CO poisoning: You can’t see it, smell it or taste it, but here’s how to prevent it

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With the onset of colder weather across Idaho, we’re going to be using heating systems, hot water heaters, car heaters, portable outdoor heaters and other gas, oil or wood-burning appliances that emit potentially deadly carbon monoxide fumes. Because carbon monoxide can build up in enclosed and even partially enclosed places, it’s a good time to talk about carbon monoxide poisoning and steps you can take to avoid it. Continue reading

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#FightFlu Idaho, and get your annual flu shot now to protect yourself this season!

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As you may have heard, the last flu season was particularly severe, resulting in more than 80,000 deaths in the nation and 101 deaths in Idaho. The flu season here can last from October to May, and typically peaks in January or February. Getting vaccinated now is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from what can be a serious infection, even for otherwise healthy people. Continue reading

Reports of Shiga-toxin producing E. Coli (STEC) food poisoning on the rise in SW Idaho

FS__08_Under5_Kidney_Tips_1080x1080Today we’re talking about food poisoning, and a serious increase in STEC cases in Southwest Idaho – What the heck is STEC?

So, the past month was National Food Safety Month and coincidentally here in Southwest Idaho, the Department of Health and Welfare along with our local public health district partners have had an unusually large number of reports about infections caused by Shiga-toxin producing E. Coli – or STEC for short –that has resulted in several hospitalizations of very young children, so now’s a good time to understand what STEC is, what to watch for and how to reduce the risk of infection to yourself or your children. Continue reading

Effective Oct. 1, healthcare services delivered by in-state psychiatric residential treatment facilities will be reimbursable for eligible Medicaid beneficiaries

Effective October 1, 2018, Teton Peaks, a division of the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, will begin providing Medicaid reimbursable services as a certified in-state Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF).

These services are intended to help Idaho and PRTF’s improve healthcare delivery systems for Medicaid beneficiaries by allowing in-state access to care, strengthening continuity of care, and improving population health. Here is the legal notice:  Continue reading

September is Sepsis Awareness Month – Spot the signs to get ahead of sepsis

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Sepsis is the body’s extreme reaction to any infection. It is a medical emergency that affects at least 1.7 million people each year in the United States and kills nearly 270,000.  Early detection offers the best chance for survival and can limit life-long complications. Otherwise, it can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and even death. This month is Sepsis Awareness Month, and it’s a good time to get ahead of sepsis by learning the risks and how to avoid them. Continue reading

Disasters happen. Prepare now – Learn how!

LSS_PLAN_FOR_EMRGENCY_mediumLiving in Idaho, it’s easy to think that we don’t have to worry as much about disasters like Hurricane Florence that struck the Carolina Coast last week. But wildfires, flooding and even earthquakes are real possibilities here, and with September being National Preparedness Month, it’s a great time to think about putting together a go-kit, making a family emergency plan and making sure you’re informed when disaster strikes our state. Continue reading

Rock Your Role this week for suicide prevention

By Kim Kane
Suicide Prevention Program manger, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

This week is National Suicide Prevention Week and a great time to remember that we all have a role to play in preventing suicide!  Here are some things you can do to make a difference.

Take 5!  Visit www.take5tosavelives.org and complete the Take 5 Steps.  Through these steps you will,

  1. Learn suicide warning signs
  2. Learn what your role is in preventing suicide
  3. Practice self-care by making mental wellness a priority
  4. Know how to reach out; help is there and recovery is possible
  5. Spread the word for others to Take 5!

Reach out.  Research shows us that people we lose to suicide feel disconnected from others.  Suicide Prevention Week is a good time to think about those in our lives who might be feeling alone and reach out.  A simple text, call or email could make all the difference to someone feeling lonely.  Continue reading