Health briefs: Be aware of tularemia |

Health briefs: Be aware of tularemia

Be aware of tularemia

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association is advising residents to take precautions against tularemia or “rabbit fever,” a bacteria that infects rabbits, hares and rodents, such as mice, voles and beaver.

People can get the disease if they handle infected animals or are bitten by ticks or deer flies carrying the disease. Exposure can also happen by touching contaminated soil, drinking contaminated water or inhaling the bacteria. Rabbits, hares and rodents often die in large numbers during outbreaks. Tularemia is not spread person to person.

Seek immediate medical care if you have a sudden onset of illness with symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle aches, severe headache, fatigue and shortness of breath and may have been exposed sick or dead wild animals. The time between exposure and onset of symptoms is typically one to two weeks. To prevent tularemia, use insect repellant containing DEET (always follow label instructions), stay away from sick or dead wild animals (if you have to dispose of a dead animal wear gloves and use a long-handled shovel), wear gloves and closed-toed shoes when doing yard work and avoid mowing over dead animals. For more information, go to

Rubber Ducky Race is Sept. 12

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association will be holding a Rubber Ducky Race fundraiser 11 a.m. Sept. 12 at the Fifth Street Bridge. The race will end at West Lincoln Park where there will be a celebration with children’s activities and food vendors. Ticket holders of the first 25 ducks that cross the finish line will receive cash prizes totaling $5,000.

Tickets are $10, and proceeds benefit the VNA’s Hospice and Palliative Care program. Participants don’t need to be present to win. Tickets can be purchased online at Tickets also are available at the VNA, 940 Central Park Drive, Suite 101 or Yampa Valley Bank, 600 South Lincoln Avenue. For more information, call 970-871-7609.

The Haven is accepting new residents

The Haven Assisted Living Center in Hayden is accepting new residents. The 20-bed nonprofit assisted living facility is owned and operated by the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association. Private and semi-private rooms are available. Services include meals, housekeeping, exercise classes and social activities. Additional amenities and care options are available. Medicaid is accepted. The Haven also offers respite care for adults who need temporary assisted living care. For more information, call 970-875-1888 or visit

Parkinson’s exercise class offered Friday
The Parkinson’s exercise class consists of exercises developed by neuroscientist Becky Farley ( and Gary Sobol (who has Parkinson’s and is the founder of GZ Sobol’s Parkinson’s Network, to specifically address Parkinson’s symptoms (eg., dexterity, rigidity, balance, bradykinesia, voice softness). The class participants warm up their muscles, focus on big, powerful movements and loud voices, and work together as a group to encourage one another, share tips and revel in good humor.

The classes are from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Fridays at the United Methodist Church of Steamboat Springs, Eighth and Oak streets. Use the alley entrance. Occasionally, the classes will be held at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp.

The first class is no charge, and after that, it’s $10 for drop in and $80 for a 10-punch card. Care partners are no charge. Contact Jacqueline Teuscher at 303-829-2869 or or Eva Gibbon at 970-846-9887.

Planned Parenthood can help with annual exam costs

Planned Parenthood can cover the cost of an annual exam for women who are uninsured or underinsured, according to a news release. Call 970-879-2212 for information or to make an appointment or stop by the health center on 11th Street between Lincoln Avenue and Oak Street.

Tai chi classes offered through Aging Well program

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association’s Aging Well program is offering a tai chi class at the Steamboat Springs Community Center.

Tai chi helps strengthen bones and muscles, improve balance and confidence, reduces stress and encourages relaxation. Tai Chi for Health: Practice the Art is from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays with Nancy Smith. The classes are free, but a $3 donation is suggested. For more information, call 970-871-7676.

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