Thousands of people possibly exposed to hepatitis A in Utah food establishments along I-15 corridor

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

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High radon levels in Idaho can put your health at risk – test your home now

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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

Has your home been tested for radon? Now is a great time to do it!

9715_Comp-Cancer_Facebook-Graphics-April-boostedRadon 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

A Closer Look at Your Health: Protecting young adults against meningitis

preteenvaccineWe’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

Number of flu-related deaths in Idaho jumps to 13

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.

Continue reading

Meningitis outbreak prompts reminder to get college students vaccinated

A bacterial meningitis outbreak at Oregon State University (OSU) has public health officials and medical providers in Idaho on guard as college students head home for the holidays, and encouraging students to get vaccinated against the disease. So far, no cases have been reported in Idaho, but OSU has reported six cases at the University’s Corvallis campus, five known to be caused by serogroup B meningococcal bacteria.

“If you have college students from the Corvallis campus of OSU home for the holiday break, it would be a great idea to check to see if they have been vaccinated against serogroup B meningococcal disease,” said Dr. Christine Hahn, medical director for the Division of Public Health in the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. “If not, they should be vaccinated with the MenB vaccine to protect them from the disease, which is very serious and can spread in college settings. It can cause loss of limbs, hearing loss, or brain damage. Even with treatment, up to 15% of people can die from it.”   Continue reading