February is American Heart Month!

February is American Heart Month

This month is the time to learn about your risks of heart disease and stroke, and learn how to stay “heart healthy” for yourself and your loved ones. Cardiovascular disease –including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure—is the number one killer of men and women in the United States. About 2,200 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day, an average of 1 death every 40 seconds. Cardiovascular diseases claim more lives each year than all forms of cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease combined.

You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease.

Follow these tips for better heart health:

  • quit smoking and avoid second hand smoke
  • control your blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure
  • eat a healthy diet
  • get physically active
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • avoid alcohol consumption
  • get regular check-ups with your provider.

Being physically active is important to prevent heart disease and stroke. To improve overall cardiovascular health, at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise is suggested. Thirty minutes a day, five times a week is an easy goal to remember. You will also experience benefits even if you divide your time into two or three segments of 10 to 15 minutes per day.


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Flu Cases on the Rise in Wisconsin

Adults ages 65 years and older are especially affected

Flu cases are on the rise, and health officials are urging people to take precautions. Simple steps, including getting a flu shot, help protect against the flu.

There have been 161 influenza cases to date this flu season, and 95 influenza-associated hospitalizations, including 8 children and 78 adults ages 50 and older. Of those hospitalized with influenza, 63 percent were ages 65 years and older.

Influenza can range from mild to severe, and in some cases can cause life-threatening complications. Symptoms can come on quickly and include fever, headache, dry cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, body aches, and tiredness. If someone does get the flu after getting vaccinated, it is more likely to be a milder case. Everyone aged six months and older should be vaccinated annually.

Remember these tips for protecting against the flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your upper sleeve, and try to avoid touching your face with your hand. If you use a tissue, throw it away after one use.
  • Use your own drinking cups and straws.
  • Avoid being exposed to people who are sick with flu-like symptoms.
  • Eat nutritious meals, get plenty of rest and do not smoke.
  • Frequently clean commonly touched surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, refrigerator handle, telephone, faucets).
  • If you think you have the flu, call your doctor. Stay home, rest, drink plenty of liquids, and avoid using alcohol and tobacco

For more information visit: www.dhs.wisconsin.gov

We have flu shots available. No appointment necessary. We can bill Medicare and Forward Card.

We also have a limited supply of free children’s flu vaccine.


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Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

There have been several cases of pertussis in the counties surrounding us recently, so the Forest County Health Department would like to share some important information.

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease. It is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. It can affect people of all ages, but is most serious among infants and young children.

Among infants and young children, the signs and symptoms begin much like a cold with a runny nose, possible fever, and a mild but irritating cough for one to two weeks. The illness progresses to spells of explosive coughing that can interrupt breathing, eating, and sleeping and is commonly followed by vomiting and exhaustion. After the cough, many patients may make a loud crowing or “whooping” noise as they struggle to inhale air (hence the name “whooping cough”). The severe coughing spells can last for several weeks to months. Among older children and adults, the signs and symptoms are usually milder and without the typical “whoop”.

The best way to prevent pertussis among babies, children, teens, and adults is to get vaccinated.

Also, like many respiratory illnesses, pertussis is spread by coughing and sneezing while in close contact with others, who then breathe in the pertussis bacteria. Practicing good hygiene is always recommended to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses.

Be sure to:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Put your used tissue in the waste basket.
  • Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands, if you don’t have a tissue.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available.

Typical treatment for pertussis includes antibiotics, and early treatment is very important.

If you or a family member are experiencing symptoms of pertussis, it is best to call your doctor to make an appointment. You may be asked to wear a mask to the clinic so as not to expose anyone else. It is also important to stay home and away from others if you are experiencing symptoms to prevent spread of the illness.

For more information visit https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/immunization/pertussis.htm or https://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/index.html or call the Forest County Health Department with any questions at 715-478-3371.

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Drug Take Back Event


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Survey for future physical activity and nutrition programs

Please take a few minutes to answer this 10 question survey to help us plan future programs.  Thank you for your time!


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