Health briefs: Yellow fever vaccine in short supply
Steamboat Springs — Yellow fever vaccine shortage
The yellow fever vaccine, recommended or required for travel to some international destinations, is in short supply. Anyone planning travel to a yellow fever risk area should contact the travel clinic at Northwest Colorado Health (formerly Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association) to verify the vaccine is available. If possible, travelers should do this at least five weeks prior to departure. For more information, call 970-871-7336. A list of all Colorado clinics providing the yellow fever vaccine is available at colorado.gov/cdphe/international-travel.
Avoid mosquito bites and West Nile virus
Northwest Colorado Health (formerly Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association) advises taking the following precautions against mosquitoes, which can carry West Nile virus.
• Drain standing water in which mosquitoes lay eggs. Empty old tires, cans, flower pots, clogged rain gutters, rain barrels and toys where puddles occur.
• Limit outdoor activities, or take precautions during dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
• Dress in long sleeves and pants in active mosquito areas.
• Insect repellents containing DEET are effective in repelling mosquitoes. Always follow label instructions and precautions. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not using insect repellent on children younger than two months old and not using repellents containing more than 30 percent DEET on children. For tips on safely using insect repellents on children, visit healthychildren.org (type “insect repellent” in the search box).
West Nile virus is rare, but those who exhibit symptoms, including high fever, severe headache and stiff neck, are advised to contact a health care provider immediately. For more information, visit cdc.gov/westnile. Travel to some international destinations may include the risk of contracting Zika virus, which also is carried by mosquitoes. For more information, visit cdc.gov/zika.
Take precautions with bats, which may carry rabies
Rabies is a potentially deadly virus transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal. Some bats have tested positive for rabies in Northwest Colorado. Follow these precautions to avoid exposure to potentially infected bats or other wild animals.
• Never touch a wild bat or any other wild animal.
• Teach children who find a bat to leave it alone and tell an adult.
• Keep doors and windows covered with intact screens. Do not leave screenless doors or windows open in the evening.
• If a bat is discovered inside a house, call a professional trapper with experience removing bats from homes.
• Keep your pets up to date on rabies vaccines. Call the veterinarian to keep track of pets’ vaccination status.
• If exposed to a bat, if possible, safely collect the animal using a shovel (do not touch a bat, even if wearing gloves) and contact the Routt County Department of Environmental Health at 970-870-5588.
• In the event of a bat bite, of if a bat is discovered in a room where people sleep, contact a medical provider and Northwest Colorado Health (formerly Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association) at 970-879-1632.
For more information, visit cdc.gov/rabies.
Variety of ongoing support groups meet this week
• A bereavement support group meets from 1 to 2 p.m. Mondays at Rollingstone Respite House. The group is open to anyone grieving the loss of a loved one. Call 970-871-7629 prior to attending the first meeting.
• A Christian support group for parents of children who have died meets at 6:30 p.m. Mondays at 27441 Brandon Circle. For more information, call 970-870-7879.
• A domestic violence support group for women meets from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesdays at Advocates Building Peaceful Communities. Call Diane at 970-879-2034 before attending.
• A depression, anxiety and bipolar support group meets from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays in Conference Room 2 at Yampa Valley Medical Center, 1024 Central Park Drive. The group provides support, education and tools to help with everyday life. Family and friends are welcome. Call 970-819-6751 for more information.
• The Steamboat Meditation Recovery Group meets at 5:30 p.m. Thursdays at the Buddhist Center of Steamboat Springs, 2250 Copper Frontage Road, No. 202. The group also has a recovery-based yoga at 4:30 p.m. The group will explore recovery through meditation, book study and open discussion. Meetings are open to all faiths and addictions. For more information, call 720-670-8642.
• The Heartbeat of Steamboat support group meets from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays at Rollingstone Respite House, 480 Rollingstone Drive. The group is for those who have lost a loved one or friend.
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