You may have seen in the news last month that more than 500 people fell ill to norovirus on two separate cruise ships, bringing to 12 the number of major outbreaks of this nasty virus aboard ocean-liners in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That may lead you to think that norovirus is something you only risk on a cruise ship. But there’s actually a better chance you’ll be infected in restaurants, long-term care facilities like nursing homes and in other places where people gather and share bathrooms – day cares, schools, camps, and big events. Norovirus is also known as the “winter vomiting bug,” so it’s a good time to talk about reducing your risk. Continue reading
If you ate any food or drank any beverages or used the restroom at any of the following facilities during the dates listed below, you may have been exposed to hepatitis A:
- Sonic Drive-In, 971 North Main St., Spanish Fork, from Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017, through Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017.
- Olive Garden, 1092 North Canyon Parkway, Spanish Fork, from Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017, through Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017.
- Tabitha’s Way Local Food Pantry (South County), Spanish Fork, from Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, through Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. Non-canned food and drink only.
- 7-Eleven, 2666 West 7800 South, West Jordan, from Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017, through Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018.
- Fountain drink or self-serve beverage.
- Fresh fruit.
- Any item from the store’s hot food case, such as pizza, hot dogs, chicken wings, or taquitos.
- Packaged items, including bottled beverages and microwaved foods, are NOT implicated in the possible exposure.
Anyone who thinks they have been exposed should contact their healthcare provider and possibly get vaccinated. Continue reading
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare began monitoring radon test results over 20 years ago. Since then, IDHW has discovered nearly 40 percent of Idaho homes tested for radon have higher than recommended levels of the naturally occurring radioactive gas. High radon levels have been found in homes in every Idaho county. Continue reading
Radon is an odorless, tasteless gas that has been found at dangerous levels in many homes in Idaho. The dangerous gas is the leading cause of lung cancer for nonsmokers, and it causes more than 21,000 deaths a year in the United States. It’s a serious health issue in Idaho. The good news is that it is a preventable health risk – testing your home can help prevent or reduce exposure. Continue reading
We’ve seen news reports recently of college campus outbreaks of bacterial meningitis, which is a meningococcal disease that can become life-threatening quickly, and teens are at high risk of getting it. Meningitis is a dangerous inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, so with your teens home now on winter break, it’s a good time to talk about reducing their risk of contracting meningitis by making sure their vaccinations are up-to-date. Continue reading
Idaho is seeing more influenza-related deaths at this point in the season than in the same timeframe in the previous seven seasons, and public health officials are concerned. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has received five new reports in one week of Idahoans who died from an influenza-related illness, bringing the season total to 13 deaths.
“Flu is widespread in Idaho and may be especially severe this season,” said Randi Pedersen, the state influenza surveillance coordinator. “Unfortunately, this flu season is far from over. Influenza activity typically peaks in Idaho in January or early February. If you haven’t yet gotten the vaccine, it is not too late! Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your family from this serious illness.”
Everyone over six months of age is recommended to get the flu vaccine, unless they have medical reasons to avoid it.
If you are feeling frazzled or blue, it’s a good time to take a minute to consider all the simple things you can do for yourself to reduce stress and stay healthy so you can enjoy this time of year with your friends and families. Continue reading