Flu Season 2017-2018

Everyone 6 months and older should receive a yearly flu vaccine. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses and prevent flu-related hospitalizations. It is the single best way to prevent influenza.

Virus strains included in the 2017–18 vaccines will be two Influenza type A (H1N1 & H3N2) and two Influenza type B-like virus. There are several brands and types of flu injections available, but live vaccine (flu mist) is still not available this year.

Benefits of Getting Vaccinated:

  • Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with flu, and reduce risk of flu-associated hospitalization.
  • Flu vaccination is especially important for people with chronic health conditions.
  • Vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy. Vaccination also protects the developing baby during pregnancy and for several months after the baby is born.
  • Flu vaccination may make your illness milder if you do get sick.
  • Getting vaccinated yourself also protects people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with chronic health conditions.

Ways to Prevent the Flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or into your elbow when coughing or sneezing
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer
  • Clean or disinfect surfaces that are touched often at home, work, or school
  • Get plenty of sleep, stay physically active, eat nutritious foods, drink plenty of fluids

Like us on Facebook (Forest County Health Department) to receive updates!

For more information visit: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm or call us with any questions at 715-478-3371.

The Forest County Health Department will be offering flu vaccines at community clinics and walk-ins at the Health Department Monday-Friday 7:30 – 11:30 am & 1:00- 5:00 pm

 

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The Importance of Adult Vaccinations

Vaccines play an important role in protecting communities from disease. Many people think that vaccines are just for children, but did you know that there are a number of vaccinations recommended for adults? Adults, especially those that are older, may be more susceptible to certain diseases than other individuals. Therefore it is essential that adults get vaccinated to protect not only themselves, but also their friends and family from serious illness. Some vaccines recommended for adults are:

  • Tdap (Tetanus, Diptheria, and Pertussis) – Usually given around age 11 or 12, people who did not get Tdap should get it as soon as possible. A tetanus booster should be given every ten years. Tdap may be given as one of these boosters if you have never gotten Tdap before.
  • Influenza (flu) – All people ages 6 months and older are recommended for annual vaccination with rare exceptions.
  • Hepatitis B – If not completed during childhood or adolescence.
  • Shingles – Recommended for people age 60 and older
  • Pneumococcal – Recommended for children and adults 2 to 64 years of age
  • with certain health conditions and for all adults 65 years of age and older.

Unsure of whether you are up to date on your vaccinations? You can access your immunization records online with your social security number using the Wisconsin Immunization Registry at https://www.dhfswir.org/PR/clientSearch.do?language=en. You can also call the Forest County Health Department to determine your vaccination  status.

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Forest County Bird Tests Positive for West Nile Virus

Protect Yourself Against Mosquito Bites

The Forest County Health Department reports a dead crow found in Forest County on July 18th, 2017 has tested positive for West Nile virus. This is the first bird that tested positive for West Nile virus in Forest County since surveillance for the mosquito-transmitted virus began May 1.

“The positive bird means that residents of Forest County need to be more vigilant in their personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites,” Jill Krueger, Health Officer/Public Health Director said.

West Nile virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes acquire the virus by feeding on infected birds.

“Forest County residents should be aware of West Nile virus and take some simple steps to protect themselves against mosquito bites,” Krueger said. “The West Nile virus seems to be here to stay, so the best way to avoid the disease is to reduce exposure to and eliminate breeding grounds for mosquitoes.”

The Forest CountyHealth Department recommends the following:

  • Limit time spent outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Apply insect repellent to clothing as well as exposed skin since mosquitoes may bite through clothing.
  • Make sure window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquito entry.
  • Properly dispose of items around your property that hold water, such as tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, or discarded tires.
  • Clean roof gutters and downspouts for proper drainage.
  • Turn over wheelbarrows, wading pools, boats, and canoes when not in use.
  • Change the water in bird baths and pet dishes at least every three days.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs; drain water from pool covers.
  • Trim tall grass, weeds, and vines since mosquitoes use these areas to rest during hot daylight hours.
  • Landscape to prevent water from pooling in low-lying areas.

The majority of people (80%) who are infected with West Nile virus do not get sick. Those who do become ill usually experience mild symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle ache, rash, and fatigue. Less than 1% of people infected with the virus get seriously ill with symptoms that include high fever, muscle weakness, stiff neck, disorientation, mental confusion, tremors, confusion, paralysis, and coma. Older adults and those with compromised immune systems are at greater risk of developing central nervous system illness that can be fatal.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has monitored the spread of West Nile virus since 2001 among wild birds, horses, mosquitoes, and people. During 2002, the state documented its first human infections and 52 cases were reported that year. During 2016, 13 cases of West Nile virus infection were reported among Wisconsin residents. West Nile virus infections in humans have been reported from June through October; however, most reported becoming ill with West Nile virus in August and September.

The Wisconsin Division of Public Health will continue surveillance for West Nile virus until the end of the mosquito season. To report a sick or dead crow, blue jay, or raven, please call the Dead Bird Reporting Hotline at 1-800-433-1610.

Please call the Forest County Health Department with any questions at 715-478-3371.

For more information on West Nile virus: http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/communicable/ArboviralDiseases/WestNileVirus/Index.htm

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Fish Consumption Advisories

Check Fish Consumption Advisories Online

With fishing season underway in Wisconsin, you may be enjoying some freshly caught fish. Eating fish is part of a healthy diet, as fish are generally low in calories and fat and high in protein. However, some fish contain chemicals that can hurt a person’s health. For this reason, it is important to check fish advisories online and choose which fish to eat based on these advisories.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) updates fish advisories periodically. These advisories contain information specific to women of childbearing age, children under the age of 15, men, and older women. You can search your specific county and water body location at the DNR website: http://dnr.wi.gov/FCSExternalAdvQry/FishAdvisorySrch.aspx

Children and women who are pregnant, or who may become pregnant, are most impacted by these chemicals in fish. Following the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ (DHS) and the DNR’s information for choosing safe fish to eat reduces the chances of eating fish with harmful chemicals.

Eating the right fish provides us with many nutritional benefits. Fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which support crucial brain development in babies and heart health for all. Fish are also a source of high-quality protein. Since fish are naturally low in calories, they can also help you maintain a healthy weight.

For more information about safe fish consumption, visit the DHS website https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/environmental/fish.htm or contact Emmy Wollenburg at 608-267-3242 or the Forest County Health Department at 715-478-3371.

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Group Trail Walk Opportunities this Summer!

Click here for printable version: Group Trail Walks 2017 

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