Health briefs: Residents advised to be aware of rabbit fever |

Health briefs: Residents advised to be aware of rabbit fever

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. A For more information, go to

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

Weight-loss kiosk at the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association

A kiosk for Weigh and Win, a free community weight loss program, has been installed in the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association lobby. The program, aimed at reducing obesity rates in Colorado, provides cash incentives to participants who reach their weight-loss goals. Participants weigh in quarterly (every 90 days) at the kiosk. Between weigh-ins, participants get daily emails or texts with tips on healthy eating, exercise and overcoming weight-loss barriers.

Participation is free. The kiosk is available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at the Steamboat Springs VNA, 940 Central Park Drive, Suite 101.

Participants can enroll at the kiosk, at or by texting JOIN to 303-500-1702. For more information, visit or call 970-871-7634.

Support groups meeting this week:

• A bereavement support group will meet from 1 to 2 p.m. Monday at Rollingstone Respite House. The group is open to anyone who is grieving the loss of a loved one. Call 970-871-7628 before attending your first meeting.

• A Parkinson’s support group will meet at 4 p.m. Monday at the United Methodist Church of Steamboat Springs, 736 Oak St. For more information, call 970-875-1088.

• A domestic violence support group for women is from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday at Advocates Building Peaceful Communities. Call Diane at 970-879-2034 before attending.

• The Steamboat Meditation Recovery Group will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Buddhist Center of Steamboat Springs, 2250 Copper Frontage Road, No. 202. The group also has a recovery-based yoga beforehand at 4:30 p.m. The group will explore recovery through meditation, book study and all open discussion. Meetings are open to all faiths and addictions. For more information, call 720-670-8642.

• A cancer support group will meet from noon to 1 p.m. Friday at Yampa Valley Medical Center’s Integrated Health, 3001 S. Lincoln Ave. The group is for those with cancer to learn techniques to manage stress and create a holiday plan. For more information, call Sara Ross at 970-875-2731.

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