North Shore Health Department Highlights 8/8/2017

Did You Know?

August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM), which highlights the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. The second week of August focuses on vaccinations for pregnant women.

Pertussis (Whooping Cough) is on the rise and outbreaks are happening across the United States. In recent years, up to 1,450 infants have been hospitalized and about 10 to 20 have died each year in the United States due to pertussis. Most of these deaths are among infants who are too young to be protected by the childhood pertussis vaccine series that starts when infants are 2 months old. These first few months of life are when infants are at greatest risk of contracting pertussis and having severe, potentially life-threatening complications from the infection.

To help protect babies during this time when they are most vulnerable, women should get the tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine during each pregnancy. Getting the Tdap vaccine during the third trimester of pregnancy passes antibodies to the baby which will protect him or her for the vulnerable first few months of life.

Another vaccine that is important for pregnant women to receive is the annual influenza (flu) shot. Influenza can have serious complications in pregnant women, including hospitalization, pneumonia, and preterm birth. Vaccination can protect both pregnant mothers and their babies from flu and flu-related complications.

Both vaccines should be up-to-date for those around babies as well. When those who surround a vulnerable person are immunized, it decreases the chance of exposure. This is called cocooning.

Learn more about prenatal vaccines at the CDC’s website: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pregnancy/pregnant-women/index.html

North Shore Health Department Highlights 8/1/2017

Did You Know?

August 1-7, 2017 is the 25th annual World Breastfeeding Week (WBW).  This week begins National Breastfeeding Month, which concludes with Black Breastfeeding week (August 25th-31st).  WBW is now celebrated in over 170 countries.  2017 is the second year revolving around the theme Breastfeeding: A Key to Sustainable Development. This theme celebrates links between breastfeeding and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, which are a blueprint for global commitment and action towards equitable development. Learn more about the links between breastfeeding and each of the Sustainable Development Goals at: http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/

The North Shore Health Department has a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace Recognition Program.  If you are a North Shore business, or work for one, please consider contacting us about becoming recognized as a breastfeeding friendly workplace.  We work with businesses to evaluate current facilities and policies and assist with making additions to achieve a gold, silver or bronze level commendation.  Read more about the program on our website at:  http://www.nshealthdept.org/Breastfeeding.aspx

You are invited to join other breastfeeding supporters in Milwaukee County on Saturday, August 5th at this year’s Community Breastfeeding Walk from Alice’s Garden to Fondy Food Center. More details are available on the Milwaukee County Breastfeeding Coalition’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MCBCoalition/

North Shore Health Department Highlights 7/25/2017

Did You Know?

July 28th is world Hepatitis Day. Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. When the liver is inflamed or damaged, its function can be affected. Heavy alcohol use, toxins, some medications, and certain medical conditions can cause hepatitis. However, hepatitis is most often caused by a virus. In the United States, the most common types of viral hepatitis are Hepatitis A, B and C.

General symptoms of hepatitis can include:  fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, grey-colored stools, joint pain, and jaundice. Currently, 90% of people living with hepatitis B and 80% living with hepatitis C are not aware of their status which can lead to unknowingly transmitting the infection to others. In Wisconsin, the rate of all Hepatitis C Virus reports have increased by 49% between 2012-2016.

How is it spread?

Hepatitis A- from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by feces or stool from an infected person.

Hepatitis B-  Contact with blood, semen, or certain other body fluids from an infected person.

Hepatitis C- Contact with blood from an infected person (i.e. sharing dirty needles/syringes)

General and Prevention/Treatment

  •          Vaccinations are available to protect against Hepatitis A and B.
  •          Wash your hands after going to the bathroom and before fixing food or eating.
  •          Use latex condoms for intercourse, which may lower the risk of sexual transmission.
  •          Avoid tap water when traveling to certain countries or regions. Ask your doctor about risks before you travel.
  •          Don't share drug needles.
  •          Don't share personal items—such as toothbrushes, razors and nail clippers—with an infected person.

To learn more about the different viruses visit



North Shore Health Department Highlights 7/18/2017

Did You Know?

The first dead bird testing positive for West Nile virus (WNV) has been reported in Milwaukee County. WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to humans and other animals. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms, while less than 1% of infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, neurologic illness.  While serious illness can occur in people of any age, those over 60 years of age are at the greatest risk for severe disease. People with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and people who have received organ transplants, are also at greater risk for serious illness.

The health department recommends the following tips to prevent mosquito bites:

  • 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 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 birdbaths 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. 

North Shore Health Department Highlights 7/11/17

Did you know?

The USDA recommends filling half of your plate with fruits and vegetables at every meal.  Fruits and vegetables provide the human body with micronutrients that are essential for development and disease prevention. 

Local anti-hunger organizations have begun advocating diets higher in whole foods, such as fresh produce, as a method of preventing childhood lead poisoning.  Consuming foods higher in calcium, iron, and vitamin C, such as spinach and kale, has been shown to slow the absorption of lead into the body which may reduce the potentially harmful effects of exposure.

To help keep your body at its healthiest, stop by any of the North Shore’s local farmer’s markets to purchase seasonal, fresh produce.

  • Brown Deer (June 14th - October 25th): Wednesdays, 9:00am - 6:00pm at the Marketplace Shopping Center – 9078 N. Green Bay Rd.
  • Fox Point (June 17th – October 14th):  Saturdays, 8:00am - 12:00pm in the west parking lot of Stormonth School – 7301 N. Longacre Rd.
  • Shorewood (June 18th – October 29th):  Sundays, 9:30am – 1:00pm at the Lake Bluff Elementary playground – 1600 E. Lake Bluff Blvd.
  • Whitefish Bay (July 8th - October 1st): Saturdays, 8:00am - 12:00pm at the corner of Silver Spring and Santa Monica – 325 E. Silver Spring Dr.

For more information on how eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can protect against the negative effects of lead exposure, please visit:  https://www.hungertaskforce.org/learn-about-hunger/hot-topics/nutrition-and-lead/

North Shore Health Department Highlights 7/4/17

Did you know?

Each year, 1 in 6 Americans get sick from eating contaminated food. Whether you’re tailgating, having a family get-together, or getting ready for the warm weather holidays, the North Shore Health Department would like to remind you of a few food safety practices, to ensure that your friend and family gatherings remain safe events. 

There are three golden rules for any kitchen: keep it cold, keep it hot, and keep it clean. Here are some helpful reminders:

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before starting food preparation and between preparing different foods. That’s about the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday to yourself.
  • Foods that can spoil or grow bacteria should be kept cold (under 41 degrees).
  • Once foods are cooked, keep them hot (above 135 degrees). 
  • If foods cannot be kept under 41 degrees or above 135 degrees, keep at room temperature no more than four hours.  After that, they need to be thrown out or immediately refrigerated. 
  • When re-heating leftovers, make sure foods reach 165 degrees.
  • If possible, use different cutting boards for fruits and vegetables versus raw meat. If you only have one cutting board, wash it with soap after each use, especially after preparing raw meat.
  • Never thaw or defrost food at room temperature. Instead, plan ahead and place foods in the refrigerator a few days before your gathering.  You can also thaw foods in the microwave, or by putting the food under cold running water; do not leave foods in submerged water, as this promotes bacteria growth.
  • Properly cook meats to the recommended temperatures: poultry, stuffed meat, and leftovers should be cooked to 165 degrees; ground beef to 155 degrees; and fish, pork, and eggs to 145 degrees.

Read more about food safety at the CDC’s website: https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/groups/consumers.html