses offer parenting support, stress management tools, and information regarding nutrition, feeding and care of children, birth control, and behavioral issues. Nurses can offer support to moms, dads, grandparents, and other caregivers and provide services on average from 4-7 months. Call 303-275-6011 or visit:

HCP, A Program for Children and Youth with Special Needs  provides in-depth, one-on-one care coordination for families of children (birth to 21 years) who have special health care needs. Examples of care coordination activities include assistance with identifying local services, finding insurance or other financial resources, and supporting important transitions such as from hospital to home or from child to adult care. Call 303-239-7006 or visit:

Be a Jefferson County Flu Fighter . . . What you should know for the 2016-2017 Flu Season

In the United States, millions of people get sick, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized and thousands to tens of thousands of people die from flu and related complications every year. While it is not possible to predict how severe the 2016-2017 season will be, or which viruses will dominate, one constant is the need for annual vaccination to help decrease the impact of this contagious disease.

An annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect you and your family from the flu. People should be vaccinated before flu activity begins. CDC recommends that people get vaccinated by the end of October, if possible.  A few things to note for this flu season:

  • Only injectable flu vaccines (flu shots) are recommended for use this season.
  • Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses.
  • There will be some new vaccines on the market this season, including an immune boosting (adjuvanted) vaccine for people 65 and older.
  • The recommendations for vaccination of people with egg allergies have changed.

Learn more about what’s new for the 2016-17 flu season by visiting,

You can join the effort to fight the flu by getting your flu vaccine and encouraging people to protect themselves and their family by doing the same.  Jefferson County Public Health will have flu vaccine available later this month at its regular immunization clinics and at its upcoming Shots for Tots and Teens clinic on November 5, 2016 in Arvada. Please call 303-239-7078 for flu vaccine availability or to make an appointment for any of our clinic services.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

SNAP Now Accepting at Some Farmer’s Markets…

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) serves more than 485,000 Coloradans each month. Jefferson County Public Health is leading a food security project allowing recipients of SNAP to redeem their benefits at farmer’s markets through the fall of 2017. The project has been a huge success at the Arvada Farmer’s Market in Olde Town Arvada, where over $300 in SNAP benefits were redeemed this summer!

JCPH also partners with LiveWell, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting obesity by increasing access to healthy food and physical activity. The collaboration helps promote the Double Up Colorado program to farmers’ market managers. SNAP clients purchases are matched with a voucher worth up to $20 per visit to put toward Colorado-grown fruits and vegetables. Double Up Colorado increases the amount of food that recipients of SNAP can purchase in an effort to encourage them to eat healthier. Arvada’s Farmer’s Market and more farmer’s markets are applying for Double Up Colorado Funding for the 2017 season.

Next year, the 40 West Farmer’s Market at Colfax and Pierce will also begin accepting SNAP. JCPH hopes to continue to increase food access throughout our county and to spread the message that farmers’ markets are for everyone! To get involved, join Food Policy Council is to influence policy to increase equitable access to healthy, local and affordable food and support a sustainable community food system.

Colorado adults remain leanest in the nation

Colorado remained the leanest state in the nation in 2015, with a 20.2 percent adult obesity rate, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Colorado’s obesity rate increased dramatically from 2000 through 2010 but since then has leveled off. Nevertheless, one in five Colorado adults is obese, and obesity rates are higher for African-American (27.7 percent) and Hispanic (28.3 percent) Coloradans.

“Our efforts seem to be contributing to a growing awareness across Colorado of the health costs of obesity and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle,” said Joan Brucha, manager of the health department’s Healthy Eating Active Living Unit. “But we can see there’s clearly more work to be done to make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation.”

Obesity is a complex problem, with many causes and consequences. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer -- some of the leading causes of preventable death.

Colorado is the second-fastest growing state in the nation, according to new Census Bureau data, attracting people drawn to its outdoor opportunities, abundant sunshine and active lifestyle. Coloradans rank first in physical activity according to United Health Foundation’s annual health rankings. But it has experienced the same growth in the prevalence of obesity as other states in the nation.

Gov. Hickenlooper’s 2013 State of Health Report named statewide obesity prevention and reduction a priority, as he called for making Colorado the healthiest state in the nation. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and local public health agencies also have prioritized obesity reduction.

For more information on Jefferson County Public Health programs working to encourage physical activity and healthy eating check out For access to the Jefferson County Public Health Nutrition Services Program and WIC be sure to visit the Jefferson County Public Health website.

Public Health Invites Jeffco Students to Get Involved in Health and Tobacco Prevention

Jefferson County, CO--As a new school year begins, youth in Jefferson County are ramping up for another year of activities to reduce the toll of tobacco in their schools and communities. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, and nearly nine out of 10 people who use tobacco start by the age of 18. If smoking continues at the current rate among U.S. youth, 5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18 years of age, or one in every 13, are expected to die prematurely from a smoking-related illness. Additionally, studies suggest that nicotine acts to prime or sensitize the adolescent brain for addiction, indicating that effective prevention programs and interventions not only prevent smoking but also decrease the risk of youth progressing to illicit drug use and dependence.  

Both youth and adults in Jefferson County have many opportunities to get involved in the effort to end the tobacco epidemic and help make the next generation tobacco-free.

Opportunities for Youth to Get Involved
Breathe Easy (BE) Teams are youth clubs working on sustainable solutions to the problem of tobacco. Supported by their high schools and Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH), BE Teams work towards healthy, tobacco-free environments and preventing youth from initiating tobacco use. Currently, BE Teams exist at five Jefferson County high schools including Golden, Jefferson, Lakewood, Pomona and Wheat Ridge. For questions about the BE Team or to get involved, contact Zach Dunlop, Youth Engagement Specialist at JCPH at or 303-239-7169.

Both youth and adults are invited to get involved with the Tobacco-Free Jeffco Alliance (TFJA), a group of individuals and organizations addressing tobacco use in Jefferson County. As part of the TFJA, youth are encouraged to participate in meaningful ways, such as taking on leadership roles within the Alliance. This year, two BE Team students, Morgan Lester and Brittany Willis, earned youth co-chair roles for the TFJA. Please join Morgan, Brittany and the TFJA at the next quarterly meeting on Wednesday, September 7, 2016 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. For more information about the meeting, visit

Youth Leader Highlights
Lakewood High School senior, Morgan Lester, has been a dedicated BE Team member and tobacco prevention advocate for over two years. She has skillfully engaged her peers, the Lakewood High School Parent Teacher Association and elected officials in various communities to support the BE Team’s tobacco prevention movement. One of her many successes involved helping to organize a cigarette butt pick-up at a local park, followed by a presentation of the outcomes to community leaders that successfully inspired change. Morgan also advocated in favor of a smoke and vapor-free public places ordinance in the City of Wheat Ridge, which successfully passed in October 2015.

Brittany Willis, a junior at Golden High School, has been a leading member of the BE Team for more than two years and is passionate about tobacco prevention. As part of the BE Team, Brittany recruited a number of her peers to join in the efforts to reduce the toll of tobacco in Jefferson County. She has also presented to the Golden City Council about the importance of strong smoke and vapor-free policies that protect everyone. On a personal level, she has helped family and friends quit tobacco and has brought the community together over shared values of health and wellness. During her free time, Brittany volunteers as an intern for the JCPH Tobacco Prevention Initiative.

NEW Paid Opportunity for Youth
This fall, the Tobacco Prevention Initiative will be able to give a few motivated youth part time, paid positions as members of the new Youth Advisory Committee (YAC). These youth will work a few hours each month to help promote health in Jefferson County! Youth who have faced challenges because of income, race, language, or other circumstances and youth who are bilingual are encouraged to apply. We are seeking students who are interested in teen health issues, leadership and making a positive difference. Students can apply at We encourage applications from youth between the ages of 13 and 20 who have strong communication skills, dedication, an interest in tobacco prevention and a desire to learn. For questions, contact Zach Dunlop at or 303-239-7169. JCPH supports workplace diversity and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, national origin, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability or any other protected class.

Upcoming Youth Advocacy Workshop
As part of a kick-off to the school year, JCPH sponsors an annual, intensive half-day Youth Advocacy Workshop (YAW) that includes skill-building activities and leadership training to support BE Team students in their advocacy and outreach efforts throughout the school year. This year’s workshop will take place on Saturday, October 8, 2016, from 9am to 1:30 p.m at the Jefferson County Courts and Administration Building in Golden and will include lessons on policy change, social justice, professionalism and public speaking. The workshop also allows for teambuilding and fun. For more information about the workshop, contact Zach Dunlop at or 303-239-7169.

Tobacco Education Program for Teens
Concerned about youth tobacco use? Consider Second Chance, a web-based tobacco education program for middle school and high school youth. It is a FREE online, interactive and self-directed program intended to be used as an alternative to suspension. Second Chance may also help teens that have experimented with tobacco to recognize the harms of tobacco use and find support to quit. Ask your school administration if they offer the program or contact Jen Bolcoa at or 303-982-6505.

Jefferson County Public Health continues to work toward reducing the toll of tobacco in our
communities through sustainable solutions to the problem of tobacco use and exposure.
To learn more about current initiatives and how to get involved, visit,
email, or call 303-275-7555.

Want to share your story?

Jefferson County Public Health wants to hear from you! The health communications is working on a video that will have stories of clients and community members talking about their challenges with housing, income, finding a job, having enough food, getting healthcare, or other challenges that affect living healthy in Jefferson County.

Your story is important and we want to hear it!! It could help us enhance our current programs, change policies and improve more lives! If interested, please leave your name and phone number below and we will contact you. If you are available today, please call Tony Aaron Fuller at 303-239-7059 or Nancy Braden at 303-239-7137. We are hoping to begin videotaping as early as Wednesday September 7, 2016 and will have several days after that available as well. 

5 Things You Need To Know About Zika Virus

Zika primarily spreads through infected mosquitoes.  You can also get Zika through sexMany areas in the United States have the type of mosquitoes that can spread Zika virus. These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters and can also bite at night. Also, Zika can be passed through sex from a person who has Zika to his or her sex partners.


The best way to prevent Zika is to prevent mosquito bites.
  • Use EPA-registered insect repellent. It works
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning or window and door screens.
  • Remove standing water around your home.

Zika is linked to birth defects: Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly that is a sign of incomplete brain development. Doctors have also found other problems in pregnancies and among fetuses and infants infected with Zika virus before birth. If you are pregnant and have a partner who lives in or has traveled to an area with Zika, do not have sex, or use condoms the right way, every time, during your pregnancy.

Pregnant women should not travel to areas with ZikaIf you must travel to one of these areas, talk to your healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip.

Returning travelers infected with Zika can spread the virus through mosquito bites.  During the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in a person’s blood and can pass from an infected person to a mosquito through mosquito bites. An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people.  Couples with a partner who lives in or has traveled to an area with Zika should take steps to protect during sex.

For information on communicable disease in Jefferson County, please contact Public Health Nurse Kyle Brown at 303-239-7086 or via email at