Wear teal Thursday, April 19 for #SAAM! #MeToo and other ways you can get involved and prevent sexual violence in Idaho

SVPIdahoContributed by Kathleen Palmer, Sexual Violence Prevention Health Program Manager, Idaho Division of Public Health.

Did you know that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month? Every year since 1970, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center has led the nation in recognizing ways to respond to and prevent sexual violence. In light of the #MeToo movement that has raised awareness of workplace sexual harassment, now is a great time to engage with sexual violence prevention efforts around Idaho and in the United States.  Continue reading


STDs are rising rapidly in Idaho – Here’s what you need to know to protect your health


Talk. Test. Treat. This is national Sexually Transmitted Disease Awareness Month and those are three simple things you can do to protect your health. Most people don’t really want to talk about sexually transmitted diseases, but the truth is that a hidden epidemic of STDs is happening in this country – and here in Idaho – right now. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 20 million new infections happen each year, and that there are now more than 110 million sexually transmitted infections in men and women in the United States. STDs can cause infertility, stillbirth, neonatal death and other health issues. Continue reading

Idaho E. coli infections linked to romaine lettuce from Yuma, Ariz.

Public health officials in Idaho are investigating an outbreak of E. coli infections that are linked to a national outbreak affecting at least 10 other states.

Chopped romaine

Chopped romaine lettuce

At this time, eight Idaho residents have become sick with E. coli infections. All eight people who have become ill report eating romaine lettuce in the 10 days prior to becoming ill. Three individuals were hospitalized, and two have developed kidney failure linked to the E. coli infection. All hospitalized individuals were adults between the ages of 20 and 55. No deaths have been linked to this outbreak.

Initial investigations by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and public health officials in affected states indicate that chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Ariz., growing region, could be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 and causing illness. No common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified yet. Continue reading

Idaho health agencies and EMS join Boise hospitals in national exercise to transport patients with highly infectious disease


Photo courtesy of Idaho Department of Health and Welfare / Chris Smith
A role-playing “patient” is prepared for boarding a Kalitta Air 747 medical transport aircraft through the nose cone as part of a full-scale emergency preparedness exercise to rehearse capabilities for moving patients with highly infectious diseases, such as Ebola. Four “patients” were transported Wednesday morning from Saint Alphonsus Health System and St. Luke’s Health System by Ada County Paramedics and St. Luke’s Air to the Boise Airport.


BOISE – State, local and national emergency personnel rehearsed moving patients with highly infectious disease in Boise today as part of the largest national preparedness exercise of its kind in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services history.

The three-day exercise culminated Wednesday at the Boise Airport/Gowen Field, where four role-playing patients were loaded onto a Kalitta Air 747 medical transport aircraft and flown to regional treatment centers in Spokane, Wash., and Los Angeles, Calif. Idaho does not have the capability to treat patients with highly infectious diseases such as Ebola.

The drill started early Monday morning when people acting as patients with Ebola symptoms arrived at Treasure Valley healthcare facilities. The patients were cared for at the clinics and hospitals, then transported by ambulance to other facilities, before eventually being moved to the Boise Airport and transferred into the medical transport aircraft.

Participants behaved throughout the exercise as if the incident was real, taking necessary actions and employing appropriate resources to manage and protect the patients, the workforce and the environment, as well as safely transport the patients. Continue reading

Respect, Ask, Intervene, Notice & Nurture: Preventing sexual assault in Idaho

sexual violence IdahoThe #MeToo movement on social media has really highlighted the idea that sexual assault is a significant concern for everyone. According to the 2012 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 2 in 5 women and 1 in 5 men in Idaho have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime. Since April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, it’s a good time to learn how to support survivors and spread awareness. Continue reading

Traveling this spring or summer? Measles may be just a plane ride away

infographic-measles-contagiousMeasles is one of the most highly contagious diseases in the world. It is just a plane ride away, and sometimes you don’t even have to get on a plane. We have seen several recent reports about people in airports in other states being exposed to measles after an infected person traveled through. As you might be traveling for spring break or making summer vacation travel plans, it’s important to make sure your measles vaccination is up to date. Continue reading