Thursday, February 4, 2016

Have questions about sexual health? Go Ask TISH!

Jefferson County Public Health’s Family Planning program reminds adult and youth that planning pregnancies actively is one of the most important things that can be done for reproductive health.   In addition, February happens to be National Condom Month. It is a perfect time to remind everyone that   safe sex means more than using birth control, it also means using condoms and other barrier methods to prevent sexually transmitted infections. Of all the birth control methods available, the condom is the most frequently used method that is not only effective at preventing pregnancy (98% effectiveness rate for male condoms and 95% for female condoms, when both used correctly and consistently) but also protects against the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV.

While various forms of birth control may prevent pregnancies, they do not prevent the spread of HIV and other STIs.  If you are sexually active and have not been using safer sex practices including condoms, limiting the number of partners you have, and do not know your STI status, you are at risk.  Get tested at our clinic location in Lakewood.  Call 303-239-7078 to schedule an appointment.   If you have any questions and need answers, text your questions to 720 446-TISH (8474), the Text Information Sexual Health line is confidential and answered regularly by one of our public health nurses. You can also watch the Sex Ed with Mel video episodes on safer sex practices and sexually transmitted infections for more information. 

Jeffco Wears Red and a little Orange and Blue

Jefferson County employees are gathering for a picture in recognition of National Wear Red Day on Friday, February 5, 2016 in the atrium of the Courts and Administration building.  The day also provides an opportunity to support our superbowl bound Broncos, thus come in orange and blue if you like and we will provide the red.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. In fact, someone in the U.S. has a heart attack every 43 seconds. Each minute, someone in the U.S. dies from a heart disease-related event.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approximately 610,000 people die from heart disease each year in the United States.  Despite the numbers, heart disease is preventable and manageable.

Tackling known risk factors such as tobacco use, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and inactive lifestyle  can greatly reduce risks for illness and death from heart disease.

·         For more information on heart disease and prevention, please visit the American Heart Association .
·         Act in Time! Learn the warning signs and the importance of calling 9-1-1 immediately at the onset of symptoms.
·         The health department also has handouts and other educational materials on heart health and reducing your risk factors.
·         Learn more about current healthy eating and active living work occurring within Jefferson County and/or get involved in the Jeffco Community Health Improvement Network: A group of multi-disciplinary coalitions in Jefferson County, Colorado working together to increase physical activity, healthy eating, and psychosocial well-being among low-income families with children ages 0-18. Visit the Network website,  Healthy People Healthy Places Jeffco , for more information about the Network and the six CoINs (Coalitions Integrated into the Network).

Please visit our web site at  for more information.

Alcohol and Pregnancy . . . Why Take the Risk?

A new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alcohol and Pregnancy highlights the fact that:
  • More than 3 million US women are at risk of exposing their developing baby to alcohol. 
  • 3 in 4 women who want to get pregnant as soon as possible report drinking alcohol. 
  • 100% Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are completely preventable. 
Why take the risk?
  • Women who are pregnant or who might be pregnant should be aware that any level of alcohol use could harm their baby.
  • All types of alcohol can be harmful, including all wine and beer.
  • The baby’s brain, body, and organs are developing throughout pregnancy and can be affected by alcohol at any time.
  • Drinking while pregnant can also increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, prematurity, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Read the report, view an infographic with data and learn about prevention.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Travel Warnings Issued about Zika Virus

Jefferson County Public Health in partnership with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is advising the public that amid concerns about the potential association between Zika virus infection and birth defects in Brazil, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued and is updating travel warnings about areas with ongoing risk. Zika virus transmission now affects more than 20 countries and territories in the Americas. People in the U.S. who have had the virus all traveled to areas where it is common. 
Women who are pregnant or attempting to become pregnant should consider postponing travel to those places and check the CDC website for current alerts.
Zika virus is carried by the Aedes species mosquitoes. These mosquitoes pick up the virus when they bite an infected person and spread it by biting other people. The primary mosquito for Zika virus, Aedes aegypti, doesn’t live in Colorado, because our state is too dry and cold for them. The other mosquito that might transmit Zika, Aedes albopictus, has a larger range, but also does not live in Colorado.
Zika virus is usually mild, and symptoms last only a few days to a week. The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes). You can prevent illness by preventing mosquito bites. People traveling to areas where Zika has been transmitted should use an EPA-registered repellent and apply and re-apply products according to the label directions. Examples of EPA-registered repellents are DEET, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and picaridin. The mosquitoes that carry Zika are aggressive daytime biters and will bite indoors and out.
Travelers who think they may be ill with Zika should consult their health care provider. Zika virus testing is available for symptomatic people only from the CDC and four U.S. state health departments. Colorado’s state laboratory is not testing for Zika virus at this time, but will help health care providers send samples for testing.

If you have more questions about Zika, visit the CDC web page, the CDPHE web page or contact COHelp at 877-462-2911.