Highlights North Shore Health Department Highlights 7/28/20: Immunizations According to WI DHS, there has been a large decrease of child immunizations in 2020 compared to 2019 in Wisconsin. Looking at the 5-year average, the number of immunizations administered per week between March and June 2020 was also lower in all age groups. With National Immunization Awareness Month coming up in August, we would like to stress the importance of getting vaccinated. A vaccine is a product that stimulates a person’s immune system. The goal is to produce immunity to a specific disease, protecting the person from that disease. Those who are immune to a disease can become exposed to it without becoming infected. One of the important reasons to get vaccinated is to increase herd immunity within the community. When people who are able to get vaccinated, do get vaccinated, they create a shielding effect for those who are immunocompromised and for those who cannot get vaccinated so that they can also be protected from various diseases and infections. We encourage you to take action against vaccine-preventable diseases and to stay up to date on your vaccines. Check out the CDC’s updated vaccine schedules below for recommendations on which vaccines should be taken and when. Schedule for Children and Adolescents Schedule for Adults It is important that you talk to your doctor to make sure that you haven’t missed any recommended vaccines. In the North Shore, the North Shore Health Department does provide immunizations to residents without insurance, to residents with Medicare, and to private payers. For more information, please contact the North Shore Health Department at 414-371-2980. North Shore Health Department Highlights 7/21/20: Limit Social Gatherings and Events As of July 20th, 2020, there were 137 active cases of COVID-19 in the North Shore. The number of active cases of COVID-19 is continuing to rise within the North Shore everyday which could pose significant impacts on reopening plans throughout the rest of the year. Currently, the North Shore is in Phase C of reopening in which the recommended limit for the number of people in mass gatherings is 50 or less. As the community continues to reopen, we ask that people limit social gatherings and events to minimize the spread of COVID-19. These risk levels of spreading COVID-19 adapted from the CDC website could be helpful when considering attending social events and gatherings: Lowest risk: Virtual activities, events, and gatherings Medium risk: Small outdoor in-person gatherings of individuals from same local area (community, city, county). Attendees remain spaced at least 6 feet apart, wear cloth face coverings, and do not share objects. High Risk: Medium-sized in-person gatherings of individuals from outside of local area. Spacing allows for attendees to be 6 ft apart. Some wear face cloth coverings. Higher Risk: Large in-person gatherings of individuals from outside of local area. Spacing does not allow for attendees to remain 6ft apart. Attendees do not wear face cloth coverings. In general, the more people you interact with, the more closely you interact with them, and the longer that interaction, the higher your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. Limiting close face-to-face contact with others as much as possible is the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19. If you do plan on attending social events/gatherings, we encourage everyone to wash hands frequently, use face cloth coverings and to practice social distancing. If you are planning to host an event or gathering, the CDC released an Events Gathering: Readiness and Planning Tool that you can refer to help protect staff, volunteers and attendees. Organizers should continue to assess, based on current conditions, whether to postpone, cancel, or significantly reduce the number of attendees for gatherings. If possible, also consider hosting virtual events as an alternative or offering options for online attendees in conjunction with in-person attendees. For more information about social gatherings and events, please visit the CDC website. North Shore Health Department Highlights 7/15/20: The Opioid Epidemic The opioid epidemic and drug abuse have been rising concerns in the United States. In 2018, there were 67,367 drug overdose deaths and two out of every three drug overdose deaths involved an opioid. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), although this was a 4% decrease in the number of drug overdose deaths from 2017 to 2018, this number was still four times higher compared to the number of overdose deaths in 1999. In Wisconsin, there were 916 opioid related deaths in 2019. This number accounts for 15.8 deaths due to opioids for every 100,000 residents (WI DHS). You can do your part to prevent opioid overdose death by staying informed about opioids and opioid use. The CDC recognizes during the COVID-19 pandemic that it is even more vital to understand drug abuse as stress due to the pandemic may contribute to increased use of prescription medications, non-prescription medications, illegal drugs, or a return to use after remission. Learning more about opioids may also be useful in helping those who are most at risk for opioid use disorder and overdose in your community. Some signs to recognize in an individual that has overdosed include: Small, constricted “pinpoint pupils” Falling asleep or loss of consciousness Slow, shallow breathing Choking or gurgling sounds Limp body Pale, blue, or cold skin As a patient, a healthcare provider, or a member of a community, you can ensure that the best information is being shared and understood to prevent overdose deaths. For more information about opioids, please visit the CDC website here. If you or someone you know is seeking help for substance use disorder, please contact the Wisconsin Recovery Helpline at 833-944-4673 or you can visit their website here. North Shore Health Department Highlights 7/8/20: Wear a Mask! COVID-19 is primarily spread via respiratory droplets when people are in close proximity with each other and people that are infected speak, sneeze, or cough. People can be infected and have no symptoms (asymptomatic) and they are still able to transmit the virus. It is strongly recommended that the general public wear a cloth face mask in public settings. Wearing a cloth face mask is one of the most effective ways to reduce person to person transmission of COVID-19 because it serves as a barrier to prevent droplets from entering the air (known as source control). According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there is emerging evidence from clinical and laboratory studies that demonstrates cloth face masks reduce the spray of respiratory droplets. Cloth face masks are most effective at reducing the transmission of COVID-19 when they are widely used by the public and used in combination with other preventive measures, including physical distancing and proper hygiene practices. You should wear a face mask in all public settings, especially in indoor spaces where physical distancing is difficult to maintain. How do I properly wear a cloth face mask? Wash your hands before putting on your face covering Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face Make sure you can breathe easily Don’t put the covering around your neck or up on your forehead Don’t touch the face covering, and, if you do, wash your hands More information on cloth face coverings: CDC website North Shore Health Department Highlights 6/30/20: Preventing Tick Bites As the weather becomes nicer throughout the summer, it is important to be aware of ticks when enjoying the outdoors. The Fight the Bite! initiative from the Wisconsin DHS is working to spread awareness about mosquitoes and ticks as well as information about bite prevention. In Wisconsin, ticks are mainly active from May through September, but the DHS emphasizes to be cautious of ticks year-round. There are many steps you can take to protect yourself from tick bites including the use of repellants on skin and clothing, wearing appropriate outdoor clothing, avoiding direct contact with ticks and checking for ticks after being outdoors. If you do find a tick embedded on your body, here are some do’s and don’t’s for removing it: Do Grasp tick with a narrow-bladed tweezers as close as possible to the skin. If tweezers are not available, use fingers shielded with tissue paper or rubber gloves. Pull upward and out with a firm and steady tension. Don’t Don’t use petroleum jelly, a hot match, nail polish, or other products. Don't handle a tick with bare hands. Don't squeeze, crush, or puncture the body of the tick, which may contain infectious fluids. Don’t twist while removing as this can cause the mouthparts to break off and stay in the skin. Visit the DHS website for more information. North Shore Health Department Highlights 6/23/20: COVID-19 and Older Adults Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it became evident that older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions are at a higher risk of severe illness if they become sick with COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 8 out of 10 COVID-19 related deaths reported in the U.S. have been in adults 65 years old and older. This has caused long-term care facilities to prohibit visitors, community organizations and places of worship to cancel events for older adults, grocery stores to set special shopping times for older adults, and many family members to be fearful for the well-being of their elders. We must all continue to be diligent in supporting and protecting our older community members while not further isolating them. To safely support elderly loved ones, continue to communicate virtually or send letters via mail and offer assistance with getting necessary supplies. In-person visits should be avoided, but if you choose to visit do so in outdoor spaces with at least 6 feet of distance and with everyone wearing a mask. Older adults are encouraged to stay home as much as possible to limit their number of potential exposures, wash their hands frequently, wear a face mask and practice physical distancing in all settings. COVID-19 Guidance for Older Adults from the CDC: Click Here CDC Video - What Older Adults Need to Know: Click Here Additionally, older adults living with cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia require further attention, as worsening symptoms or increased anxiety may result due to stress or from actual illness. The Village of Shorewood was recently admitted into the Dementia Friendly America Network of Communities because of its efforts to raise awareness of dementia and educate community members and caregivers. Shorewood Connects formed a Dementia Awareness Work Group in 2014 that is responsible for this important focus on the health and well-being of older adults in Shorewood. Information on their fall virtual educational series will be released soon, with sessions on "Caregiving in the age of COVID-19" and "Proven ways to a healthier brain". For more information about the Coffee & Conversations for Caregivers support group, the Memory Cafe, or the Dementia Awareness Work Group, contact Shorewood Senior Resource Center Coordinator Elizabeth Price (414) 847-2727 or email@example.com or Shorewood Connects Coordinator Vashti Lozier firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information on COVID-19 and Dementia: Click Here North Shore Health Department Highlights 6/16/20: Mass Gatherings Guidance Under Phase C of reopening in the North Shore, it is recommended that mass gatherings are limited to 50 or less people, which is an increase from a limit of 10 in Phase B. We remind everyone that with the expanded mass gathering limit, taking precautionary measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission is even more critical. The CDC suggests taking these factors into consideration when choosing to host or attend a gathering: The more people you interact with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and COVID-19 spreading. When people are in close contact (within 6 feet) for a prolonged period of time (10 minutes or longer), the risk of transmission is the highest. The higher the level of community transmission in the area that the gathering is being held, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spreading during a gathering. To participate in gatherings as safely as possible, remember to: Maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet between yourself and non-household members whenever possible Wear a face mask Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water or utilize hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available Consider only hosting and/or attending outdoor gatherings Avoid sharing items with others Clean and disinfect frequently used or shared surfaces CDC events and mass gatherings guidance: Click Here North Shore Health Department Highlights 6/9/20: June is Healthy Homes Month Approximately 6 million homes in the United States are considered substandard, resulting in too many Americans living in conditions that adversely impact their health (Source). Some of the most common health outcomes related to substandard housing conditions include asthma, lead poisoning, and unintentional injuries. Newer homes can also have unknown hazards that pose a risk to the health of occupants. It is incredibly important to create a home that is conducive to a healthy life, as we spend a significant amount of time in and around our homes. The Healthy Homes initiative focuses on maintaining a safe and healthy home to protect the health and wellbeing of yourself and your family. Following the Eight Healthy Homes Principles will help you create a safer and healthier living environment in your home: 1. Keep it Dry: Prevent water from entering your home through leaks in roofing systems, rain water from entering the home due to poor drainage, and check your interior plumbing for any leaking. 2. Keep it Clean: Control the source of dust and contaminants, creating smooth and cleanable surfaces, reducing clutter, and using effective wet-cleaning methods. 3. Keep it Safe: Store poisons out of the reach of children and properly label. Secure loose rugs and keep children's play areas free from hard or sharp surfaces. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and keep fire extinguishers on hand. 4. Keep it Well-Ventilated: Ventilate bathrooms and kitchens and use whole house ventilation for supplying fresh air to reduce the concentration of contaminants in the home. 5. Keep it Pest-free: Seal cracks and openings throughout the home; store food in pest-resistant containers; use sticky-traps and baits in closed containers; and use least toxic pesticides such as boric acid powder. 6. Keep it Contaminant-free: Reduce lead-related hazards in pre-1978 homes by fixing deteriorated paint and keeping floors and window areas clean using wet-cleaning approach. Test your home for radon, a naturally occurring dangerous gas that enters homes through soil, crawlspaces, and foundation crack. Install a radon removal system if levels above the EPA action-level are detected. 7. Keep your home Maintained: Inspect, clean and repair your home routinely. 8. Thermally Controlled: Houses that do not maintain adequate temperatures may place the safety of residents at increased risk from exposure to extreme cold or heat. Healthy Homes Checklist: Click Here More information about specific hazards: WI DHS Website North Shore Health Department Highlights 6/2/2020: Cloth Face Coverings The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highly recommends the use of cloth face coverings in public settings to slow the spread of COVID-19. Cloth face masks help reduce transmission “by preventing dispersal of droplets during talking, sneezing, and coughing, and also reduce the risk of environmental contamination” (Source). Using a cloth face mask also prevents touching of the nose and mouth with unclean hands, providing benefit to the wearer. Studies show that cloth face masks are most effective in combination with other precautionary measures, suggesting it is critical to practice physical distancing of at least 6 feet even while wearing a cloth face covering, as well as washing your hands frequently. Another study suggested that cloth face mask wearing should be widespread because with “broad adoption of even relatively ineffective face masks” there is the potential for lowering community transmission (Source). Even when you feel completely healthy you should wear a cloth face covering, as it is possible to have the virus and spread it to others without even knowing. Remember, when you choose to wear a cloth face mask, you are protecting those around you. When others choose to wear a cloth face mask, they are protecting you. We can all help protect and support one another in our communities by opting to wear a cloth face covering in public settings. How to make a simple cloth face covering: Click Here How to properly wear a cloth face covering: Click Here North Shore Health Department Highlights 5/26/20: Vaccinations in Wisconsin The number of overall immunizations in Wisconsin have decreased from mid-March through April 2020. In Wisconsin, this impact is seen across all age groups but especially amongst school-aged children. If trends continue, decreased immunization rates will have long-lasting impacts on herd immunity against vaccine preventable diseases like measles and mumps. It is very important to continue vaccinating children and adolescents especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. The North Shore Health Department continues to provide vaccines for children without health insurance. Please contact us at 414-371-2980 for more information. Below is a list of helpful strategies for healthcare providers and families to consider when scheduling appointments for immunizations. Schedule well visits in the morning and sick visits in the afternoon. Separate patients spatially, such as by placing patients with sick visits in different areas of the clinic or another location from patients with well visits. Collaborate with other providers in the community to identify separate locations for holding well visits for children. Lower the number of patients on site at any one time. Think about closing a waiting room or registration area and have patients check in by phone from the parking lot. Consider different entrances in your clinic that sick and well patients may enter. Clearly mark entrances for patients who are high risk for COVID-19. Screen all patients and caregivers for high-risk symptoms. North Shore Health Department Highlights 5/19/20: Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month With the arrival of spring in Wisconsin comes increased allergens in the air, causing many of us to experience allergy and/or asthma flare-ups. Asthma is a lung condition that involves chronic airway inflammation, which can be exacerbated by allergens such as pollen, dust mites and mold; viral infections; irritants like tobacco smoke and air pollution; and other factors. This can cause airway obstruction, leading to symptoms such as wheezing, chest tightness, cough and shortness of breath. Allergies occur when an individual’s immune system reacts to a foreign substance that is typically considered harmless, such as specific foods, animals and pollen. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and the combination of asthma and allergies puts individuals at an even greater risk of experiencing an adverse health event. Information on controlling your exposure to asthma triggers is provided by the CDC: Click Here. In Wisconsin, half a million children and adults are living with asthma. In 41% of kids and 60% of adults with asthma in Wisconsin, their asthma is poorly controlled. Asthma disproportionately affects certain minority groups, age groups and geographic locations, negatively impacting the quality of life for these groups of people. The Wisconsin Asthma Plan 2015-2020 was created with the goal of enhancing asthma services across the public health and health care sectors. The plan outlines mechanisms for the public health and health care sectors to coordinate efforts and ultimately improve the lives of people with asthma. Read the Wisconsin Asthma Plan here. At this time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that moderate to severe asthma may increase an individual’s risk for more severe illness from COVID-19. For more information on COVID-19 and asthma, visit the CDC website. North Shore Health Department Highlights 5/12/20: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended frequent cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Cleaning with soap and warm water first removes germs and dirt from surfaces. Properly disinfecting after kills the remaining germs. If used correctly, cleaners and disinfectants can be very effective against the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), but unsafe practices can be harmful to your health. From January to March 2020, U.S. poison centers have received 45,550 calls about cleaner and disinfectant exposures, marking a 20.4% increase in calls compared to January to March 2019 (Source). All age groups saw an increase in calls, but exposures among children 5 years and younger made up a large proportion of the total calls. These exposures could be due to improper storage and/or use, including using more than directed on the label, leaving products within reach of children, mixing multiple chemical products together, not wearing protective gear, and applying in a poorly ventilated area. Practicing diligent cleaning and disinfecting is still recommended, but there are precautions everyone should take to prevent exposure to toxic chemicals: Do not remove labels, as they contain important information for use and storage. Always read and follow directions on the label. Only use water at room temperature for dilution (unless stated otherwise on the label). Avoid mixing bleach or other chemical products, as this can create fumes that may be very dangerous to breathe in. Wear gloves and additional personal protective equipment (PPE), such as eye and skin protection, as needed. Ensure adequate ventilation. Store chemicals out of the reach of children – on a high shelf or in a locked cabinet for example. When you finish cleaning, properly dispose of paper towels and rags that you used. The Wisconsin Poison Center in Milwaukee provides 24-hour, toll-free poison information for all individuals in Wisconsin. Their phone number is 1-800-222-1222. Helpful Links for COVID-19 Cleaning and Disinfecting: CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfecting: Click Here EPA list of approved disinfectants for use against SARS-CoV-2: Click Here For the most recent updates on COVID-19 in the North Shore, visit our website. We also encourage you to frequently monitor the DHS website and CDC website. North Shore Health Department Highlights - 5/5/20: Mental Health May is National Mental Health Month and Resilient Wisconsin Month. Mental health involves emotional, social and psychological well-being. All of these things are especially vulnerable during this time of uncertainty and isolation. We hope to provide support to all of our North Shore residents to promote mental health both during this time and always. Positive mental health allows people to: Realize their full potential Cope with the stresses of life Work productively Make meaningful contributions to their communities Live an overall healthy and fulfilling life Tips to nurture your mental health: Create a healthy routine. Get the three goods: good-for-you foods, a good night’s sleep, and a good amount of exercise. Take some time to get outside and enjoy the spring weather and get some exercise! Connect with friends and family virtually. Plan small things to look forward to in your day, such as an at home spa day or a special meal. Take a break from technology and find other ways to stimulate your mind. Try reading a book, playing a board game with family, or channeling your artistic abilities! If your mental health is particularly suffering at this time, it is important to talk with your primary care doctor, another health professional, or other trusted resource in your community. Call 211 to find a mental health treatment provider in your community. Visit redgen.org for mental health resources for children and young adults in the North Shore. Tips for coping with Safer at Home: Click Here North Shore Health Department Highlights 4/28/20: Lead in Your Home Many people are taking time during Safer at Home to do small projects or renovations on their home, but it is important to be aware of potential hazards this may present to your families health, such as being exposed to lead. If you own or rent a home that was built before 1978, it is possible that lead-based paint was used and may still be present inside and outside your home. The primary sources of lead exposure include the ingestion or inhalation of lead contaminated house dust, soil or paint chips. Conducting renovations on your home may disturb lead paint and increase your risk of exposure. If lead is inhaled or ingested it has the potential to cause many adverse health outcomes, especially in children, including: nervous system and kidney damage; learning disabilities; attention-deficit disorder and decreased intelligence; speech, language, and behavior problems; poor muscle coordination; decreased muscle and bone growth; and hearing damage. To avoid lead exposure, it is important to make sure the paint and varnish in your home is well maintained. Below is a list of ways to keep your home lead-safe: Regularly check your home for chipping, peeling, or deteriorating paint, and address issues promptly without sanding or powerwashing. Regularly check all painted or varnished areas that rub together or get lots of wear, like windows, doors, and stairways, for any signs of deterioration. Regularly check for paint chips or dust—if you see some, remove carefully with a damp paper towel and discard in the trash, then wipe the surface clean with a wet paper towel and a degreasing type of soap, like liquid dish soap that cuts grease. Wipe down flat surfaces, like window sills, at least weekly with a soap that cuts grease, and damp paper towels. Consider testing for the presence of lead and lead hazards by a lead investigation professional—this will tell you where you must be especially careful. To check your home for lead or have lead hazards abated: WI DHS We hope you are all staying safe at home and if performing any renovation projects are doing so with lead safety in mind. For more information on lead in your home: EPA Pamphlet North Shore Health Department Highlights 4/21/20 - Small Talks Awareness Month - Underage Drinking Prevention Although we have all been pre-occupied as of late with the immediate threat that COVID-19 poses to our health, it is still important to be aware of other risk factors that may negatively impact one’s health and well-being. In Wisconsin, our youth under the age of 21 are drinking alcohol less than in the past, but are still drinking more than youth in other states. According to the 2017 High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 30.4% of youth under 21 years old in Wisconsin reported having at least one alcoholic beverage during the last 30 days, and 15.5% of youth in Wisconsin had their first drink before the age of 13. Alcohol can lead to a host of problems in young people, including poor school performance and attendance; inappropriate behavior and legal problems; unwanted or unprotected sexual activities; disruption of normal growth and development, including brain development; and many more. The CDC has more information available on the consequences of youth alcohol consumption, as well as the risks of alcohol consumption for all ages. What can you do? Parents: Have small, casual conversations with your children to guide them to make healthy and responsible choices around alcohol. Start having these conversations sooner rather than later, as being proactive can help prevent underage alcohol consumption from ever beginning. Governor Evers has proclaimed April 2020 to be Small Talks Awareness Month. Here is a resource from WI DHS for starting these small talks with your children. Use this Safer at Home time to talk to your kids about responsible alcohol consumption and advocate for alternative activities that promote a healthy lifestyle. Additional information on what is currently being done in Wisconsin to prevent underage drinking and other recommendations can be found here. North Shore Health Department Highlights 4/14/20: National Dog Bite Prevention Week There are an estimated 77 million dogs living in U.S. households and these furry pets provide many people with companionship and happiness. Dogs are especially great companions during this time of physical distancing and taking time to get outside and exercise with your dog is beneficial for both you and them. Despite this, it is important to remember that any dog can bite. About 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. Many of these dog bites are preventable if the dogs and their owners are properly trained and prepared. Here are some simple strategies for dog owners to consider to prevent dog bites: Train your dog with simple commands like “sit,” “stay” and “come,” and promote socialization with other dogs and humans. Always use a short leash when walking your dog in busy public areas so they can be restrained if needed. Do not let your dog approach other dogs that are not familiar. Avoid situations that may be stressful or harmful. If your dog does not enjoy socializing with other dogs, skip the dog park! Instead head to quieter outdoor areas where your dog can feel safe and calm. To prevent yourself from being at risk of a dog bite: always ask permission to pet unfamiliar dogs; do not approach dogs that are preoccupied with eating, sleeping or playing; and if a dog is growling or appears frightened, give the dog it’s space. The cost of treating emergency dog bites can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the severity, and when a dog bite occurs dog owners are required to take their dogs for rabies checks and have the dog quarantined for a period of time. This can be avoided if dog owners and people that interact with dogs are aware of the risk and always take the necessary steps to stay safe and prevent dog bites. North Shore Health Department Highlights - 4/7/2020: COVID-19 Update Community transmission of COVID-19 is occurring in the communities of the North Shore. Everyone should assume they could be at risk of exposure to COVID-19 when out in public settings. The NSHD highly recommends, under the guidance of the WI Department of Health Services (DHS) and the CDC, that North Shore residents stay home unless it is absolutely necessary to leave for essential functions, such as grocery shopping, pharmacy visits or medical appointments. When conducting essential tasks, take the proper precautions to reduce your risk and prevent further spread: Keep 6 feet of physical distance between yourself and others. Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water. Hand sanitizers of at least 60% alcohol should be used in situations where soap and water are not available. Wear a cloth face covering to keep infectious particles from entering the air when you speak, cough or sneeze. For more on cloth face coverings, click here. Clean and disinfect surfaces before you touch, such as shopping carts and basket handles. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. You could be sick with COVID-19 and not even know it. The infectious period begins approximately 2 days before symptoms appear, meaning you can get others sick before you are actually feeling unwell. Some cases of COVID-19 have had no symptoms at all or only displayed minor symptoms. Even if you do not feel sick it is important to take the necessary precautions, as you may be unknowingly spreading the virus. Community transmission in the North Shore can be reduced if everyone acts as if they could be spreading the virus to others AND everyone assumes they are at risk of being exposed every time they are out on public. Please do your part and just stay home! North Shore Health Department Highlights - 3/31/20: The COVID-19 outbreak has drastically impacted the lives of many around the globe and across the United States, and the effects are now being felt close to home for many North Shore residents. It is normal to feel a mix of emotions during this time, including stress, uncertainty, isolation, and even anger. Having healthy coping mechanisms is incredibly important to maintain your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services offers some advice to Wisconsin residents to stay strong and stay connected during this time: 1. Get the three goods: Good-for-you foods, a good night’s sleep, and a good amount of exercise every day. 2. Use technology to stay connected to your support system: Reach out to family and friends, colleagues, and community groups in whatever way you can—calls, texts, video chats, and more. It is important to maintain social connections with people to mitigate feelings of isolation. 3. Spend time in spaces where COVID-19 is not the focus: Don’t let the pandemic take over what you read, watch, or talk about. And don’t be afraid to ask friends and family to talk about something else. Avoid checking the news too frequently, as this will likely increase anxiety. Set designated times to check for updates to give your mind a break. 4. Reduce anxiety by reducing your risk: This can be done by staying at home; washing your hands often for at least 20 seconds; covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze; and staying at least 6 feet apart while running essential errands at the store, pharmacy, or gas station. Knowing you’re doing everything you can to stay healthy and protect others can help you worry less. 5. Monitor your anxiety levels: Everyone’s reaction to stress is different. Difficulty concentrating or sleeping, irritability, fatigue, and even stomachaches can be normal. But if you find that persistent anxiety is overwhelming your ability to cope with everyday life, or leading to thoughts of self-harm or suicide, reach out for help right away. Text HOPELINE to 741741 or call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. As a reminder, the WI DHS recommends that Wisconsin Residents: Stay at home. Limit physical interactions to the same people during this time. Less than five people total will help us stop the virus from spreading. Keep at least 6 feet apart from others and avoid direct physical contact. Limit the amount of time you spend making essential trips to the grocery store or to pick up medication. Make essential trips no more than once a week. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. There are no medications or vaccines to protect us. Physical separation is the best way to stop this virus from spreading further. Dr. Westergaard explains more on the importance of self-isolation to stop the spread in this video: Click Here The North Shore Health Department reminds all residents of the North Shore that we are working extensively during this time to protect and preserve the health of our community. If you receive a voicemail from us, we ask that you return our call as soon as possible and follow any instructions given in the voicemail. North Shore Health Department Highlights 3/24/20 - Update on COVID-19: In less than two weeks so much of our lives have changed. We are acutely aware of the impacts COVID-19 has had on our community and our daily lives. The seven municipalities of the North Shore are working together through a North Shore Emergency Operations Center to coordinate our response to this pandemic. We are still learning and adapting to this fast pace illness spreading through our communities. Our daily goal is aimed at keeping everyone healthy and safe and to get our lives back to normal as soon as possible. COVID-19 Cases in the North Shore: A common question we receive from the public concerns the number of COVID-19 cases in the North Shore. It is important to note that many cases are undocumented because testing is limited, and many cases are asymptomatic. This makes it challenging to understand the true impact of COVID-19 in our community, as positive tests are the only cases that are documented. Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management has created a dashboard map that identifies the positive tests in Milwaukee County. This is a useful resource to directly track confirmed cases on an ongoing basis, but it does not relay the challenges with testing and communal spread. The actual number of positive cases is higher than the confirmed number. The link to the map is here. Notification of Positive Test Results: 1. NSHD is notified of cases when they present to us either by a provider alerting us a person is being tested or by a confirmed positive test coming to us through the State’s disease reporting system. 2. Unfortunately, with delays in the processing of COVID-19 samples, there are gaps in NSHD being notified. This then feels to the public like the NSHD is slow to notify contacts, but this is the time it takes for the testing and notification process to unfold. 3. To proceed with notification NSHD needs a positive test result and information on the person’s contacts so we can reach out to those exposed. The Health Department takes on the role of notification as we are able to assess the level of risk based on the type of situation where the exposure occurred and give direct guidance to those impacted. This is a fast-moving disease and the positive test results do not account for the number of people who have the disease but won’t be tested because they don’t meet the criteria. While the positive test cases may appear low, NSHD is confident there are more cases out there. Our message to the residents of the North Shore to prevent further spread of COVID-19 is: Stay home Limit outings to essential trips – grocery store, pharmacy, doctor Take preventative measures like hand washing and social distancing, even in your own home. Follow the “Safer at Home” order issued by Governor Evers on March 23rd: Click Here for the full order. North Shore Health Department Highlights 3/17/20: Update on COVID-19 in Wisconsin and in the North Shore: Click Here North Shore Health Department Highlights - 3/10/2020 Did you know? COVID 19 update: Please be aware that public health guidelines are rapidly changing as the situation develops. NSHD website (www.nshealthdept.org) has links to the CDC and WI Department of Health Services providing the most current information on the coronavirus (COVID 19). Please visit http://www.nshealthdept.org/CommunicableDiseases/COVID19.aspx for answers to many frequently asked questions. The risk of getting COVID-19 in the U.S. and Wisconsin is still currently low. There are more cases of COVID-19 being diagnosed in Wisconsin on a daily basis as testing increases, but there is still no need to panic. Please notify the health department if you have returned from a country designated by CDC as a level 2 or 3 or have been in contact with a person known to be ill with COVID 19: For up to date travel designations go to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html People who have traveled to places where there is community spread of COVID-19 or who have been in contact with known cases of people ill with the virus may be monitored by health officials to protect their health and the health of other people in the community. The current recommendation is that people returning from countries with a Level 3 travel advisory self-quarantine for 14 days, notify the health department and monitor for signs and symptoms. Health Departments do not have testing capabilities. To be tested for the virus that causes COVID-19, you must see a health care professional. Please call ahead before you go to the doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel, exposure to someone ill with COVID-19 and your symptoms. There are simple things you can do to help keep yourself and others healthy: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Stay home when you are sick. Don’t ride public transportation or use ride share. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Get a flu shot. Avoid shaking hands. Other things you can do: Don’t panic. Keep calm and wash your hands. Stay away from sick people. Please don’t stock pile supplies such as hand sanitizer or cleansers as this could limit access by schools, daycare centers and restaurants that may also purchase off the shelf. If you do have large quantities of such items, consider donating to a local school. North Shore Health Department Highlights - 3/3/2020 Did you know? There has been stigma and racism associated with the Coronavirus. Know the facts about COVID-19 and help stop the spread of rumors and the virus. Fact 1: Diseases can make anyone sick regardless of their race or ethnicity. People of Asian descent, including Chinese Americans, are not more likely to get COVID-19 than any other American. Help stop fear by letting people know that being of Asian descent does not increase the chance of getting or spreading COVID-19. Fact 2: The risk of getting COVID-19 in the U.S. is currently low. Some people who have traveled to places where many people have gotten sick with COVID-19 may be monitored by health officials to protect their health and the health of other people in the community. Fact 3: You can help stop COVID-19 by knowing the signs and symptoms: Call the health department and seek medical advice if you develop symptoms AND Have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms. FACT 4: There are simple things you can do to help keep yourself and others healthy. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Stay home when you are sick Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. NSHD updated our website (www.nshealthdept.org) with CDC and WI Department of Health Services links to the most current information on the coronavirus (COVID 19). Please visit http://www.nshealthdept.org/CommunicableDiseases/COVID19.aspx for answers to many frequently asked questions. Please be aware that CDC guidelines are changing as the situation develops. North Shore Health Department Highlights - 2/25/2020 Did you know? February is often the deadliest month for snowmobilers. According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, three people died while snowmobiling in Wisconsin this weekend, bringing the total to 17 deaths for the season. Although there is not a lot of snowmobiling happening within the North Shore area, we know many of our constituents travel throughout the state to do so. With snow in the forecast and more still on the ground, a reminder is warranted for snowmobilers to sled safely. There are now nine snowmobile fatalities so far this February. Alcohol, excess speed, driver inexperience or operator error are the leading causes of snowmobile fatalities. There were 16 total snowmobile fatalities in 2019. Eleven of those involved operation on public trails and roadways while four incidents occurred on frozen waterways. Winter's fluctuating temperatures, snowfalls and snowmelts have made for often-changing terrain and mixed conditions on snowmobile trails as well as rivers and lakes. The DNR cautions that no ice is 100% safe. The DNR does not monitor conditions and suggests snowmobilers contact local fishing clubs, snowmobile clubs or outfitters to inquire about the ice conditions. With more than 200,000 registered snowmobiles hitting Wisconsin's 25,000 miles of groomed trails each winter across the state, safety is an important part of the ride. If you were born on or after Jan. 1, 1985, and are at least age 12 years old, you must complete a snowmobile safety certification course to operate a snowmobile on Wisconsin public snowmobile trails and areas. The DNR recommends all snowmobilers complete a safety course. Follow these tips to ride responsibly: Don't drink alcohol and ride Slow down Carry a first-aid kit and dress appropriately Avoid frozen rivers and lakes Stay on marked trails Never travel alone and keep a safe distance between you and other snowmobilers Take a snowmobile safety course To locate a class or take an online course, visit the webpage at: https://dnr.wi.gov/education/outdoorSkills/safetyEducation.html For more information from the DNR regarding recreational vehicle safety, please go to: https://dnr.wi.gov/files/pdf/pubs/le/LE0203_2018.pdf North Shore Health Department Highlights - 2/18/2020 - Heart Health Did you know? February is Heart Month, the perfect time to learn about your risk for heart disease and the steps you could take now to help your heart. Heart disease—and the conditions that lead to it—can happen at any age. High rates of obesity and high blood pressure among younger people (ages 35-64) are putting them at risk for heart disease earlier in life. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), half of all Americans have at least one of the top three risk factors for heart disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking). The below conditions and behaviors that put all people at risk for heart disease are appearing at younger ages: High blood pressure (HBP). Millions of Americans of all ages have high blood pressure, including millions of people in their 40s and 50s. About half of people with high blood pressure don’t have it under control. Having uncontrolled high blood pressure is one of the biggest risks for heart disease and other harmful conditions, such as stroke. To learn more about HBP, go to the NSHD website (https://www.nshealthdept.org/ChronicDisease.aspx) and take the Blood Pressure 101 quiz under Resources on right of screen. High blood cholesterol. High cholesterol can increase the risk for heart disease. Having diabetes and obesity, smoking, eating unhealthy foods, and not getting enough physical activity can all contribute to unhealthy cholesterol levels. To learn more about controlling cholesterol levels, go to: https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/prevention-management.htm Smoking. More than 37 million U.S. adults are current smokers, and thousands of young people start smoking each day. Smoking damages the blood vessels and can cause heart disease. If you do smoke, call the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line. This is a free service to help people quit smoking, vaping, or other tobacco use. It is sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Call 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) to talk to a friendly quit coach. No matter how old you are, you are in the driver’s seat when it comes to your heart. Learn how to be heart healthy at any age. Go to: https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/index.htm North Shore Health Department Highlights - 02/11/2020 - Scams Targeting Seniors Did you know? Seniors are often the most vulnerable and targeted group for financial scams. These scams are now so prevalent that they are considered “THE crime of the 21st century”. Finding and prosecuting these criminals continues to be a challenge for law enforcement. Financial scams frequently go unreported because seniors do not know who to report to or may not realize they have been scammed. Some of the most common scams include health insurance fraud, telemarketing fraud, internet scams, charity scams etc. To help prevent and identify potential scams follow these tips: Be aware of your risk of being scammed by people unknown to you, as well as those close to you Don’t send money or give out personal information (i.e. bank account numbers, social security, dates of birth) to unknown persons or companies Don’t buy from an unfamiliar company. Always check out unfamiliar companies with your local consumer protection agency ( Better Business Bureau, Wisconsin State Attorney General, The National Fraud Information Center) before making a purchase. Don’t pay for services in advance If you suspect something is wrong, do not hesitate to delete the email or hang up and call the police or family member/friend. Recently a phishing scam has been identified that preys upon fears of the new coronavirus. Cybercriminals are using the coronavirus as clickbait to spread malware and attempt to steal personal information. They’ve crafted their phishing emails to look like they’re coming from health officials such as doctors or national agencies, such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Some of these emails suggest clicking a link to view information about “new coronavirus cases around your city”. Other emails suggest downloading the attached PDF file to “learn about safety measures you can take against spreading the virus”. Don’t fall for it-just delete it! The CDC, the Wisconsin State Department of Health Services and the North Shore Health Department will NOT be reaching out to you via email in this way. If you click the phishing link, you’re brought to a webpage that is designed to steal your personal information. If you download the PDF file, your computer will be infected with malware. Always remember: Never click on a link or download an attachment that you weren’t expecting. Because of the alarming subject matter, the bad guys expect you to click or download without thinking. STAY ALERT! Don’t be a victim. For more tips on avoiding senior scams please visit: https://www.ncoa.org/economic-security/money-management/scams-security/protection-from-scams/ For a list of the top 10 financial scams targeting seniors, please visit: https://www.ncoa.org/economic-security/money-management/scams-security/protection-from-scams/ North Shore Health Department Highlights - 2/4/2020 - Vitamin D Did you know? Vitamin D is important for overall health, as well as strong and healthy bones. Muscles require it to facilitate movement, nerves need it to carry messages between the brain and body parts and the immune system needs vitamin D to fight off infection. Vitamin D deficiency can also result in specific health problems such as bones becoming thin, brittle and misshapen which can put people at an increased risk for falls, especially the elderly. Most people get vitamin D through their diet and exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D made by exposure to sunlight may not be enough, but dietary intake or supplements can often make up the difference. Vitamin D deficiency may not be a concern for everyone but certain groups may be more at risk such as exclusively breast fed infants and individuals who are obese, have dark skin and who are older than age 65. These individuals may have low levels of Vitamin D due to their diets, too little sun exposure or because of their body’s inability to absorb or manufacture Vitamin D. The only way to know if you are deficient is to ask your doctor to order a blood test. It can be especially difficult to increase Vitamin D through sun exposure during the winter months. Sunlight through a window doesn’t count! Dietary supplements can help, as well as eating Vitamin D rich food, including salmon, tuna, fish liver oils, milk, yogurt, and eggs. Use caution when taking supplements, as it is also possible to have too much Vitamin D which can affect your health as well. We encourage you to talk to your healthcare provider about your Vitamin D needs and the use of dietary supplements to determine what may be best for your overall health. To learn more about Vitamin D, visit this link: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-Consumer North Shore Health Department Highlights 1/28/2020 - 2019 Novel Coronavirus Did you know? The Center for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC), the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the North Shore Health Department is closely monitoring the new 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. China has confirmed more than a thousand cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. As of January 28th, 2020, there have been 5 confirmed cases in the United States. Confirmed cases have been found in AZ, CA, IL, and WA. As of January 28th, there are no confirmed cases in Wisconsin. Health officials believe the virus originally emerged from an animal source, but more recent cases show it could be spreading person-to-person. The virus is believed to be spread via respiratory droplets, produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how the flu spreads. The risk to the general public is currently low. People who recently returned from Wuhan, China have been advised by CDC to monitor themselves for signs and symptoms, which include fever, cough, and shortness of breath for a 14-day incubation period upon their return. People who recently returned from Wuhan, China and who do develop signs and symptoms should contact their healthcare providers for more information and further guidance. The situation is changing quickly, for the latest information, please visit the CDC at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html. North Shore Health Department Highlights 1/21/2020 - Traumatic Brain Injury Did You Know? January is National Winter Sports Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Month. Every year millions of people in the US participate in winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, sledding, ice skating and hockey. These are fun activities that encourage physical activity and get people outside during winter, however the high speeds and slippery surfaces can also lead to serious injuries. TBIs result in an alteration of brain function, usually due to a violent blow or jolt to the head. Concussions are one type of TBI. Brainline.org offers some injury prevention tips to protect yourself and your loved ones when participating in winter sports: 1. Always wear a properly-fitted helmet designed for the specific sport and ALWAYS replace it after a serious fall. 2. Have fun, but know your limitations—start slow, take lessons for new sports, and make sure children are supervised. 3. Be familiar with your surroundings and stay alert to blind spots or changes in terrain or weather. 4. Know the warning signs of a concussion: • Headaches • One pupil larger than the other • Weakness or numbness • Altered coordination or balance • Confusion or slurred speech • Nausea and/or vomiting • Loss of consciousness (passed out/knocked out). Even a brief loss of consciousness should be taken seriously. • Not feeling “quite right” 5. If you or a loved one has a concussion, take time to recover before putting yourself into a high risk situation again. North Shore Health Department Highlights 1/14/2020 - Cervical Health Awareness Month Did you know? Governor Tony Evers proclaimed January 2020 as Cervical Health Awareness Month here in Wisconsin. NSHD is working with the Wisconsin Immunization and Wisconsin Well Woman programs to raise awareness of cancers, including cervical cancer, caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV). The best protection against HPV related cancers is vaccination for both boys and girls at ages 11-12 years. In 2016, about half of preteens and teens in Milwaukee County reported having received at least one HPV vaccine (in the series). Many teenagers remain unprotected against HPV related cancers because they never start or don’t finish the full series of vaccination. By remaining incompletely vaccinated, these adolescents remain vulnerable to cancers caused by HPV infections. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to talk to their child’s doctor or nurse at their next health care visit. If a preteen has not received all doses of the HPV vaccine, make an appointment to get him or her vaccinated today! For more info regarding the HPV vaccine, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/index.html. Regular screening for cervical cancer via the Pap test and/or HPV testing is another effective way to protect cervical health. According to the American Cancer Society, all women should begin cervical cancer testing (screening) at age 21. For more information about cervical cancer screening tests, schedules and recommendations, visit: https://www.cancer.org/content/cancer/en/cancer/cervical-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/cervical-cancer-screening-guidelines.html Information about free local screening tests for cervical cancer is available at Wisconsin Well Woman. Through this program, women aged 45-64 years may be eligible for services if they meet certain income and insurance guidelines. To learn more and see if you qualify, visit the website. North Shore Health Department Highlights 1/7/2020 - Radon Action Month Did you know? January is Radon Action Month. Radon is a naturally occurring, tasteless, odorless radioactive gas that is present in the ground. Radon gas forms when certain common radioactive metals like uranium, thorium, or radium break down in rocks, soil and groundwater. The gas can enter your home through the foundation. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking. Smoking combined with radon exposure poses additional lifetime risks of developing lung cancer. One out of ten homes in Wisconsin has a high radon level. Radon levels vary from home to home, even in the same community. Having your home tested is the only effective way to determine whether you and your family are at risk of high radon exposure. Protect yourself and your family this month by testing your home with a radon testing kit. Short-term test kits are available for sale at either of the North Shore Health Department offices for $7/each. Call the North Shore Health Department at 414-37-2980 if you are interested in obtaining a radon test kit or if you have any questions about radon. The following websites also contain additional information about radon: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/radon/index.htm https://www.epa.gov/radon North Shore Health Department Highlights 12/23/2019 · Parents should exercise caution when purchasing and allowing children to play with new toys. According to SafeKids Worldwide (an international organization dedicated to eliminating preventable childhood injuries), in the year 2016, 174,100 children under the age of 15 years were seen in emergency departments for toy-related injuries. That’s 477 kids every day. Almost half of those injured were children 5 and under. · Top Tips about Toy Safety: Consider your child’s age when purchasing a toy or game. Read the instructions and warning labels to make sure the toy is just right for your child. If someone else purchased the toy and you determine it to be inappropriate or dangerous, consider returning the gift or keeping it out of site until the child grows to the appropriate age for the toy. It would also be the perfect time to have a discussion with the gift giver, letting them know how much you appreciate the gift, but that since your child’s safety is a top priority for you both, they will have to wait until they are older to play with it. Check to make sure there aren’t any small parts or other potential choking hazards before you settle on the perfect toy. Separate toys by age and keep a special eye on small game pieces that may be a choking hazard for young children. Parts from toys intended for older children may pose a choking risk to younger, curious siblings. Use a bin or container to contain toys once playtime is over. Make sure there are no holes or hinges that could catch little fingers. For more info on toy safety, go to : https://www.safekids.org/tip/toy-safety-tips or https://www.cpsc.gov/Safety-Education/Safety-Guides/toys-crafts/toys North Shore Health Department Highlights 12/17/2019 Did you know? According to the CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the Unites States, 2019 report, more than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur in the U.S. each year, and more than 35,000 people die as a result. In addition, 223,900 cases of Clostridioides difficile occurred in 2017 and at least 12,800 people died. CDC is concerned about rising resistant infections in the community, which can put more people at risk, make the spread of disease more difficult to identify and contain, and threaten the progress made to protect patients in healthcare. The emergence and spread of new forms of resistance remains a concern. To read the full report, go to: https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/pdf/threats-report/2019-ar-threats-report-508.pdf Infections caused by antibiotic-resistant germs are difficult, and sometimes impossible to treat—but we can help stop the spread of these germs. Antibiotic resistance happens when germs like bacteria and fungi develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. No one can completely avoid getting an infection, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk: • Clean Your Hands: Keeping your hands clean is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and prevent infections and spreading germs. • Get Vaccinated: Vaccines are an important step to prevent infections, including resistant infections. Talk to your healthcare provider about recommended vaccines • Be Aware of Changes in Your Health: Talk to your healthcare provider about how to recognize signs and symptoms of infections, or if you think you have an infection. If an infection isn’t stopped, it can lead to additional complications like sepsis, a life-threatening medical emergency. • Use Antibiotics Appropriately: Talk with your healthcare provider or veterinarian about the best treatment when you, your family, or your animal is sick. Antibiotics save lives, but any time they are used they can cause sides effects and lead to antibiotic resistance if not taken properly. For more info on how to protect you and your family, go to: https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/protecting_yourself_family.html North Shore Health Department Highlights 12/10/2019 Did you know? Elder self-neglect is a public health issue that affects millions of older people each year. It occurs across the world, in all types of societies, cultures and across every education and economic strata. Elder self-neglect has been linked to devastating outcomes on older adults’ physical and psychological well-being, higher mortality rate, and increased utilization of health care services. It can manifest itself in the form of refusal or failure to provide themselves with adequate food, water, clothing, shelter, personal hygiene, medication, or safety precautions. In the US, self-neglect has been the primary type (41.9%) of elder abuse cases reported to the Adult Protective Services (APS). Multiple studies have shown it to occur in up to 30% of elderly people living alone. Keep in mind that self-neglect is different than decisions that lead to poor outcomes by a competent elder. Some risk factors linked to elder self-neglect: cognitive impairment physical disability psychological distress Some preventative strategies include: Listening to and trying to understand the multifaceted situation and values of a self-neglecting senior Encouraging a comprehensive geriatric assessment to be conducted. Some brief screening tests exist, such as the Hopkins Competency Assessment Test to help evaluate decision-making capacity or the Mini-Cog that can detect cognitive impairment. The NSHD held two Memory Screening events in the past few months and will hold more in 2020. Engaging a multidisciplinary team that may include medical and mental health professionals, caregivers, community educational programs, social workers, and financial service agencies. Open and honest conversation early on with a self-neglecting elder is never easy, but it is likely essential to prevent a debilitating situation. Checking on family members and loved ones frequently is a good way to keep abreast of a potential self-neglect situation. For more information on elder self-neglect and elder abuse, go to: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/elderabuse/index.html For information from Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services on services for older adults and their caregivers, go to: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/aging/index.htm North Shore Health Department Highlights 12/3/2019 Did you know? It’s not too late to receive your flu shot! December 2-8th is National Influenza Vaccination week. We may sound like a broken record here, still harping about flu vaccine, but it is for good reason backed by sound data. Influenza is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death, especially in the very old and very young. In Wisconsin alone, just since September 2019, there have been 6 deaths and 57 influenza-associated hospitalizations (3 in the North Shore area) and these numbers will only be climbing as the flu season progresses. An annual seasonal flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older is the best way to help protect against flu-not only for you, but also for all of those around you. There are many reasons to get a flu vaccine. • Reduce your risk of: Flu illness Doctor’s visits Missed work/school Reduce severity of flu illness Protect women before and after pregnancy Protect babies unable to get the vaccine While CDC recommends getting vaccinated against the flu by the end of October each year, they encourage vaccination through January or later as flu seasons have lengthened over the years. People have been diagnosed with the flu well into the Spring, meaning it is not too late to get your flu shot. Remember that it takes about two weeks after being immunized for your body to develop sufficient antibodies to protect you. Fit in your immunization before holiday gatherings. The North Shore Health Department offers an assortment of flu immunizations, including: • Quadrivalent flu shots for $40 • Preservative free quadrivalent flu shots for $45 • High dose flu shots (ages 65 and over) for $65 (We can bill medicare.) For more data and information on the prevention of influenza through vaccine, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/keyfacts.htm?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Ffeatures%2Ffighttheflu%2Findex.html North Shore Health Department Highlights 11/26/2019 Did you know? “The stomach flu” is not actually a flu. What is commonly considered stomach flu is most likely norovirus. Norovirus is the leading cause of vomiting and diarrhea from acute gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines) among people of all ages. In the United states, on average norovirus causes 19 to 21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis and contributes to about 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalizations and 570 to 800 deaths, mostly among young children and the elderly. Norovirus spreads easily through transfer of fecal (“poop”) or vomit particles. It can easily contaminate food and water because as few as 10 virus particles can make you sick. Food and water can get contaminated with norovirus in many ways, including when: An infected person touches food with their bare hands that are contaminated Food is placed on a counter or surface that is contaminated Tiny drops of vomit from an infected person spray through the air and land on the food The food is grown or harvested with contaminated water (harvested oysters or field-irrigated fruit and vegetables) Common symptoms of norovirus include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain. People with norovirus are typically ill for 1 to 3 days. Follow these simple steps to protect yourself and others from norovirus: Wash your hands often (especially after using the bathroom or changing diapers) Rinse fruits and vegetables Cook shellfish thoroughly Stay home when sick and for two days after symptoms stop Avoid preparing food for others when sick and for two days after symptoms stop For more information about norovirus, visit the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/index.html To view a video on proper handwashing to prevent the spread of Norovirus: https://youtu.be/4f65IzxfIWM North Shore Health Department Highlights 11/19/2019 Did you know? The Great American Smoke Out is on Thursday, November 21, 2019. While the cessation of traditional cigarette smoking springs to mind, there is no reason not to consider quitting a vaping habit on this day of solidarity, especially if you are a teen. According to the most recent information from the National Youth Tobacco Survey, vaping among high school students nearly doubled from 12% in 2017 to 21% in 2018. The same strategies that are used to help traditional smokers quit are easily transferable to the fight to become vape free. Make a list of reasons to quit and refer to it often. Carefully pick a quit day and prepare for it. Learn your triggers and avoid them in the early quit stages. Prepare for cravings and withdrawal. Build your support team in advance and always imagine your vape free self. You don’t have to do it alone-help is out there! For more ideas on how to quit vaping, go to: https://teen.smokefree.gov/quit-vaping/how-to-quit-vaping and/or consider calling the WI Tobacco Quitline which provides one on one assistance to those in the fight to quit: https://ctri.wisc.edu/quit-line/ North Shore Health Department Highlights 11/12/2019 Did you know? Data from the 2018 United Health Foundation’s annual health ranking placed Wisconsin as the worst state in the country for excessive drinking, with about 24 percent of adults reportedly drinking to excess. Excessive alcohol consumption includes: binge drinking, heavy drinking (15+ drinks/week for men; 8+ drinks/week for women and any alcohol consumption by youth under 21 or pregnant women. Binge drinking is defined as 5+ drinks per occasion for men and 4+ drinks per occasion for women. An occasion is defined as 2-3 hours. The negative health, social, and economic impacts of these alcohol statistics are staggering. For instance, according to a 2018 study (The Burden of Binge Drinking in Wisconsin report) from the UW Population Health Institute at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, adult binge drinking in Wisconsin cost almost $4 billion a year, which is approximately $700 per Wisconsin resident. This included health related costs such as over 79,000 alcohol related hospitalizations and over 6,000 alcohol related automobile crashes. The Health Institute report suggests many improvements that can be made on the local and state legislative fronts. A 2016 CDC publication provides recommendations that can be considered at the community level, such as stepping up the enforcement of laws that prohibit alcohol sales to minors and the regulation of alcohol outlet density, which is the number of places that sell alcohol in a defined geographic area. See https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/aag/pdf/2015/alcohol-aag.pdf Everyone can contribute to the prevention of excessive alcohol use. You can: Choose not to drink too much yourself and help others not do it. If you choose to drink alcohol, follow the U.S. Dietary Guidelines on moderate alcohol consumption (no more than one drink per day for women and no more than 2 drinks per day for men) Support effective community strategies to prevent excessive alcohol use, such as those recommended by the CDC and Wisconsin reports. Not serve or provide alcohol to those who should not be drinking, including children or teens and those who have already drank too much. Talk with your health care provider about your drinking behavior and request counseling if you drink too much. Remember that your children are watching. Your drinking habits set a model that will be with them for the rest of their lives. North Shore Health Department Highlights 11/5/2019 Did you know? Pertussis (whooping cough) is a common (endemic) disease in the United States, with peaks in reported disease every few years and frequent outbreaks. Across the region we have seen an increase in the number of Pertussis cases, especially among school children. Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory illness. Pertussis begins with cold-like symptoms, but after 1-2 weeks, it can cause violent and rapid coughing, over and over, until the air is gone from the lungs and a person is forced to inhale with a loud "whooping" sound. This extreme coughing can even cause vomiting and leaves a person very tired. The bacteria that cause pertussis are carried through the air on droplets of saliva and are spread by a sick person coughing or sneezing, or by spending time near an infected person. Pertussis is commonly tested by obtaining a nasopharyngeal specimen and treated by antibiotics. Patients requiring treatment should be excluded from activities including school/day care until the full course of appropriate antibiotic therapy has been completed. People who have a known exposure to pertussis, especially those with symptoms, should contact their physician. In some cases, prophylactic antibiotics are given to high risk and/or close contacts to prevent infection. The best way to prevent pertussis is to get vaccinated. Children normally get 5 doses of the DTap vaccine (Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis) administered between 2 months and 6 years of age. Pre-teens, teens, and adults should get vaccinated with a boosted vaccine called Tdap. Tdap should also be administered to pregnant women during each pregnancy. Read more about pertussis at : https://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/ Read more about pertussis vaccines at: https://www.vaccines.gov/diseases/pertussis North Shore Health Department Highlights 10/29/2019 Did you know? October is Domestic Violence Prevention Month. Domestic violence (also called intimate partner violence, domestic abuse or relationship abuse) affects millions of people of all genders, every race, religion, culture and status. Nearly three out of four Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. Domestic violence doesn’t look the same in every relationship because every relationship is different. But one thing most abusive relationships have in common is that the abusive partner asserts more power and control over their partner. Some of the signs of an abusive relationship include a partner who: · Tells you that you can never do anything right · Shows extreme jealousy of your friends and time spent away · Keeps you or discourages you from seeing friends or family members · Insults, demeans or shames you with put-downs · Controls every penny spent in the household · Takes your money or refuses to give you money for necessary expenses · Looks at you or acts in ways that scare you · Controls who you see, where you go, or what you do · Prevents you from making your own decisions · Tells you that you are a bad parent or threatens to harm or take away your children · Prevents you from working or attending school · Destroys your property or threatens to hurt or kill your pets · Intimidates you with guns, knives or other weapons · Pressures you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with · Pressures you to use drugs or alcohol Since the Violence Against Women Act passed in 1994, we’ve come a long way. This landmark legislation holds offenders accountable and provide programs and services for victims. Between 1993 and 2010, the overall rate of domestic violence dropped nearly two-thirds and state laws have reformed to address issues such as dating abuse in the workplace, stalking, employment discrimination and more. If you need assistance or want to talk to someone about domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or online chat at www.thehotline.org/ to speak with a trained advocate. Learn more about intimate partner violence at: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/index.html North Shore Health Department Highlights 10/22/2019 Did you know? The third week in October is National Teen Driver Safety Week. Do you have a new driver in the family? It marks a time of new independence for teens and new worries for parents. There is sound reason for concern: Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death of teens, ahead of all other types of injury, violence or disease. In fact, every day, six teens are killed in a car crash. However, research has shown there are strategies that parents can use to address these concerns: Be a good example behind the wheel. Your kids have been watching your driving for years. No one is perfect, but it’s never too late to start being the role model your kids deserve. Know and enforce the law. Wisconsin’s Graduated Driving Laws are summarized at: https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/dmv/teen-driver/yr-frst-lcns/gdl-summary.aspx Studies have found that teens who had a formal agreement with their parents on acceptable behaviors while driving were less likely to engage in risky behavior. For a sample document, go to: https://www.safekids.org/other-resource/parent-teen-drivers-agreement In addition, SafeKids Worldwide offers seven tips for driving safely Buckle up: every person, every time Don’t drink and drive Limit the number of passengers in a car Don’t text and drive Follow the speed limit Only drive in the dark after extra practice Speak up when any driver is driving unsafely North Shore Health Department Highlights 10/15/2019 Did you know? Conveniently timed to coincide with Halloween and Trick-or-Treating, October is National Dental Hygiene Month. With bags of free candy and more sweets than your children can eat in one sitting, it’s no surprise that Halloween can also present health challenges. Here's some tips to help your family stay tooth-healthy on Halloween and year-round. • Time it right: Eat Halloween candy and other sugary foods with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva production increases during meals, which helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and rinse away food particles. Snacking can increase your risk of cavities, and sweet snacks are even worse. • Choose candy carefully: Avoid hard candy and other sweets that stay in your mouth for a long time. The longer time candies stay in the mouth, the increased risk of tooth decay. Sticky candies like taffy and gummy bears stick to your teeth and take even longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay. • Drink more water: Drinking fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay. • Brush and floss: Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Remember to replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won't do a good job of cleaning your teeth. Floss your teeth once a day to get decay-causing bacteria between teeth and under the gum line where toothbrush bristles can't reach. • Visit the dentist: Regular visits to your dentist can help prevent problems from occurring and catch those that do occur early, when they are easy to treat. For more information on protecting your child’s teeth, visit https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/basics/childrens-oral-health/fl_caries.htm North Shore Health Department Highlights 10/8/2019 Did you know? We are a month into the 2019-2020 flu season. Flu or influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization or even death for some individuals. During last year’s flu season, 29 influenza related hospitalizations of North Shore residents were reported to the Health Department and there has been one this year already. Every flu season is different, which is why we recommend an annual seasonal flu vaccine as the best way to protect against the flu. Vaccination has been shown to lower the risk of flu-related illnesses, hospitalizations and even flu-related death. There are many vaccine options to choose from, but the most important thing is for all people 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine every year. If you have questions about which vaccine is best for you, talk to your doctor or other health care professional. If you have questions about this year’s flu season, the CDC has more information at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/faq-flu-season-2019-2020.htm The North Shore Health Department is hosting a number of flu clinics this fall. See below for details on where and when these clinics will occur. Walk-in Flu Clinics (No appointment necessary) Regular flu vaccine prices apply at walk-in clinics and scheduled flu vaccine appointments. See website nshealthdept.org for more details Wednesday, October 9, 2019 7:30 am – 4:00 pm Shorewood Office Monday, October 14, 2019 7:30 am – 4:00 pm Brown Deer Office Saturday, October 19, 2019 (At this clinic only, we are offering the flu vaccine for children ages 2-18 years for $10). 9:00 am – 11:00 am Nicolet High School Cafeteria Tuesday, October 29, 2019 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm North Shore Library Wednesday, November 13, 2019 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Brown Deer and Shorewood Offices Upcoming Immunization Clinics (appointment required) - Please call the North Shore Health Department for an appointment at 414-371-2980. Thursday, October 10, 3-4:30 p.m., Shorewood Tuesday, October 15, 7:30-9:00 a.m., Shorewood Wednesday, October 16, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Brown Deer Tuesday, October 29, 3:30-4:30 p.m., North Shore Library Upcoming Adult Health Clinics (appointment required; 8-10:00 a.m.) Blood analysis for cholesterol, glucose and triglycerides, blood pressure, weight check and a nurse consultation. Please call the NSHD for an appointment at 414-371-2980. Wednesday, October 16th, Brown Deer Tuesday, October 22nd, Shorewood Wednesday, November 20th, Brown Deer Tuesday, November 26th, Shorewood Upcoming Blood Pressure Screening (walk-ins welcome – no appointment necessary) Thursday, October 17, 12:30-1:00 p.m., LX Club (WFB Women’s Club, 600 E. Henry Clay St.) Tuesday, October 22, 1:30-2:30 p.m., WFB Sr. Center (5205 Lydell Avenue) Wednesday, October 23 , 3:30-4:30. p.m. NSHD Shorewood Office 2010 E. Shorewood Blvd For the most up-to-date information on pricing, upcoming clinics and screenings, visit the Clinics page of our website at: http://www.nshealthdept.org/Clinics North Shore Health Department Highlights 10/2/2019 October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women, causing 29% of all female cancers. Breast cancer can result in significant clinical, psychological, and financial burden. Most women understand the importance of monthly self-examinations and regular mammograms for early detection. Less well known is that research in the past decade has consistently shown support for exercise to lower the risk of developing breast cancer, prevent recurrence after treatment, improve quality of life, and counteract side effects from cancer treatments. According to Dana Farber Medical Center, a review of lifestyle factors on breast cancer mortality found that physical activity is consistently linked to a lower risk of breast cancer recurrence. A large study showed that women who exercised moderately (the equivalent of walking three to five hours a week at an average pace) following a breast cancer diagnosis had 40 to 50 percent lower risk of breast cancer recurrence and death compared with women who exercised less. The benefit of exercise was particularly apparent in women with hormone-responsive breast tumors. It can be difficult to find time to exercise. The following tips may help you become more active. · Choose the stairs. · Bike or walk instead of driving. · Take your pet for a walk. · Walk on your lunch break. · Wear a step-tracking device and increase your daily steps. · Skip the coffee shop and walk with a friend—or walk to the coffee shop. · Use a stationary bicycle or treadmill while watching TV. Read more at: https://www.breastcancer.org/research-news/exercise-during-tx-after-sx-offers-benefits North Shore Health Department Highlights 09/24/2019 New baby? Make sure they’re sleeping safely. Approximately 3,500 infants die annually in the United States from sleep-related deaths, including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS); ill-defined deaths; and accidental suffocation and strangulation. The American Academy of Pediatrics revised their guidelines on safe sleep for infants in 2016 in order to reduce SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths. AAP recommendations on creating a safe sleep environment include: Put baby on their back on a firm sleep surface such as a crib or bassinet with a tight-fitting sheet. Avoid use of soft bedding, including crib bumpers, blankets, pillows and soft toys. The crib should be bare. Share a bedroom with parents, but not the same sleeping surface, preferably until the baby turns one but at least for the first six months. (Room-sharing decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent.) Avoid exposing baby to smoke, alcohol and illicit drugs. Implement skin-to-skin care, regardless of feeding or delivery method, immediately following birth for at least an hour as soon as the mother is medically stable and awake. Breastfeeding is also recommended to add protection against SIDS. After feeding, the AAP encourages parents to move the baby to their separate sleeping space. For more information on safe sleep, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/sids/parents-caregivers.htm North Shore Health Department Highlights 09/17/2019 Did You Know? September 23, 2019, the first day of fall, marks the 10th annual National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, sponsored by the National Council on Aging (NCOA). Falls are the leading cause of injury-related emergency department visits for older adults, the major cause of hip fractures, and responsible for more than half of fatal head injuries. In the US, one in four adults aged 65 or older falls every year. Falls, with or without injury, also carry a heavy quality of life impact. A growing number of older adults fear falling and, as a result, limit their activities and social engagements. This can result in further physical decline, depression, social isolation, and feelings of helplessness. Falls are not an inevitable part of aging. The North Shore Health Department in conjunction with the North Shore Fire Department and local sponsors have held four “Stepping On” classes this year. “Stepping On” is an evidence-based fall prevention class which meets for two hours weekly for seven weeks. These classes highlight how exercise, medication management, vision screening, and making your living environment safer are all steps people can do to prevent a fall. The next session begins on September 24, 2019 at the New Perspectives Senior Living Center in Brown Deer. Contact the NSHD at 414-371-2980 if interested in attending. Additionally, there are classes held throughout the year in Milwaukee County that can be found on the Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging’s website. https://wihealthyaging.org/stepping-on-consumer North Shore Health Department Highlights for 09/10/2019 Did You Know? September 15-21, 2019 is National Child Passenger Safety Week. The goal is to make sure your child is in the correct car seat, that it’s properly installed, used correctly, and that it’s registered with the manufacturer to ensure you receive important safety updates. Some studies have shown that approximately 75% of child safety seats are not installed correctly. If you are an expectant parent, give yourself enough time to learn how to properly install the car safety seat in your car before your baby is born to ensure a safe ride home from the hospital. Car seat information is easy to find, but often it’s difficult for parents and caregivers to decide which seat is best for their child. Follow these tips to ensure your child is in the right seat: Choose the correct direction: Rear or forward facing? https://www.safekids.org/ultimate-car-seat-guide/ Know your car seat’s history. Seats that have been involved in a crash should be discarded. Check the label to make sure the seat is appropriate for your child’s age, weight, and height. Determine if a tether is necessary. Most forward facing seats require these now. https://www.safekids.org/blog/new-research-car-seat-tethers-released As your child grows, continually re-evaluate the type of car seat that is best for them. https://www.safekids.org/interactive/car-seat-booster-seat-or-seat-belt-where-does-your-kid-fit Make sure your car seat is installed properly and used every time your child takes a ride. Visit our website to learn more about car seat safety and to schedule a car seat installation appointment with the North Shore Health Department or North Shore Fire Rescue: https://www.nshealthdept.org/CarSeatSafety.aspx To make an appointment through Milwaukee Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, call 414-231-4896. North Shore Health Department Highlights for 09/03/2019 September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, which includes National Suicide Prevention Awareness Week, September 9-15, and World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10. During the month of September organizations highlight suicide prevention efforts by advocating for prevention strategies and networking to share resources and information. Studies by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention show that suicide rates are rising. The rate of suicide has increased more than 30 percent in half of the states across the United States since 1999, with approximately 45,000 lives lost to suicide in 2016 alone. Research has shown that more than half of people who die by suicide did not have a known mental health condition. It is important for people to learn how to recognize and respond to suicide. Research shows people who are having thoughts of suicide feel relief when someone asks after them in a caring way. Findings suggest acknowledging and talking about suicide may reduce rather than increase suicidal ideation. Learn how to recognize and respond by paying attention to the warning signs of suicide: Feeling like a burden Being isolated Increased anxiety Feeling trapped or in unbearable pain Increased substance use Looking for a way to access lethal means Increased anger or rage Extreme mood swings Expressing hopelessness Sleeping too little or too much Talking or posting about wanting to die Making plans for suicide If you notice any warning signs, starting a conversation with the person may save their life. Share the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number, 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) and be willing to assist the person with the call. Taking the person directly to help can be the best option to ensure they receive the help they need. Additional tips can be found at how to talk about suicide. Your willingness to listen and help can save a life. North Shore Health Department Highlights for 8/27/2019 Drowning remains the number one unintentional cause of death for children in the U.S. ages 1 to 4, and the second leading cause among children ages 5 to 14. Most parents are vigilant when enjoying summer activities with their young kids, but it is important to realize that drownings occur all year long. Bathtubs, fountains, toilets and even buckets also can pose a danger for very young children since most of these drownings are due to children falling into a pool or being left alone in the bathtub. When the unthinkable happens, caregivers often say, “I only looked away for a second.” Following are a few water safety precautions: Never leave your child alone in the bathtub or near water; if you have to leave, take your child with you. Find age-appropriate swim lessons for yourself and child which are available all year long. Go tohttps://www.ymcamke.org/swim-lessons/ to find lessons near you. Scholarships may be available upon proven need. Keep in mind that lessons do not make your child "drown-proof" and that lifeguards aren't babysitters; there is no substitute for a caregiver’s undivided attention near water. If a child is missing, check the water first. Learn CPR and rescue techniques. Although it is true that the younger the child, the greater the risk; it is important to encourage teens and young adults to keep water safety in mind as the dangers may not be on their radar. Make sure the body of water matches your skill level; swimming in a pool is much different than swimming in a lake or river, where more strength is needed to handle currents Never drink alcohol while swimming or operating a boat. Alcohol is involved in about half of all male teen drownings, according to KidsHealth.org North Shore Health Department Highlights for 8/20/2019 The North Shore Health Department has fielded quite a few bat-related calls lately, likely as the breeding season runs from June 1-August 15. Bats are responsible for the majority of human rabies cases. Rabid bats have been documented in all 49 continental states. In Wisconsin there have been almost 400 known rabid bats since 2002. Humans need to exercise extreme caution if a bat is found in their dwelling. Bat bites can be difficult to detect and the virus can be transmitted to humans from minor or unrecognizable bat bites, as well as from scratches. Bats should never be kept as pets. In the case of known or suspected human exposures involving bats, the bat should be safely collected, by an animal control specialist if necessary, and brought to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center at the Wisconsin Humane Society for euthanasia. NSHD will coordinate the submission of the bat to the state lab for rabies testing. Rabies post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) treatment is recommended for all persons with bite, scratch, or mucous membrane exposure to a bat, unless the bat is available for testing and is negative for evidence of rabies. Follow these tips on how to minimize exposure to bats: Prevent bats from entering outdoor living quarters and other occupied space by sealing all holes to the outside. Screens or mosquito netting can provide a useful barrier against direct bat contact. Teach children to never handle live or dead bats, and not to approach any unfamiliar wild or domestic animals (even if they appear friendly). Tell them to report any contact or unusual animal behavior to an adult right away. Keep all pets up to date on their rabies vaccines and municipal licenses. This will help to keep your family safe from potential rabies exposures via domestic animals. The good news is that rabies in humans is 100% preventable through prompt appropriate medical care. If you are bitten, scratched, or unsure about exposure to a wild animal, wash the wound immediately and talk to a healthcare provider about whether you need PEP. To learn more about rabies and bats, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/exposure/animals/bats.html To learn more about the prevalence of rabies in Wisconsin this year, go to:https://datcp.wi.gov/Documents/RabiesMap2019.pdf and in past years, go to: https://datcp.wi.gov/Documents/RabiesMap2018.pdf andhttps://datcp.wi.gov/Documents/RabiesCountCumulative.pdf North Shore Health Department Highlights for 8/13/2019 Did You Know? The North Shore Health Department participates in a variety of community events throughout the summer including: National Night Out, Safety Days, Farmers’ Markets, Car Seat events, Bayside’s My Night in Blue event and many more. Community events build cohesion and resiliency among residents, businesses, government and community groups to make communities and neighborhoods safe and free of crime and violence. Community cohesion is the coming together of people with a shared vision and sense of belonging in which the diversity of people’s backgrounds and circumstances are valued and appreciated. Community resilience is the sustained ability of a community to utilize available resources to respond to, withstand and recover from adverse situations. Both community cohesion and resiliency are important elements of a safe and healthy community and are fostered through fun events and activities involving the whole community. Information about these and other events can be found on the NSHD website. Additionally, links to other information such as the CPSC’s (US Consumer and Product Safety Commission) website (https://www.cpsc.gov/recalls/) that provides information regarding recalls on products that have been linked to injuries and death. A link to FDA/USDA food product recalls (https://www.foodsafety.gov/recalls-and-outbreaks) can also be found on our website (https://www.nshealthdept.org/). North Shore Health Department Highlights for August 6, 2019 Did you know? The American Psychological Association (APA) provides information on how to manage stress and distress in the aftermath of mass shootings or other traumatic events (https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/mass-shooting). As the North Shore Health Department focuses on mental health and emotional well-being as one of our health priority areas, we wanted to share tips for managing the variety of emotions that may have surfaced with the recent mass shootings in Texas and Ohio. Some of these strategies include: Trust your instincts: If you see suspicious activity, report it to law enforcement. Talk about it: Ask for support from people who care and will listen to your concerns. Strive for balance: When a tragedy occurs, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and adopt a negative or pessimistic outlook. Balance that viewpoint by reminding yourself of people and events which are meaningful and comforting, even encouraging. Check out: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/good-news for some good news. Striving for balance is empowering and allows for a healthier perspective on yourself and the world around you. Turn it off and take a break: Keeping informed is important, but if the news is upsetting, try to limit the amount you take in whether it’s from the Internet, television, newspapers or magazines. Take care of yourself: Engage in healthy behaviors to enhance your ability to cope with excessive stress. Eat well-balanced meals, drink water, get plenty of rest and build physical activity into every day. Help others or do something productive: Locate resources in your community to find ways that you can help people who have been affected by these incidents or have other needs. Helping someone else often has the benefit of making you feel better, too. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7 free and confidential support for people in distress, and prevention and crisis resources for you and loved ones. Help is just a phone call or internet search away. Visit https://www.mentalhealth.gov/get-help, or call 1-800-273-8255 (Suicide Prevention Lifeline) or 1-800-662-4357 (SAMHSA Referral and Information line). Make the contact for yourself or a loved one.