NORTH SHORE HEALTH DEPARTMENT

HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 2021

 


NSHD Healthy Highlight 11/23/21: PANCREATIC CANCER MONTH

November is pancreatic cancer month.

The pancreas is responsible for making insulin and other hormones which help the body use or store energy from food.

According to DHS risk factors for pancreatic cancer include:

  • Smoking is responsible for 20% to 30% of pancreatic cancer and the most avoidable risk factors,
  • Diabetes increases likelihood of developing pancreatic cancer than those who are not diabetic,
  • Family history can contribute to the increased risk of developing the disease, especially if a mother, father, sister, or brother has pancreatic cancer history,
  • Inflammation of the pancreas is known as pancreatitis and can be painful. Having pancreatitis for a long period of time may increase pancreatic cancer risk.
  • Obesity (those who are overweight or obese) are slightly more at risk, and maintaining healthy weight, eating well and exercising can help reduce risk.

It is important to note many people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer do not have these risk factors and many who do have known risk factors do not develop the disease.

Currently there are no established guidelines for preventing pancreatic cancer but avoiding risk factors may help decrease likelihood. Early detection is important!

To learn more about pancreatic cancer risks and symptoms visit: 2021-Pancreatic-Cancer-Risks-Symptoms_PPL

To learn more about pancreatic cancer visit:

 

 

NSHD Healthy Highlight 11/16/21: ALZHEIMER'S AWARENESS MONTH

Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive brain disorder, and not a normal part of aging.

As part of the Programs and Services for Older Adults, the Wisconsin DHS has put together resources to help navigate the world of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease:

Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia Resources | Wisconsin Department of Health Services

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, in Wisconsin:

  • 120,000 people aged 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s in Wisconsin.
  • 10.9% of people aged 45 and older have subjective cognitive decline.
  • 196,000 family caregivers bear the burden of the disease in Wisconsin.
  • 204 million hours of unpaid care provided by Alzheimer’s caregivers.
  • $3.4 billion is the value of the unpaid care.
  • $777 million is the cost of Alzheimer’s to the state Medicaid program.

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America offers free virtual memory screenings which allow individuals to receive one-on-one, confidential memory screenings from a qualified professional using their computer, smart phone, or tablet. This service, which is part of AFA’s National Memory Screening Program, began during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that people could still get screened from the safety and comfort of their homes.

When are virtual memory screenings conducted?

Screenings are done by appointment every Monday and Wednesday from 10 am to 4 pm (ET) and every Friday from 10 am to 2 pm (ET). 

Appointments can be scheduled by calling AFA at 866-232-8484 or by clicking here.

Can anyone get screened?

YES! The program is free and open to everyone-there are no minimum age or insurance requirements.


NSHD Healthy Highlight 11/09/21: NATIONAL CARE GIVER MONTH

November is National Care Giver Month, and there are many types of caregivers to honor.

A caregiver provides some level of care to individuals in need of ongoing assistance, on a regular or daily basis. Caregiving recipients may live in a residential or institutional setting, range in age from children to older adults, with chronic illness or disabling conditions.

This year, the focus is on celebrating the identities and passions that enrich the lives of caregivers, and to raise awareness of family caregivers. Family caregivers often juggle many responsibilities and lose sight of who they are beyond the role of caregiver. It is essential that caregivers have time for their own selfcare. Often family provided care is informal or unpaid care, given by family or friends.

In 2009 the CDC estimated the value of unpaid caregiver activity to be $450 million dollars in 2009. It was also reported approximately 25% of U.S. adults 18 years of age and older provided care or assistance to a person with a long-term illness or disability in the past 30 days (2009 data from CDC’s state-based Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System). 

The Respite Care Association of Wisconsin is a great resource for Monthly Virtual Events for caregivers.

To learn more about respite care, as a provider or recipient, please visit:


NSHD Healthy Highlight 11/02/21: AMERICAN DIABETES MONTH

Take the Prediabetes Risk Test.

Find everything you need for healthy living right here: diabetes.org/healthy-living

Find additional resources for diabetes prevention on the WI Department of Health Services website: www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/diabetes


NSHD Healthy Highlight 10/19/21: DRUG TAKE BACK DAY

FIND A DRUG DISPOSAL SITE NEAR YOU


NSHD Healthy Highlight 10/5/21: Fire Safety Week

Five fast fire safety facts from the American Red Cross:

  1. Children under age five are twice as likely to die in a home fire.
  2. Child-playing fires are the leading cause of fire deaths among preschoolers.
  3. About 300 people per year are killed in fires attributed to children playing with fire.
  4. Over half of home child-playing fires start in a bedroom.
  5. Children also start fires by playing with candles, fireworks, stoves, and cigarettes.

Be prepared and practice fire safety in your home and with your children. Five preparedness tips from the American Red Cross include:

  1. Keep matches, lighters, and other ignitable substances, secured, out of the reach of children, and only use child-resistant lighters.
  2. Familiarize children with the sound of your smoke alarm and what to do when they hear it.
  3. Practice your home fire escape plan with your children several times a year.
  4. Practice stop, drop, and roll and low crawling often!
  5. Smoke alarms save lives!

Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year. Having a working smoke alarm reduces the risk of dying in a home fire by nearly half.

Additional information, including fire prevention, safety tips and checklists can be found by visiting:


NSHD HEALTH HIGHLIGHTS 9/28/21: WORLD RABIES DAY

Rabies is a viral disease affecting the central nervous system. The rabies virus is transmitted from infected mammals to humans (typically via a bite) and is invariably fatal once symptoms appear. Human rabies is now rare in the United States, but still occurs frequently in many developing nations. The last four cases of human rabies in Wisconsin occurred in 1959, 2000, 2004 and 2010. All four Wisconsin cases acquired the disease from infected bats.

If you are bitten by any animal, immediately clean the animal bite or scratch wounds with liberal amounts of soap and water for 10-15 minutes. If the bite was by a species of concern, including a dog, cat, bat, ferret, raccoon, fox, or skunk, it is important to notify your local health department. The North Shore Health Department follows up on animal bites that occur in the North Shore. Call us at 414-371-2980 to report a bite. Notifying ensures that the biting animal is appropriately and legally observed or tested for rabies. It is also vital not to release or destroy a biting animal until a public health official or an animal control officer is consulted. You should also promptly notify your physician if a bite occurs. In most instances, observation or testing of the biting animal will rule out the possibility of rabies and will therefore eliminate any need for the bite victim to undergo the series of injections. If circumstances of the exposure warrant it, however, a physician will administer preventive medications (called post-exposure prophylaxis) to the bite victim.

Exposures to bats are worrisome because some people with very minor exposures to bats have contracted rabies. If there has been any possibility of physical contact with a bat, even without a known bite, the animal should be safely captured and held until a public health official or a physician can be consulted.

How to Prevent Rabies - Exposure to rabies may be minimized by the following measures:

  • Eliminate stray dogs and cats and enforce leash laws.
  • Vaccinate pet dogs, cats, ferrets, and livestock against rabies.
  • Stay away from all wild animals, especially those acting abnormally.
  • Teach your children not to approach any unfamiliar animals.
  • Do not keep exotic or wild animals as pets, regardless of how young or cute they are.
  • Exclude bats from living quarters by keeping screens in good repair and by closing any small openings that could allow them to enter.
  • Persons traveling to developing countries in which rabies is highly prevalent, or persons who are at ongoing risk of possible rabies exposure (e.g., veterinarians, animal control officers), should ask their doctor about receiving the PRE-exposure rabies vaccinations.

More information is available on the WI DHS website: dhs.wisconsin.gov/rabies and CDC website: cdc.gov/rabies



NSHD HEALTH HIGHLIGHTS 9/21/21: SEATBELT AND CAR SEAT SAFETY

In 2019, 611 Wisconsinites died in motor vehicle accidents. Among those statewide fatalities, 100 residents were from Milwaukee County.

Studies show that those who live in rural communities are less likely to wear a seatbelt when compared to urban residents.  No matter where you live, buckle up! Wearing a seatbelt reduces serious injuries and death in about 50% of motor vehicle accidents.   Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death among individuals aged 1 to 54 years.

Men are less likely to wear a seatbelt than women.  Passengers riding in the rear are less likely to wear a seatbelt than those in the front.  Individuals 18-24 are less likely to wear a seatbelt, with a higher passenger vehicle occupant death rate from motor vehicle accidents (12.6 per 100,000 Wisconsin residents compared to 10.3 per 100,000 nationwide).  88% of Wisconsin residents report wearing a seatbelt compared to the national average of 89% and average of neighboring states of over 90%.

Wear a seatbelt every time you get in the car, even on short trips.  Wearing a seatbelt sets a great example for younger adults and children, creating a lifelong habit of wearing a seatbelt. 

Buckle children in the rear middle seat, when possible, as this location in a passenger vehicle is the safest. Make sure you properly buckle children in their seat, booster seat or car set.  Children under the age of 12 should be in an age and size appropriate booster seat or car seat.

SCHEDULE A CAR SEAT INSTALLATION HERE


NSHD HEALTH HIGHLIGHTS 9/14/21: FALL PREVENTION

Next week is National Fall Prevention Week. Falls amongst older adults are a serious public health crisis, affecting one in four older adults each year. Wisconsin has one of the highest rates of death from unintentional falls in the nation. In fact, the death rate due to unintentional falls in Wisconsin is twice the national average. There are steps you can take to lower your risk of experiencing a fall

Six Steps to Prevent Falls:

  1. Find a good balance and exercise program. Take a Stepping on Fall Prevention Class: CLICK HERE
  2. Talk to your healthcare provider.
  3. Regularly review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist.
  4. Get your vision and hearing checked annually and update your eyeglasses.
  5. Keep your home safe.
  6. Talk to your family members.

For more information on fall prevention tips, click HERE.


NSHD HEALTH HIGHLIGHTS 9/07/21: SMOKE ALARMS

Fall and winter months mean more time indoors and sooner than we know it, we will be turning on the heat.  Being inside more provides us a good reminder to check smoke alarms in our homes.

Smoke alarms come in two different types. For the greatest protection, a dual sensor (ionization-photoelectric) smoke alarm, is recommended. Generally, an ionization smoke alarm is more responsive to flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke alarm is more responsive to smoldering fires. 

Install smoke alarms on each level of the home, including basement:

  • Install bedroom alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area.
  • For levels without bedrooms, install alarms in living spaces, near stairways or in both locations.
  • Install basement alarms on the ceiling, at the bottom of the stairs, leading to the next level.
  • Never paint or decorate smoke alarms, as it could prevent them from working.

Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.

  • If your smoke alarm battery is replaceable, replace the battery at least once a year.
  • Non-replaceable 10-year battery smoke alarms are designed to be effective for up to 10 years.
  • If the smoke alarm chirps:
    • If the alarm battery is replaceable, the chirp is a warning the battery is low and the battery should be replaced right away.
    • If the alarm battery is a non-replaceable 10-year battery, the chirp is a warning the batter is low and the entire smoke alarm should be replaced.

NSHD HEALTH HIGHLIGHTS 8/31/21: ELECTRONICS RECYCLING

Do you have old cell phones and other electronics in your home? Recently there were changes in Wisconsin recycling laws, and Wisconsinites may not realize that many electronics can no longer be put into the trash.  Electronic waste must be reused, recycled, or managed as hazardous waste.  Electronics, like cell phones, laptops, tablets, and TVs may contain materials, such as lead or mercury, that are considered hazardous.  These materials, if not recycled properly, may pollute the environment or harm human health if not correctly managed. Electronics also contain valuable materials that can be recovered through recycling of them, responsibly.

The following electronics can no longer be put in the trash in Wisconsin or sent to Wisconsin landfills and incinerators. These items should be reused, donated, or recycled.

  • TVs;
  • Computers (desktop, laptop, netbook and tablet computers);
  • Printers (including those that scan, fax and/or copy and 3-D printers);
  • Monitors;
  • Other computer accessories (including keyboards, mice, speakers, external hard drives and flash drives);
  • E-readers;
  • DVD players, VCRs and other video players (i.e., DVRs);
  • Fax machines;
  • Cell phones; and
  • Major appliances, including air conditioners, clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, stoves, ovens, dehumidifiers, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and microwave ovens.

Many other electronic items may be eligible for recycling. Check with your local electronic waste recycler to see what is accepted. 

How to recycle electronics in Wisconsin provides great resources on recycling electronics.

The DNR has put together an interactive E-Cycle Wisconsin registered collection sites map that allows residents and K-12 schools to find locations near them, accepting electronic waste for recycling.


NSHD HEALTH HIGHLIGHTS 8/24/21: BACK TO SCHOOL VACCINATIONS

Returning to school, means picking up crayons, pencils, paper, and other school supply list items, as well as, staying current on childhood vaccinations.

Five Important Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child

  1. Immunizations can save your child’s life.
  2. Vaccination is safe and effective.
  3. Immunizations protects others you care about.
  4. Immunizations can save your family time and money.
  5. Immunizations protects future generations.
  6. Childhood vaccinations protect children from complications of vaccine-preventable diseases.

The North Shore Health Department (NSHD) maintains an immunization program to prevent and control vaccine-preventable diseases. Under this program, NSHD provides immunizations to residents without medical insurance, to those on Medicaid and to those whose insurance does not cover vaccines. Please contact our office to check availability and make a vaccination appointment by calling 414-371-2980 or emailing:  nshd@nshealthdept.org.

Additionally, NSHD works with families, schools and daycare providers to ensure enrolled children are up-to-date on their immunizations and compliant with the Wisconsin Student Immunization Law. 


NSHD HIGHLIGHTS 08/17/2021: WISCONSIN BIRTH TO 3 PROGRAM

Every child learns and grows at their own pace. How a child plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves can show if they are reaching important developmental milestones. If you or your health and child care professionals notice the child is behind in their development, early intervention can help.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ Birth to 3 Program (https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/birthto3/index.htm) serves families with children under the age of 3 who have delays or disabilities. A team of professional service providers partners with families in the program to support growth and learning. Family culture, beliefs, and individualized outcomes help shape what and how services are provided. For more information about the program, refer to the Birth to 3 Program First 1,000 Days brochure (https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/library/p-02928.htm).

Partner with a team to support child development: When a child is found eligible for the Birth to 3 Program, your family is supported by a full team that helps the child learn, interact, and thrive at home, in child care, and during other everyday activities like going to the library, store, or park. The program team may include:

  • A service coordinator
  • Early childhood special education teacher
  • Speech, occupational, and/or physical therapist
  • Other professionals or service providers as necessary

One of these professional service providers will be the person who visits your home most often. They are called the “primary coach.”

Understand how the Birth to 3 Program can support you: The Birth to 3 Program supports you as the child’s first and best teacher. You will learn about:

  • Communicating the child’s needs.
  • Helping the child learn and grow.
  • Knowing and exercising your rights in the program.
  • Maintaining a healthy, early, and strong relationship with the child.

The primary coach can also answer questions about challenges you experience, give insight on activities, help you decide if technology or assistive aids might be a good fit, and more.

Contact your local county: If you think the Birth to 3 Program might be right for your family, or if your health care provider has recommended it, you can contact your county program for more information. They are there to answer your questions and help explore this option.


NSHD HIGHLIGHTS 08/10/2021: SAFE + SOUND WEEK

This week is Safe + Sound Week, which is recognized annually in August as a time to promote workplace health and safety. Staying safe and healthy at work is essential for achieving an overall healthy life. Workplace hazards, also called occupational hazards, can negatively influence a person’s quality of life.

Occupational hazards can exist in many forms:

  • Chemical exposures
  • Radiation
  • Loud noise
  • Long working hours, shift work, or irregular work schedules
  • Lifting, bending, and standing
  • Extreme heat and cold exposure
  • Physical stress or injury from repetitive motion
  • Vibration injuries

What can workers do to protect themselves from occupational hazards?

  • Understand your workplace exposures.
  • Ask your employer or your company's safety officer about the types of hazards for your specific job tasks and how you can stay safe while doing your job.
  • Know where the company Safety Data Sheets are located. These sheets may also be referred to as Material Data Safety Sheets or Product Data Safety Sheets.
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE) correctly.
  • Follow best safety and health practices.
  • Protect your home and family. Depending on your occupation, it might be beneficial to change clothes and shower before leaving work, keep work clothes out of the living areas of your house, and/or wash work clothes in separate laundry loads from your family's clothes.
  • More information is available on the WI DHS website: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/occupational-health/workers.htm

Safe + Sound Week is all about promoting safety and health programs at workplaces. Successful safety and health programs can proactively identify and manage workplace hazards before they cause injury or illness, improving sustainability and the bottom line.

Employers that currently provide workplace health and safety programs can be recognized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) during Safe + Sound Week. Visit their website to be recognized or to learn how to kickstart a new program at your business!

https://www.osha.gov/safeandsoundweek/

Additional information is available on The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) website about specific workplace hazards: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/default.html


NSHD HIGHLIGHTS 08/03/21: NATIONAL BREASTFEEDING MONTH

This year’s theme is Every Step of the Way, which highlights the shared vision of a world in which every family is supported to breastfeed at every step of their infant feeding journey.

  • Breastfeeding provides many health, nutritional, economic, and emotional benefits to both the mother and infant, including a reduced risk of certain health conditions for both. There are also significant benefits to the community, workplace and the environment. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. Continued breastfeeding, with the gradual addition of appropriate complementary foods, is recommended for the remainder of the first year and for as long as mother and child desire.
  • Breastfeeding is the best source of nutrition for most infants. Research has shown that being breastfed can lead to a healthier life for babies. The National Institute of Health lists many benefits of breast feeding, including:
    • Protection against many common infections
    • Nutritionally balanced meals
    • Better survival for the first year of life
  • In addition to these benefits, breast milk has also been found to include many nutrients, vitamins and antibodies which contribute to the development of everything from babies’ immune to digestive systems.

The North Shore Health Department provides newborn home visits by a Public Health Nurse who is also a Certified Lactation Counselor.

  • During this visit, the nurse/CLC discusses topics such as home safety, immunizations, nutrition, and healthy growth and development. Home visits provide the chance for new parents to ask questions and discuss newborn health and development. 
  • Call our office at 414-371-2980 to schedule a newborn home visit and/or lactation consultation.

The North Shore Health Department also recognizes childcare centers and workplaces as breastfeeding friendly establishments when these places meet certain criteria to support breastfeeding at their location.

More information is available on our website:


NSHD HIGHLIGHTS 07/27/21: MANAGING ASTHMA IN THE SUMMER HEAT

Asthma is a chronic lung condition in which airway inflammation occurs in response to various triggers, including allergens like pollen or mold, irritants like tobacco smoke or air pollution, viral infections, exercise, cold air and stress. This inflammation of the airways blocks airflow and can cause wheezing, chest tightness, cough, and shortness of breath.  

In Wisconsin, approximately half a million children and adults suffer from asthma. Summer weather presents particular challenges for those with asthma, as heat and humidity promote pollen, dust mites and mold, which are common allergy triggers. Ozone pollution is also worsened by heat, and this too can irritate airways and cause asthma flare-ups.   

Tips to manage your asthma this summer from WI Department of Health Services:  

  • Plan ahead: When temperatures soar, check the Air Quality Index  to find out if it's safe to spend time outdoors. Sign up or text or email health advisory alerts.
  • Be prepared: No matter the weather, have your asthma rescue medication with you, especially on hot days. You never know when asthma symptoms may strike, so always keep your inhaler and meds with you and don't leave them in a hot vehicle.  
  • Stay cool: Avoid strenuous activity in the heat of the day from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and stay indoors on unsafe air days in air conditioning if possible. If you must be outside, stay in the shade, take frequent breaks, and drink plenty of water. Exercise in early morning when air quality is better.  
  • Have an action plan: An asthma management plan (sometimes called an asthma action plan) can help you identify when your asthma is flaring up and what steps to take when that happens on hot days and year-round.  
  • Talk to your doctor – If you know your asthma is worse in the summer season or triggered by hot and humid weather, talk to your doctor about your asthma treatment and make sure it is right for you.  

As fall once again approaches, remember to get your flu shot! It is highly recommended that those with asthma to receive the flu vaccine each year. We provide flu shots at our department. Call 414-371-2980 for more information and watch for our flu clinic schedule on our website and social media.  


NSHD HIGHLIGHTS 07/20/21: ACCESSING YOUR VACCINATION RECORD

VACCINATION RECORDS: DO YOU KNOW HOW TO ACCESS YOUR VACCINATION RECORD?

COVID-19 vaccination cards contain the information needed to provide proof of vaccination. If the card is lost or additional vaccine history access is needed, the Wisconsin Immunization Registry, or WIR, is an alternative solution.

Vaccination card:

Your vaccination card has information on when and where you received your vaccine as well as other helpful information related to the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Keep your card in a safe place!
  • Take picture of your card with your phone so you always have the information with you.
  • When taking pictures or posting selfies about getting your COVID-19 vaccine, do not post photos of your vaccination card online to protect your health information.
  • Do not laminate your vaccination card.

You may also visit the Wisconsin Immunization Registry, Public Immunization Record Access webpage for a copy of your complete vaccine record.

If you lose your COVID-19 vaccination card:

The Department of Health Services (DHS) cannot issue replacement COVID-19 vaccination cards.

To access vaccine information:

  • Vaccinated in Wisconsin: If you received your vaccination in Wisconsin, access your entire vaccination record using the Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR).
    • If you have a social security number, Medicaid ID, or Health Care Member ID, you can access your record through the Public Immunization Record Access webpage
    • If you do not have one of these numbers, you can access your record one of two ways:
      • Option 1: Fill out the Wisconsin Immunization Registry Record Release Authorization, F-02487 and have your records sent to you.
      • Option 2: Ask the organization that vaccinated you to assign you a chart number in WIR. The chart number field is linked to the Health Care Member ID.
    • Then, visit the Public Immunization Record Access webpage and enter the chart number assigned to you in the Health Care Member ID field.

Vaccinated out of state: If you received your vaccination in another state, visit that state’s department of health website to search their vaccine registry.


NSHD HIGHLIGHTS 07/13/21: UV AWARENESS

Wear sunscreen every day, as part of your daily routine. 

To reduce exposure to harmful sunrays:

  • Apply sunscreen 365 days of the year. 
  • Reapply every 2 hours, or more if sweating or in the water.
  • Look for a sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection and SPF of at least 15 (SPF30 is recommended).
  • Wear sunglasses and a hat if in the sun.
  • Seek the shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

When are UV rays at their strongest?

  • Time of day: between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Season: strongest in spring and summer but still powerful in fall and winter.
  • Latitude & Altitude: the closer you are to the equator or higher in elevation, the more powerful UV rays are, having less distance to travel.
  • Ozone: while the ozone layer helps filter out UV rays, due to a thinning ozone layer, UV intensity is increasing. 
  • Clouds: different types of clouds can filter out some UV rays, such a dark, water-filled clouds, but you can still be exposed to UV rays on cloudy days.
  • Reflection: Many know that water and sand increase UV exposure, but snow and pavement are also reflective.

Overexposure from UV rays can damage our skin:

  • Most skin cancers are associated with UVA and UVB rays.
  • UV rays can cause skin to visibly age (wrinkles), prematurely.
  • Sunburn is a sign of overexposure, appearing immediately or within a few hours.
  • UVA impacts cells deeper in the skin’s layers while UVB impacts outer layers.

NSHD HIGHLIGHTS 07/13/21: FALL PREVENTION 

Summer is a great time to be outside and active in Wisconsin as time spent outdoors can have significant health benefits.  However, it is important to consider safety precautions related to time spent outdoors, as nearly 50% of falls among older adults occur outside.

Practical Tips

  • Be aware of your surroundings, particularly any changes in surface or elevation. Try to take a more level path when able.
  • Make sure to use good footwear! Shoes with a slip-resistant sole, full back, and low heel are ideal for walking outside.
  • Make sure to have sunglasses to maintain vision in sunny conditions and ensure adequate lighting in the early morning and evenings.
  • Make sure to have plenty of water on-hand, and take rest breaks as needed to manage fatigue.

For more information and resources, read the entire Tip of the Month on our website at: https://www.mcfpc.net/resources


NSHD HIGHLIGHTS 07/06/21: ALCOHOL AWARENESS

Binge drinking and underage drinking increases during summer months.

While most people who drink are not alcoholics, but it is important to share, alcoholism is a progressive disease and binge drinking can lead to mental and physical alcohol dependence over time.  Higher levels of alcohol use can contribute to hard to heavy drinking patterns that extend long into the future. Many people, especially women, are reporting higher levels of alcohol consumption during the pandemic. Alcohol use is steadily increasing in Wisconsin; the increase in consumption may lead to, for some, binge drinking habits and other alcohol related risks.  Wisconsin culture is known for bringing people together via cookouts, fairs, festivals, and tailgating. Drinking at these events is common, providing ample opportunity for adults and teenagers, to consume alcohol. 

  • Binge Drinking:
    • Men: drinking more than 5 drinks in one sitting/occasion
    • Women: drinking more than 4 drinks in one sitting/occasion
  • Heavy Drinking:
    • Men: more than 2 drinks a day
    • Women: more than 1 drink a day

If you do drink, designate a driver, or grab a safe ride.

Talk early and often with your teen about drinking, including the dangers, health risks and strategies to avoid peer pressure. Underage drinking, early in life, can increase the likelihood of prescription drugs & opioids by young people.

Do a gut check. If you or your teens drinking pattern falls into one of the definitions above or is of concern, listen to your gut, and reach out for professional help.

People struggling with alcohol use, or whose loved ones are struggling, can call tollfree, a free and confidential service staffed by trained specialists, who can offer information on local treatment services:

Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline at 833-944-4673

The more alcohol you drink, the higher your cancer risks.

It is important to note that all types of alcoholic drinks (beer, cocktails, liquor, wine) have been linked with cancer; according to the CDC drinking alcohol raises your risk of getting six (6) kinds of cancer:

  • Breast Cancer (in women)
  • Liver
  • Mouth and throat
  • Voicebox (larynx)
  • Esophagus
  • Colon and rectum

Why are alcohol and cancer linked? Our bodies break down the alcohol we drink, down into acetaldehyde, a chemical that damages DNA and prevents our bodies from repairing damaged cells. DNA controls a cell’s normal growth and function; DNA is our cells instruction manual. When DNA is damaged and the body cannot repair it, cells can start growing out of control and create a cancer tumor.


NSHD HIGHLIGHTS 06/29/21: FALL PREVENTION TIP OF THE MONTH: OUTDOOR FUN WITHOUT FALLS

Summer is a great time to be outside and active in Wisconsin as time spent outdoors can have significant health benefits.  However, it is important to consider safety precautions related to time spent outdoors, as nearly 50% of falls among older adults occur outside.

Practical Tips

  • Be aware of your surroundings, particularly any changes in surface or elevation. Try to take a more level path when able.
  • Make sure to use good footwear! Shoes with a slip-resistant sole, full back, and low heel are ideal for walking outside.
  • Make sure to have sunglasses to maintain vision in sunny conditions and ensure adequate lighting in the early morning and evenings.
  • Make sure to have plenty of water on-hand, and take rest breaks as needed to manage fatigue.

For more information and resources, read the entire Tip of the Month on our website at: https://www.mcfpc.net/resources

FALL PREVENTION CLASS: NSHD is facilitating a Stepping On Fall Prevention Class from August 26 to October 7 at The Shul in Bayside. It is a 7-week course (2-hour session each week) and is open to those 60+ who live independently. Please call NSHD at 414-371-2980 to register. 


NSHD HIGHLIGHTS 06/22/21: LGBTQIA+ YOUTH

IMPROVING QUALITY OF LIFE FOR LGBTQIA+ YOUTH

This June marks the 51st celebration of PRIDE month, a month-long celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community. 

The Office of Children’s Mental Health announced a new fact sheet, Improving Quality of Life for LGBT Youth, that can help communities, schools, parents, and policymakers to take action and make a difference.

Here are some highlights from the fact sheet, Improving Quality of Life for LGBT Youth:

  • Often a result of discrimination, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) youth experience higher rates of mental health disorders. Many LGBT youth have limited or no access to mental health care.
  • 46.7% of LGBT youth report experiencing dating or sexual violence.
  • 43.8% of LGBT youth report experiencing bullying.
  • 42% of Wisconsin’s transgender or nonbinary youth considered suicide and 20% attempted suicide.
  • Using a youth’s chosen name reduces suicide attempts by 65% and depression symptoms by 71%. Youth who had their pronouns used correctly by others most or all the time had lower rates of suicide attempts compared to those who did not.

Schools and communities can connect and engage LGBT youth and allies through safe space organizations and clubs and fostering partnerships that value diversity and inclusion.

  • Hope Squad, a peer-to-peer school-based suicide prevention program, has many chapters in local schools, but there is more opportunities among area schools.
  • Sources of Strength is an organization that can provide, through training, supporting and empowering peer leaders and caring adults, evidence-based prevention for suicide, violence, bullying and substance abuse.
  • The Trevor Project, founded in 1998, is the leading national organization for crisis intervention and suicide prevention to LGBTQIA+ under 25.
  • GLAAD, founded in 1985, is a LGBTQIA+ community leader for change and acceptance with many great educational resources.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  1-800-273-8255

For more information and help:


NSHD HIGHLIGHTS 06/15/21: BOATING SAFETY

TIPS FOR BOAT AND WATER SAFETY THIS SUMMER ON OUR LOCAL WATERWAYS.

According to the American Boating Assocation, in 2019 there were 4,168 accidents, 2,559 injuries and 633 deaths attributed to recreational boating.

  • Alcohol was responsible for 23% of these events.
  • Drowning, where cause of death was known, was responsible for 79% of deaths.
  • Of those deaths, 86% were not wearing a life jacket.

Drowning can happen very quickly: only taking about 60 seconds for an adult and 30 seconds for a child to drown.

Boat and Water Safety

Great Lakes water levels are low but will rise before peaking during the summer. Watch out for rip currents and waves; the danger increases with active weather conditions and high-water levels. Use caution around piers and breakwaters.

On land or in the water, these tips will help you and others enjoy the water safely:

  • Check the weather before you go!
  • Before every trip perform a safety check of the vessel and have all U.S. Coast Guard required equipment on board.
  • Everyone needs to wear a life jacket.
    • Make sure children wear the right size jacket and meet safety requirements.
    • Check the “expiration date”: over time the materials breakdown and do not help a person float as easily, requiring periodic replacement.
  • Be knowledgeable about your swimming abilities: “stray dry when waves are high!” Swimming in natural waters (lake, river, pond) is different from pools. Waves, currents, and exhaustion in natural water could have you fighting for your life.
  • Be cautious when enjoying the waterways, on land and water:
    • Be aware of structures: “be safe and steer clear of the pier.”
    • Stay clear of off-limits areas, like rocks, which could be slippery.
    • Alcohol and water are a deadly combination; caloric labyrinthitis is more likely to happen when consuming alcohol (an inner ear condition that causes you to become disoriented when underwater and not know which way is up!)
    • Understand Boater’s hypnosis: condition brought on a day of boating (effects of sun, wind, noise, vibration, and motion), that can slow reaction time near being legally intoxicated.

For more information, visit The Army Corps of Engineers’ Water Safety.


NSHD HIGHLIGHTS 06/08/21: SUMMER HEAT AWARENESS

RESIDENTS ARE REMINDED TO STAY COOL, HYDRATED, AND INFORMED WHEN TEMPERATURES SOAR

The Department of Health Services, reminds Wisconsinites that during summer, residents could experience extreme heat days. For a safe summer, of the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness and to take steps to prevent getting sick.

In 2020, summer heat temperatures contributed to:

  • 689 people went to the emergency department
  • 67 people were hospitalized
  • Seven people died in Wisconsin due to heat-related causes.
  • Emergency department visits were highest among younger populations aged 15-34
  • Hospitalizations were most frequent among those aged 65 and older.

Follow these tips to stay cool on hot days:

  • Stay in air conditioning. 
  • Check on loved ones. 
  • Avoid the hottest part of the day. 
  • Beware of hot cars. 
  • Stay hydrated. 
  • Stay informed. 
  • Remember that anyone can get sick from the heat. 

Possible symptoms of heat illness:

  • Overheated
  • Weak
  • Dizzy
  • Nauseated
  • Muscle cramps

Move to air conditioning, drink water, get under a fan, and put on cool washcloths. If your symptoms worsen or don’t improve, go to the emergency room.

For more information, visit the heat safety page on the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website and watch our heat safety video.


NSHD HIGHLIGHTS 05/18/21: CORRECT POSTURE

MAY IS CORRECT POSTURE MONTH. 

There is no one size fits all perfect posture, but we can take steps to improve our posture.  

Healthy posture helps the spine be strong and stable and the body walk, stand and lie in positions that put it in the least amount of strain. Slouching and stooping can lead to back pain, headaches, and other problems, as the body strains to keep balance. 

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) advises posture can be improved through posture awareness, healthy movement strategies and proper ergonomics. Improving and maintaining good posture can help prevent injury. 

The Mayo Clinic recommends 

  1. Build core strength and stretch. 
  2. Download posture apps for your smart phone. 
  3. Keep checking your posture throughout the day.
  • Ways to improve posture (Visit the link for a more complete listing): 
    • Standing posture 
      • Hold your chest high, relax your shoulders and keep them back. 
      • Balance your weight on both feet. 
      • Keep your feet parallel. 
    • Walking posture 
      • Hold your head high. 
      • Straighten and avoid arching your back. 
      • Look forward, not down and keep your chin parallel to the ground. 
    • Lying posture 
      • Search for a mattress that is right for you. 
      • Use a pillow when you sleep. 

NSHD HIGHLIGHTS 05/11/21: MOTORCYCLE SAFETY AWARENESS

Ride safe, and remember, readiness through safety. #SeeMotorcycles #sharetheroad

With summer quickly approaching and traffic returning to pre-pandemic levels in many areas, it is a good idea to review motorcycle safety awareness.    

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has a library filled with educational materials, including booklets, fact sheets, and videos, for both drivers and riders.  

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has put together Tips for drivers and riders to help in sharing the road safely.

FOR DRIVERS

  • Take an extra moment to look for motorcycles. a turn.
  • Predict a motorcycle is closer than it looks.
  • Keep a safe distance.
  • Understand lane shifting.
  • See the person.

FOR RIDERS

  • Be visible.
  • But pretend you are invisible.
  • Gear up every ride.
  • Use good street strategies.
  • Before you ride, check over your bike.

NSHD HIGHLIGHTS 05/03/21: BREATHING EASIER

MAY IS BREATHE EASY, CLEAN AIR AND NATIONAL ASTHMA AND ALLERGY AWARENESS MONTH

Lung diseases and conditions, clean air, asthma, and allergies all contribute to residents breathing easier.

  • 512,000 Wisconsin residents are asthmatic (1 in 12 children, 1 in 11 adults) and across the Untied States 32 million people have been diagnosed with asthma at some time.
  • In Wisconsin, 1 in 3 high school students with asthma and 1 in 5 middle school students with asthma have tried e-cigarettes.
  • Asthma can lead to missed work, school, and activities.
    • In Wisconsin, 1 in 3 children have missed school and 1 in 4 adults have missed work or usual activities.
    • In the past year 12 million people of the 22 million in the US who currently have asthma, have experienced an episode of asthma or attack.

Spring often means pollen allergies for many residents.  If your asthma is triggered by pollen allergies, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services suggests keeping your asthma well-controlled by:

  • Taking medications regularly as directed by your doctor.
  • Staying indoors with windows closed on high pollen days.
  • Changing your clothes and taking a shower after spending time outdoors

Indoor allergies can also affect our ability to breathe easy.  They can be biological or chemical.

Mold can contribute to your ability to breathe easier with mold spores all around, indoors and outdoors.  

To protect your lungs the American Lung Association advises:

  • If you smoke, quit and if not, don’t start
  • Avoid exposure to indoor pollutants that can damage lungs
  • Minimize exposure to outdoor pollutants
  • Prevent infections and get vaccinated
  • See your medical provider for regular check ups
  • Exercise: exercise and lung health
  • Breathe easier exercises

Wisconsin Department of Health Services has an Asthma Control Program for those with uncontrolled asthma who qualify.   To learn more about managing your asthma visit WDHS Asthma care: your guide to managing asthma or CDC Learn how to control asthma


NSHD HIGHLIGHTS 04/26/21: APRIL 24-MAY 1 IS WORLD IMMUNIZATION WEEK AND NATIONAL INFANT IMMUNIZATION WEEK  

Stay on track with your child’s vaccinations. 

It is important to protecting children two years and younger from vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) and stay on track with your children’s well-child visits and recommended vaccinations. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that children stay on track with their well-child appointments and routine vaccinations – even during COVID-19.  

Vaccinating your child according to the recommended immunization schedule gives him or her the best protection against 14 serious childhood illnesses — like measles and whooping cough — before the age of 2. According to the CDC: 

  • Vaccines have drastically reduced infant deaths and disability caused by preventable disease in the U.S. 
  • Through immunization, we can now protect infants and children from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases before age two. 
  • Routine childhood immunization among children born from 1994-2018 will prevent: 
    • an estimated 419 million illnesses, 
    • 8 million hospitalizations, and 
    • 936,000 early deaths over the course of their lifetimes. 

You can review the 2021 easy-to-read immunization schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

For more information about vaccines and the diseases they prevent, visit these resources: 

If you have questions about vaccines, talk to your child’s doctor. 


NSHD HIGHLIGHTS 04/12/21: SPRING STORMS PREPAREDNESS REMINDER

Spring is here, and for Wisconsin, it can bring an increase in storms and power outages.

The CDC suggests advance planning for storms with emergency kits in your home and car, including:

  • evacuation and shelter plans
  • extra blankets, jackets, and clothing
  • first aid kits
  • battery-operated flashlight
  • battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio
  • extra batteries for both

Visit the CDC for more ways to prepare for spring weather.

Outdoor sirens, NOAA radio and local TV and radio, wireless emergency alerts can all be stormy weather reporting resources.

Active alerts from Weather.gov can be found here.

Keep your food safe in the event of a power outage by using the coldest setting, grouping food together in the freezer, and keeping refrigerator doors closed.

Visit Foodsafety.gov for guidance on when to save it and when to toss it out.


HIGHLIGHTS 04/07/21: 04/05-04/09 APHA NATIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH WEEK!

THANK YOU TO NORTH SHORE HEALTH DEPARTMENT STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS!

Serving the residents of the Villages of Bayside, Brown Deer, Fox Point, River Hills, Shorewood, and Whitefish Bay and the City of Glendale. staff and volunteers of the North Shore Health Department have worked tirelessly the past year to help mitigate and prevent the spread of COVID-19.


THE NORTH SHORE HEALTH DEPARTMENT is a Level III health department. This is the highest designation in Wisconsin.

Preventing and Controlling Diseases

  • Disease Investigations
  • Disease Cases
  • Adult Health Screenings
  • Immunizations and TB Skin Tests

Keeping the Environment Healthy

  • Beach Water Testing
  • Lead Level Screening
  • North Shore Environmental Health Consortium
  • Mosquito and West Nile Surveillance
  • Animal Bite Investigations
  • Health Hazard Contacts/Complaints

Grant Supported Work

  • Beach Health
  • Cities Readiness/Public Health Preparedness
  • Food Safety
  • Immunization
  • Lead
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Pedestrian Safety

Community health focuses on 4 areas: mental & emotional wellbeing, preventing substance abuse, injury prevention across the lifespan, physical activity, and nutrition.

To learn more about APHA National Public Health Week: http://www.nphw.org/


HIGHLIGHTS 03/17/21: THE THIRD WEDNESDAY IN MARCH IS KICK BUTTS DAY!

FAST FACTS ABOUT SMOKING:

  1. Smoking is the cause of 1 in 5 deaths in the US annually.[1] This equals approximately 480,000 people.[2]
  2. Approximately 8.6 million Americans have a serious illness caused by smoking.[2]
  3. Smokers are at greater risk for lung diseases (COPD, emphysema and chronic bronchitis), heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.[3]
  4. In 2019, 34 million or 14% of American adults, 18 and over, were current smokers.[3]
  5. E-cigarettes contain nicotine [4]; 45% of Wisconsin high schoolers have reported trying vaping/juul/e-cigarettes.[5]
  6. North Shore municipalities prohibit electronic smoking devices and vaping in indoor spaces.
  7. The Village of Shorewood prohibits smoking at Atwater Park, including the beach.

SMOKING CESSATION RESOURCES FROM THE CDC:

If you are ready to quit:

  • Call a Quit Line Coach (1-800-QUIT-NOW)
  • Talk to a healthcare professional.
  • For information about quitting smoking, visit CDC.gov/quit.

Different sources of support:

  • SmokefreeTXT: To sign up, text QUIT to 47848.
  • Get connected CDCTobaccoFree
  • quitSTART app

TO LEARN MORE: CLICK HERE


NSDH HIGHLIGHTS 1/19/21: COVID-19 VACCINATIONS AT MEIJER

Register here: https://clinic.meijer.com/

The Meijer COVID-19 Vaccination Registration Process:

When they have vaccines available, Meijer will text an invite link to you with available clinic dates and times that you are able to sign up for.

Many COVID-19 vaccines are a two-dose series. To get the full benefit of a two-dose vaccine, it is important that both doses are given at the correct time. After you receive the first shot, you’ll automatically be invited back to a second clinic to get the second dose.

About dose availability:

Vaccines will be prioritized based on state and national guidelines as they become available.

COVID-19 vaccines are not recommended for anyone under age 16 years.

Meijer Pharmacy locations will receive the vaccine at different times based on what public health officials decide for the needs of our communities.

We recommend you pre-register so we can notify you if we are able to provide you with the vaccine.


NSHD HIGHLIGHTS 01/12/21: SNOWMOBILERS - THINK SMART BEFORE YOU START

Snowmobile & Ice Safety Tips from The Wisconsin DNR

With winter officially in full swing in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds snowmobilers that safety is key for the best ride.  Snowmobiling got off to a deadly start last year. There were 19 snowmobile fatalities between January and March 2020, three of those involving someone under the age of 18."Most snowmobile crashes are preventable. Alcohol, excess speed, driver inexperience and operator error are the leading causes of snowmobile fatalities," said DNR Conservation Warden Lt. Martin Stone. "Safety is an important part of the ride. Make sure to brush up on safety rules and regulations before you head out this winter."

There is no such thing as 100% safe ice. Snowmobilers cannot judge ice's strength by factors like appearance, age, thickness or temperature, especially when the ice is snow-covered. Before heading out, snowmobilers are encouraged to contact local fishing clubs, snowmobile clubs or outfitters to inquire about ice conditions, as the DNR does not monitor these conditions.

Any person who is at least 12 years old and born on or after Jan. 1, 1985 is required to have a valid Snowmobile Safety Certificate to operate a snowmobile in most areas. Operators must carry the certificate while riding and display it to a law enforcement officer when requested. More snowmobile regulations are available here: https://widnr.widen.net/s/gmes43nhcy

Think smart before you start this season by following these tips:

  • Don't drink and ride.
  • Stay on marked trails and routes. Do not travel in unfamiliar areas.
  • Always stay to the right side of the trail, especially in corners. The trails are public; never ride like there is no one else coming.
  • Always come to a complete stop at all stop signs and road crossings and yield to motor vehicle traffic. When stopped, look both ways and cross only when it is safe.
  • Always wear your helmet and safety gear.
  • Use extra caution at night. When traveling at night, operate at reasonable speeds as to not overdrive what headlights can illuminate, such as trail markers or hazards. Remember that there is a 55 mph speed limit at night.
  • Travel with a friend, carry a cell phone and let people know where you are going and when you'll return home.
  • Dress appropriately and carry a first-aid kit and navigation tools.
  • Take a snowmobile safety course. Visit the DNR Safety Education webpage for details and to locate a class or take an online course - https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/Education/OutdoorSkills/safetyEducation

More information: https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Snowmobile


NSHD HIGHLIGHTS 01/05/21: CERVICAL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

Each year more than 13,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer, and globally there were 570,000 new cases of cervical cancer in 2018. Cervical cancer is preventable with vaccination and appropriate screening.

Screening: It is recommended that women have regular screenings starting at age 21. Two screening tests can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early:

1. The Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for precancers, cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately.

2. The HPV test looks for the virus (human papillomavirus) that can cause these cell changes.

More information on screening: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/cervical/basic_info/screening.htm

Vaccination: The HPV vaccine protects against the types of HPV that most often cause cervical and other cancers. HPV vaccination is recommended for preteens aged 11 to 12 years but can be given starting at age 9. The vaccine also is recommended for everyone through age 26 years if they are not vaccinated already.

Wisconsin Well Woman Program (WWWP) –The WWWP provides preventive health screening services to women with little or no health insurance coverage. Call (608) 266-8311 to find out if you qualify for screening services through WWWP.  

More information on cervical cancer from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/cervical/



NORTH SHORE HEALTH DEPARTMENT HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 2020

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 12/29/20: HEALTHY MKE - A RESOURCE FOR COVID-19 VACCINE INFORMATION

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Milwaukee County’s Office of Emergency Management created the Unified Emergency Operations Center (UEOC) to coordinate efforts among fire, law enforcement, EMS, public health and government functions across the county and its municipalities. Their website, Healthy MKE (www.healthymke.com/register), is a resource for general information about the COVID-19 vaccine in Milwaukee County, and allows providers and organizations in need of vaccine to register.

Registration is available for organizations that are able to provide COVID-19 vaccine and need to be linked with an organization that is searching for the vaccine. Organizations that need to be connected to a COVID-19 vaccine provider can also register. Community members residing in Milwaukee County can register to receive COVID-19 vaccine updates. This does not mean you are registering to be vaccinated, but you will receive updates on the vaccination efforts in Milwaukee County.

Healthy MKE COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ: https://www.healthymke.com/covid19-vaccine-faqs

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 12/22/20: BE PREPARED TO STAY SAFE AND HEALTHY IN THE WINTER 

Winter in Wisconsin brings the potential for extremely cold temperatures and winter storms. By planning ahead, you can be better prepared for wintery conditions to keep yourself and your family safe and healthy.

Prepare your home for the winter:

  • Winterize your home and clean out gutters and repair roof leaks.
  • Check your heating system to make sure that it is clean, working properly, and ventilated to the outside. Also inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys and have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.
  • Make sure you have a working smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector.

Get your vehicle ready for winter:

  • Service the radiator and maintain antifreeze level.
  • Check your tires’ tread or, if necessary, replace tires with all-weather or snow tires.
  • Keep the gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
  • Use a wintertime formula in your windshield washer.
  • Prepare a winter emergency kit to keep in your car in case you become stranded.

Be prepared for weather-related emergencies, including power outages.

  • Stock food that needs no cooking or refrigeration and water stored in clean containers.
  • Ensure that your cell phone is fully charged.
  • When planning travel, be aware of current and forecast weather conditions.
  • Keep an up-to-date emergency kit: https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather
  • Check on your neighbors, especially elderly individuals.

Take Precautions Outdoors:

  • Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: wear a tightly woven, preferably wind-resistant coat or jacket; inner layers of light, warm clothing; mittens; hats; scarves; and waterproof boots.
  • Sprinkle cat litter or sand on icy patches.
  • Work slowly when doing outside chores.
  • Take a buddy and an emergency kit when you are participating in outdoor recreation.
  • Carry a cell phone.

Read more on preparing for winter: https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/features/winterweather/index.html

Wisconsin DHS Winter Safety: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/climate/winter-weather.htm

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 12/15/20: WINTER HOLIDAYS

The safest way to celebrate winter holidays is to celebrate at home with the people you live with. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others, as traveling and/or gathering with others increases the risk of spreading COVID-19 or the flu.

Ways we can all make winter holidays safer:

  • Wear a mask - Wear your mask over your nose and mouth, secure it under your chin, and make sure it fits snugly against the sides of your face.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you. Indoors or outdoors, you are more likely to get or spread COVID-19 when you are in close contact with others for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
  • Avoid crowds and indoors spaces that do not offer fresh air from the outdoors as much as possible. If indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing and before eating.
  • Get a flu shot as soon as possible – vaccinefinder.org

If you plan to host or attend a gathering, there are things you can do to reduce the risk of transmission.

  • Have conversations with the host ahead of time to understand expectations for celebrating together. Remember, the shorter the time spent together and the less people, the better!
  • Choose to have a small, outdoor celebration with family and friends who live in your community, weather-permitting.
  • If celebrating indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible.
  • Wear a mask indoors and outdoors.
  • Avoid shouting or singing.
  • Stay home if you are sick or have been near someone who thinks they may have or have been exposed to COVID-19.

Alternative holiday celebrations:

  • Host a virtual celebration with friends and family! Schedule a time to eat a meal together virtually and have people show their main dish, vegetable, or dessert, or host a virtual “ugly” holiday sweater contest.
  • Schedule virtual holiday activities, like opening gifts together, building gingerbread houses, decorating cookies, or making holiday crafts and decorations.
  • Decorate or create a winter holiday scene and take family photos at home.
  • Drive or walk around your community to look at decorations from a safe distance or drive through a local holiday light display.
  • Make holiday crafts, cards, or cookies to send or deliver to family, friends, and neighbors in a way that does not involve contact with others, such as leaving them at the door.

More information is available on the CDC website: Winter Holidays | CDC

 

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 12/08/20: DECEMBER IS NATIONAL DRUNK & DRUGGED DRIVING PREVENTION MONTH

The time between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day is described as “one of the deadliest and most dangerous times on America’s roadways due to an increase in impaired driving”. This observance is a reminder to encourage and practice sober driving. Accidents caused by driving under the influence are preventable. In Wisconsin between 2009-2018, 1,928 people died as a result of alcohol-impaired driving.  Here are tips to remind you or loved ones how to stay safe:

  • Plan ahead and designate a sober driver and arrange for an alternate route home just in case
  • Talk to your loved ones and remind them of the importance of being responsible and safe
  • If you are hosting, offer non-alcoholic options for guests as an alternative to alcoholic drinks

For more prevention information visit: https://www.cdc.gov/transportationsafety/impaired_driving/index.html

Wisconsin Substance Abuse Prevention: Substance Use: Partner/Provider Resources | Wisconsin Department of Health Services

National Drunk & Drugged Driving Prevention Month: NATIONAL DRUNK AND DRUGGED DRIVING PREVENTION MONTH - December 2020 | National Today

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 12/01/20: WORLD AIDS DAY

World AIDS Day is a time for remembrance and renewed commitment to end the HIV epidemic. It is an opportunity for communities and people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate people who have died.

The year 2020 marks 40 years since the first cases of AIDS were reported in the United States, an epidemic that has led to nearly 700,000 U.S. lives lost and still no cure four decades later. Today, the HIV epidemic continues to grow:

  • Globally, over 38 million people are living with HIV, including over 36 million adults and approximately 1.8 million children.
  • Nearly 1.1 million people in the US are living with HIV and 1 in 7 people do not know they are infected.
  • Approximately 7,900 people are living with HIV in Wisconsin, including over 6,740 individuals reported with HIV and presumed to be aware, as well as 1,100 individuals who are estimated to be unaware that they have HIV.

There are many resources available today to prevention transmission of HIV: Prevention | HIV Basics | HIV/AIDS | CDC

Let’s Stop HIV Together Campaign - Information on testing, prevention, treatment & more: Home | Let's Stop HIV Together | CDC

Wisconsin HIV Program: Wisconsin HIV Program | Wisconsin Department of Health Services

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 11/24/20: PANCREATIC CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

Over 57,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2020. Pancreatic cancer is the 9th most diagnosed cancer in women and 10th most diagnosed in men.  Roughly 10% of pancreatic cancers are hereditary, but many diagnosed cases are considered random. Not much is known about the causes of pancreatic cancer, however some common risk factors include:

  • Immediate relative diagnosed with pancreatic cancer or family history
  • Chronic and hereditary pancreatitis
  • Smoking
  • Greater than 60 years in age
  • A diet high in red meat or processed meats
  • Obesity
  • High alcohol consumption
  • Environmental factors

Signs and symptoms:

  • Pain, usually in abdomen/back
  • Weight loss
  • Jaundice
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Change in Stool
  • Pancreatitis
  • Recent onset of Diabetes
  • Fatigue

Learn more about signs and symptoms here.

Visit the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network at pancan.org for more information on risk, signs/symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 11/7/20: STILL TIME TO GET YOUR FLU SHOT!

During the 2019-2020 flu season, there were 36,175 cases of the flu in Wisconsin. Of these, there were 4,425 flu-related hospitalizations and 183 deaths, including three children. With both COVID-19 and influenza spreading this season, it is important to receive a flu vaccine to protect yourself and your community. Getting vaccinated can prevent you from getting severely ill and keep health care resources available to those with COVID-19 - a respiratory virus that unlike the flu does not yet have an effective vaccine.

These groups are at higher risk of having severe complications due to flu:

  • Young children
  • Pregnant women
  • People 65 years of age and older
  • People with chronic health conditions, such as asthma or heart disease

Although it is especially important that people in these groups get vaccinated to decrease their risk of severe flu illness, it is very important that healthy 5-64 year olds get vaccinated too, since they are most likely to spread influenza and can still get complications from flu.

The North Shore Health Department has $10 flu shots and flu mist for those 18 and under available through November. We also have flu vaccines available for adults. Cost: $40 for quadrivalent, $45 for preservative free quadrivalent, and $70 for high-dose (limited quantity). We accept payment by cash or check and are also able to bill Medicare and some private insurance (call for details).

You must make an appointment to get a flu vaccine this year. Please call 414-371-2980.

Influenza in Wisconsin: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/influenza/index.htm

Vaccine Finder: https://vaccinefinder.org/find-vaccine 

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 11/17/20: NATIONAL LUNG CANCER AWARENESS

Lung cancer is the leading cause of death among all cancers. Lung cancer happens when the cells in the lung change (mutate) and grow uncontrollably/cluster together to form a tumor.  In 2020 alone, the American Cancer Society estimates that 4,290 Wisconsinites were diagnosed with new cases of lung cancer and 2,690 have died from the disease. 

Risk factors:

  • Smoking is the greatest risk factor associated with lung cancer
  • Genetic factors
  • Other risks include breathing in dangerous/toxic substances, or exposure to radon gas/air pollution

Signs and Symptoms:

Many people don’t have symptoms until later stages of the disease, until the cancer has spread to other areas of the body, as the lungs have no nerve endings. However, when symptoms do present they can look like:

  • Cough – doesn’t go away and gets worse over time
  • Hoarseness
  • Constant chest pain
  • Shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Frequent lung infections
  • Coughing up Blood

If you are concerned about your risk for lung cancer or want to learn more, visit lung.org/lung-cancer

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 11/10/20: NATIONAL DIABETES MONTH

NSHD Highlights 11/10/20: National Diabetes Month

Over 517,000 Wisconsin residents suffer from diabetes and many others may have the disease and not be aware. It is estimated that one out of every three children born after 2000 in the United States will be directly affected by diabetes, and by 2050, one in three American adults will have diabetes.

In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin, which is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, everyone can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives. More on type 1 diabetes: https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/type-1

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes—and it means that your body doesn’t use insulin properly. While some people can control their blood sugar levels with healthy eating and exercise, others may need medication or insulin to help manage it. More on type 2 diabetes: https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/type-2

In Wisconsin, 1 in 3 adults has prediabetes, which is the precursor to type 2 diabetes. In prediabetes, blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. To understand your risk level, take the type 2 diabetes online risk test: https://www.diabetes.org/risk-test. If you have prediabetes, remember that it doesn’t mean you’ll develop type 2, particularly if you follow a treatment plan and make changes to your lifestyle through food choices and physical activity.

Steps to prevent type 2 diabetes:

Information about diabetes from the American Diabetes Association: https://www.diabetes.org/

Diabetes and genetics: https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/genetics-diabetes

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 11/203/20: WI HEALTH INSURANCE OPEN ENROLLMENT

Find affordable health insurance in Wisconsin during the open enrollment period from November 1 to December 15.

There are many reasons why you should have health insurance coverage:

  • Having health insurance is important for your health and finances. Get protection from unexpected medical costs and worst-case scenarios.
  • Stay healthy with free preventive care, like flu shots, cancer screenings, and tests for high blood pressure.
  • Save money on prescription drugs.
  • Get coverage for mental health and substance use disorder services. 

WI DHS Open Enrollment: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/getcovered/index.htm

Health Insurance Options: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/getcovered/options.htm

Covering Wisconsin helps connect Wisconsin residents with appropriate insurance coverage and other programs that support health. Learn more about the services they provide on their website: https://www.coveringwi.org/.

They have an online Health Insurance Connector Tool on their website to help people find local agencies that have health insurance enrollment assisters: https://www.coveringwi.org/enroll. The Connector Tool only lists those who provide enrollment assistance:

  • At no-cost to the consumer
  • For both Healthcare.gov and BadgerCare Plus
  • To the general public (not only clients/patients)
  NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 10/27/20: WORLD STROKE DAY IS OCTOBER 29TH

Stroke is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. 1 in 4 adults will have a stroke in their lifetime. The good news – up to 90% of strokes could be prevented. The main risk factors for stroke include hypertension, diet, smoking and exercise. Improvement in these areas can greatly reduce your individual risk of stroke, and on a population level there is the potential to reduce stroke, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and other major causes of death and disease.

More on stroke risk factors: Click Here

Steps you can take to help prevent stroke:

  • Monitor your blood pressure.
  • Control your cholesterol.
  • Keep your blood sugar down.
  • Get active.
  • Make healthy food choices.
  • Get to a healthy body weight.
  • Don't smoke, period.
  • Take medications, such as aspirin, as prescribed. Aspirin is not appropriate for everyone, so be sure to talk to your doctor.

Anyone can suffer from a stroke. It is important to know the signs of stroke so you know what to do if someone around you is experiencing a stroke. Use the letters in F.A.S.T. to spot the signs:

F – Face Drooping

A – Arm Weakness

S – Speech Difficulty

T – Time to Call 911

Other signs to watch for: Click Here

Video on how to reduce your risk of stroke: Click Here

More on #WorldStrokeDay: Click Here

CDC Stroke Information: Click Here

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 10/20/20: NATIONAL BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

The month of October is recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness month by the American Cancer Society to raise awareness about breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers. Currently, there is a 1 in 8 chance a woman will develop breast cancer in her life.

The American Cancer Society's estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2020 are: 

  • About 276,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women. 
  • About 48,530 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer). 
  • About 42,170 women will die from breast cancer.

There are some preventive measures to take to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer:

  • Get to and stay at a healthy weight: Both increased body weight and weight gain as an adult are linked with a higher risk of breast cancer after menopause. You should stay at a healthy weight throughout your life and avoid excess weight gain by balancing your food intake with physical activity.
  • Be physically active: Many studies have shown that moderate to vigorous physical activity is linked with lower breast cancer risk, so it’s important to get regular physical activity. More information here.
  • Avoid or limit alcohol: Alcohol increases risk of breast cancer. Even low levels of alcohol intake have been linked with an increase in risk.

For women at an average risk of breast cancer (no personal history of breast cancer, no strong family history of breast cancer, etc.), regular screening is recommended for early detection of breast cancer. The recommendations for screening vary by age:

  • Women between 40 and 44 have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year.
  • Women 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.
  • Women 55 and older can switch to a mammogram every other year, or they can choose to continue yearly mammograms.

Check out the Healthy People 2030 cancer topic to find national goals related to breast cancer.

Resources about breast cancer screening and genetic counseling and testing for breast cancer.

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 10/06/20: INDOOR AIR AND COVID-19

The State of Wisconsin is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. Indoor gatherings are not recommended at this time, as COVID-19 can be easily spread from person to person when people are sharing enclosed spaces for an extended period of time.

If you choose to share an indoor space with non-household members, there are precautionary measures that can lower the risk of transmission – wear masks, stay physically distant from others, and increase the ventilation. When used properly, air cleaners and HVAC filters can help reduce airborne contaminants including viruses in a building or small space. When used along with other best practices (such as physical distancing, frequent hand washing, and surface disinfection), increasing ventilation can be part of a plan to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19.

Indoor Air in Homes and COVID-19:

  • Increase ventilation with outside air – while the weather is still nice, open windows or screen doors. Ventilation can be increased through cross-ventilation, by opening windows (or doors) at opposite sides of a home (but preferably not directly opposite of each other), and keeping internal doors open.
  • Portable air cleaners, also known as air purifiers or air sanitizers, are designed to filter the air in a single room or area. Central furnace or HVAC filters are designed to filter air throughout a home. Portable air cleaners and HVAC filters can reduce indoor air pollutants that are airborne including viruses.
  • If using a portable air cleaner, place the air cleaner in the room you spend the most time in or where more vulnerable people spend the most time. To help reduce risks of airborne transmission, direct the airflow of the air cleaner so that is does not blow directly from one person to another.

More information on ventilation is available on the EPA Website.

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 09/29/20: CHILD PASSENGER SAFETY

Buckle Up Every Age, Every Seat, Every Trip.

Motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death among children in the United States, but many of these deaths can be prevented. Children should always be buckled into age- and size-appropriate car seats, booster seats and seat belts to reduce the risk of motor vehicle injuries.

Facts on buckling up:

  • Car seat use reduces the risk for injury in a crash by 71-82% for children, when compared with seat belt use alone (Source).
  • Booster seat use reduces the risk for serious injury by 45% for children aged 4-8, when compared with seat belt use alone (Source).
  • For older children and adults, seat belt use reduces the risk for death and serious injury by approximately half (Source).

Depending on your child’s age and size, the type of car seat or booster seat they need will vary. Rear-facing seats should be used for infants and toddlers until they are ready to transition to forward-facing seats. School-aged children should use a booster seat and all children under 13 years old should sit in the back seat of vehicles. When children are old enough and large enough to not need a car or booster seat, seat belts should always be used. More information on finding the proper car seat: healthychildren.org

Safe Kids Wisconsin – Motor Vehicle Safety

CDC Website – Child Passenger Safety

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 09/29/20: FALLS PREVENTION WEEK

As you age, the risk of falling, and fall-related problems, increases. Many adults begin to avoid activities for fear of falling but staying active can help maintain your mental and physical health, in addition to preventing future falls. Taking a few simple steps can help reduce your risk of falling.

Steps to Prevent Falls

  • Stay physically active – maintain muscles and strength
  • Have hearing and eyesight tested – even small changes in hearing or eyesight can affect balance and cause a fall
  • Know the side effects of your medication – some medications can cause dizziness or sleepiness
  • Get enough sleep
  • Limit alcohol intake – this can affect balance and reflexes
  • Stand up slowly – standing up to quickly can cause blood pressure to drop and make you feel wobbly
  • Use an assistive device – canes and walkers
  • Be careful when walking on wet or icy surfaces
  • Wear non-skid, rubber-soled, low-heeled shoes and do not walk on smooth surfaces with socks or smooth soled shoes/slippers

Fall Proofing Your Home

  • Have handrails on stairs
  • Keep hallways, bathrooms, and other areas well lit
  • Mount grab bars on inside/outside of shower or tub and near toilet
  • Keep night lights in bedroom, bathroom, and hallways for evening
  • Keep cords, wires, and furniture out of walking path
  • Secure any rugs or carpets
  • Place skid mats on any surfaces that may get wet (bathroom, kitchen, entry way, etc.)
  • Do not stand on sofas or chairs to reach items out of reach – use a grab stick or ask for help
  • Watch for pets
  • Keep mobile phone or medical alert device on you at all times – these can be used to contact help in the event of a fall

For additional information on how to prevent falls visit: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/prevent-falls-and-fractures

For information on fall-proofing your home visit: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/fall-proofing-your-home  

Or contact your local agency on aging.

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 09/15/20: STUDENT SLEEP WEEK

September 14th-20th is Student Sleep Week.  According to a survey from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), more than half of parents with school-age children (57%) say that they have a teen or a child that does not get enough sleep on school nights.  Sleep is a key determinant of health and leads to improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, and mental/physical health. This is even more important during a time like now when schools across the country are changing routines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  A healthy sleep and wake schedule can make this less challenging.  Below are some important tips for establishing and maintaining a healthy sleep schedule for you and your children:

  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and large meals before bedtime
  • Remove electronics (TVs, phones, laptops, tablets, etc.) from bedroom
  • Establish a nighttime routine that includes time to wind down (taking a bath, reading books, etc.)
  • Create a good sleep environment (no bright lights, cooler temperature, white noise, etc.)
  • Stay active - regular physical activity can help falling asleep easier at night
  • Stay consistent – going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day (yes, even weekends!) can help improve sleep

Keep in mind also, daily recommended (total) hours of sleep differs for each age group:

  1. Infants 4-12 months of age: 12-16 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
  2. Toddlers 1-2 years of age: 11-14 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
  3. Children 3-5 years of age: 10-13 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
  4. Children 6-12 years of age: 9-12 hours per 24 hours
  5. Teenagers 13-18 years of age: 8-10 hours per 24 hours

For more information check with your child’s pediatrician or visit: http://sleepeducation.org/essentials-in-sleep/healthy-sleep-habits

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 09/08/20: NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH

The year 2020 has shown us that being prepared for disaster is incredibly important, as you never know when an emergency will strike. It is best to be prepared for all possible disasters or emergency situations to keep yourself and your family safe and healthy. National Preparedness Month is a time for public health to focus on emergency preparation at the community level and also provides families with advice and resources to ensure they are adequately prepared for disasters.

Emergency Preparedness Tips:

  • Make a plan! Know how you will access emergency alerts and updates, where you will go for shelter or where your family will meet, how you will evacuate if necessary and how your family will communicate. More information on making an emergency plan: https://www.ready.gov/plan
  • Build a kit with items you and your family may need in a disaster, such as food, water, a radio, flashlight, batteries, first aid kit, etc. More advice on building a kit: https://www.ready.gov/kit
  • Take a CPR and first aid class
  • Know which disasters to prepare for in your area: In Wisconsin, weather related disasters to prepare for include extreme heat or cold, floods, tornados, thunderstorms and wildfires. Other disasters that could impact Wisconsin include bioterrorism, chemical release and radiation. Wisconsin preparedness resources: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/preparedness/index.htm
  • Teach your children about preparedness: https://www.ready.gov/kids

What you can do to prepare for an emergency: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/preparedness/whatyoucando.htm

Preparedness resources: https://www.ready.gov/

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 09/01/20: SEPTEMBER IS HEALTHY AGING MONTH

Healthy Aging Month was created over 25 years ago to raise awareness around nurturing your physical, social, mental and financial health as you age. There is no better time than now to focus on your health and well-being to allow yourself to live a fulfilling and healthy life as you age.

Tips for staying healthy as you age:

The Milwaukee County Department on Aging provides resources for older adults. They are offering virtual events on their website and also sharing information on other COVID-19 friendly community events, such as a 60+ drive-thru pancake breakfast at Elk Lodge on September 26. Milwaukee County Department on Aging website: Click Here

More information and resources for healthy aging: National Institute on Aging

Programs and services for older adults in Wisconsin: WI DHS website

Older adults and COVID-19: CDC Website

If you are 65+ and need a flu shot, the NSHD offers high dose flu shots. The cost is $70 and we are able to bill Medicare. Call 414-371-2980 to make an appointment.

The week of September 21-25, the Milwaukee County Falls Prevention Coalition will offer: Online screening, interactive events, local experts, practical tips and tools, & ways to stay active at home. More to come! Like the Milwaukee County Department on Aging on Facebook for more info - https://www.facebook.com/MilwaukeeCountyDepartmentonAging.

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 08/26/20: GET YOUR FLU SHOT!

Every year it is important to receive an influenza vaccine, but this season it is more crucial than ever as COVID-19 continues to be a concern within our communities. Influenza and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses that are caused by different viruses and typically present with similar symptoms. Although there is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, influenza vaccines are available and are highly recommended as we approach this year’s flu season. Receiving your flu shot can help to minimize the burden on healthcare systems that are devoting their resources to the COVID-19 response. Additionally, the preventive measures we are employing to protect ourselves from COVID-19 can also be effective in preventing exposure to influenza and preserving our healthcare systems, such as physical distancing, mask wearing and hand washing.

Learn more about influenza and COVID-19 – CDC Website

Learn more about preventing influenza – CDC Website

It is recommended that everyone 6 months and older be vaccinated for influenza. Flu vaccines initiate the development of antibodies approximately two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies offer protection against infection with the influenza viruses used to make the vaccine. More information on the different influenza viruses in the vaccine can be found on the CDC Website. You should get a flu vaccine before influenza starts spreading in your community. Make plans to get vaccinated as early in fall as possible to allow your body time to develop antibodies and prepare to protect you from exposure to influenza viruses.

North Shore Health Department 2020 Flu Clinics for the public are by appointment only. Call 414-371-2980 to make an appointment. 

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 08/18/20: DRUG OVERDOSE DEATHS ON THE RISE

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, initial numbers of suspected drug overdoses in Wisconsin show a 117% increase in 2020 compared to 2019 with 325 suspected overdoses between March to July compared to 150 suspected overdoses in 2019 (report). The North Shore Health Department’s assessment of drug overdose deaths in Milwaukee County also indicated an increased number in 2020 compared to 2019. Preliminary numbers show a 48% increase in the number of drug overdose deaths from 2019 to 2020 between January and May. From January to May of 2020 in Milwaukee County there were 23.5 deaths per 100,000 people compared to 15.9 deaths in the same time period for 2019.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 could play a major role in impacting rates of drug overdoses and overdose deaths. Various factors associated with the pandemic including pandemic fear, emotional distress, and unemployment could potentially contribute to increasing rates of overdoses in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also highlights that stress due to the pandemic could contribute to increase use of prescription medications, non-prescription medications, illegal drugs, or a return to use after remission.

Though it is vital that people practice social distancing and limit close contacts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during this pandemic, managing mental health and stress should also be a priority as we navigate through the rest of the year. Here are some healthier ways to cope with stress from the CDC:

  • Know where and how to get treatment as well as other support services and resources.
  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories about the pandemic
  • Connect with others and connect with your community or faith-based organization
  • Take care of your body through exercising, healthy eating, and getting plenty of sleep.

Additional ways to cope with stress can be found on the CDC website.

If you or someone you know is struggling with drug use and addiction, please call the Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline either at 211 or at (833) 944-4673.

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 08/11/20: WATER SAFETY

Heading out to enjoy one of Wisconsin’s many lakes or rivers before summer ends? Don’t forget to wear a life jacket! Last year in Wisconsin, 89% of the boating fatalities were not wearing life jackets. So far in 2020, there have been 14 documented deaths related to boating, with 10 of these incidents having been confirmed. Out of these 10, nine of the individuals were not wearing life jackets.

The DNR emphasizes that taking proper safety precautions around bodies of water is out of respect for the rivers, lakes and their shores. Even if you are always watching for potential danger, accidents can still occur. That is why it is recommended that you put on a life jacket before you step onto the dock; always wear one when boating, kayaking, or participating in other water sports; and keep it on if you are wading along the shore or swimming. If any unexpected dangers pop up, such as strong currents or waves, your life jacket will keep you floating on top of the water.

Water Safety Tips from the WI DNR:

  • Enjoy the waters sober and know your limits: Alcohol blurs a person’s judgement, reaction time and abilities.
  • River shorelines and sandbars pose unseen dangers. Higher, fast-moving water also can tax an individual’s boating, paddling and swimming skills. What may look like a flat, inviting river or stream, may disguise a fast-moving current pulling debris out of your sight and under the surface – and could put you in danger without a lot of warning.
  • Waves and currents can overpower a person of any size. Currents not easily noticeable standing on the shore can be strong enough to overpower a person and make even the strongest of swimmers unable to swim against it.
  • Keep an eye on the weather and let someone know where you are going.
  • Paddleboarders should be competent swimmers and need to wear a life jacket. Wisconsin and U.S. Coast Guard law treats paddleboards the same as kayaks and canoes. This means there must be a personal flotation device for each person on board. However, the best way to obey this law and to ensure your safety is to just wear the life jacket.

Take the Wisconsin DNR Online Boating Safety Course: Click Here

Get your life jacket and plan your summer fun with recreational boating, paddling and swimming. More information about portable flotation devices can be found here.

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 08/04/20: US CENSUS

Every 10 years, the United States Census Bureau undertakes a mammoth task: counting all the people residing in the United States. The census is critical in providing data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others will use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. Results from the census can inform how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated to more than 100 programs, including Medicaid, Head Start, block grants for community mental health services, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP.

Additionally, the results are used to adjust or redraw electoral districts, based on where populations have increased or decreased. The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

Getting a complete and accurate census count is very important. The U.S. Constitution mandates that the country count its population once every 10 years and it counts everyone living in the United States as well as  its five territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Each household only requires one response from an individual who lives in that home, knows general information about each person living there and is at least 15 years old. Currently, approximately 69.6% of households in Wisconsin has self- responded to the US Census via online, by mail or by phone. Milwaukee county currently has a self-response rate of about 65.2%. 

You can fill out your census questionnaire for your household HERE.

For more information about the US Census, please visit the website HERE.

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 07/28/20: 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.

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 07/21/20: 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.

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 07/15/20: 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.

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 07/08/20: 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

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 06/30/20: 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.

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 06/23/20: 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 eprice@villageofshorewood.org or Shorewood Connects Coordinator Vashti Lozier shorewoodconnects@gmail.com.

Additional information on COVID-19 and Dementia: Click Here

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 06/16/20: MASS GATHERING 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

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 06/09/20: 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

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 06/02/20: 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

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 05/26/20: 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.

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 05/19/20: 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.

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 05/12/20

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.

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 05/05/20: 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

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 04/28/20: 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

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 04/21/20: 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.

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 04/14/20: 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:

  1. Train your dog with simple commands like “sit,” “stay” and “come,” and promote socialization with other dogs and humans.
  2. Always use a short leash when walking your dog in busy public areas so they can be restrained if needed.
  3. Do not let your dog approach other dogs that are not familiar.
  4. 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.

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 04/07/20: 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!


NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 03/31/20

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.

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 03/24/20

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 criteriaWhile 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.

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 03/17/20

Update on COVID-19 in Wisconsin and in the North Shore: Click Here

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 03/10/20

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.
 
 

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 03/03/20

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.

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 02/25/20

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

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 02/18/20

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

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 02/11/20: 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/

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 02/04/20: 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

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 01/28/20: 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.

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 01/21/20: 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. 

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 01/14/20: 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.

NSHD HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 01/07/20: 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 HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS 2019

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

 

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:

 

In addition, SafeKids Worldwide offers seven tips for driving safely

 

  1. Buckle up: every person, every time
  2. Don’t drink and drive
  3. Limit the number of passengers in a car
  4. Don’t text and drive
  5. Follow the speed limit
  6. Only drive in the dark after extra practice
  7. 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 8/21/2018

Did you know?

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. Immunization saves millions of lives and is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions. Immunizations have positively impacted the lives of infants, children and adults.

Why should you vaccinate?

Immunizations can save your child’s life. Because of advances in medical science, your child can be protected against more diseases than ever before.

Vaccination is very safe and effective. Vaccines are only given after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals.

Immunization protects others you care about and the community. Immunizing individual children helps to protect those people who cannot be immunized (children who are too young to be vaccinated, or those who can’t receive certain vaccines for medical reasons), and the small proportion of people who don’t respond to a particular vaccine.

Immunizations can save your family time and money. A child with a vaccine-preventable disease can be denied attendance at schools or child care facilities. Some vaccine-preventable diseases can result in prolonged disabilities and can take a financial toll because of lost time at work and medical bills.

The North Shore Health Department prevents vaccine-preventable diseases through our Immunization Program. Immunizations are provided to uninsured, underinsured and, in limited cases for some vaccines, private payers. Additionally, the health department provides education and outreach to residents, healthcare providers, school nurses, media, and others on the epidemiology of vaccine-preventable diseases and current vaccine recommendations.



North Shore Health Department Highlights 8/14/2018

Did you know?

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. About 1 in 6 children in the United States has obesity. Certain groups of children are more affected than others.  Children with obesity are at higher risk for having other chronic health conditions and diseases, such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, and type 2 diabetes. They also have more risk factors for heart disease like high blood pressure and high cholesterol than their normal weight peers. Children with obesity can be bullied and teased more than their normal weight peers. They are also more likely to suffer from social isolation, depression, and lower self-esteem.

Childhood obesity can be prevented. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to create opportunities for kids to eat healthier and get more active. Some tips include:

  • Providing nutritious, lower-calorie foods such as fruits and vegetables in place of foods high in added sugars and solid fats. Try serving more fruit and vegetables at meals and as snacks.
  • Making sure drinking water is always available as a no-calorie alternative to sugary beverages and limit juice intake.
  • Helping children get the recommended amount of physical activity each day. Find age appropriate activities here: https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/children/what_counts.htm
  • Be a role model! Eat healthy meals and snacks and get the right amount of physical activity every day.

To learn more visit: https://www.cdc.gov/features/childhoodobesity/index.html or

https://www.aap.org/




North Shore Health Department Highlights 8/7/2018

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, 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 in a safe and healthy community and are fostered through fun events and activities involving the whole community. Earlier this summer we participated in Farmers’ Markets in Fox Point and Brown Deer and last week we participated in Glendale’s National Night Out. In September we will be at the Bayside Picnic on September 8th, Shorewood Farmers’ Market on September 15th and Whitefish Bay’s Farmers’ Market on September 22nd.

Kudos to Health Department Staff

Earlier this spring, Sanja Miljevic, one of the NSHD’s four Public Health Nurses, won the Carol Graham Scholarship for Emerging Leaders in Public Health Nursing. As an award recipient Sanja received a paid registration to the Wisconsin Public Health Association’s Public Health in Practice Conference. Sanja attended the conference in Stevens Point last week to develop her skills and learn of resources to improve community health. Sanja has been with the NSHD for four years and in that time has become one of our primary nurses working on communicable disease investigations, including managing several active TB patients. In her time with the Department, she has become a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician and a Rabies Control Program Trained Observer. Sanja also helped develop and onboard staff to our new scheduling and billing software system, allowing us to expand our Medicare billing options for flu vaccine. Congratulations, Sanja, on your award and your achievements in public health.



North Shore Health Department Highlights 7/31/2018

Did you know…

The North Shore Health Department receives a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), through the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct beach monitoring for presence of E. coli at the three Lake Michigan beaches in our area—Atwater in Shorewood, Klode in Whitefish Bay, and Doctors in Bayside. We work with the Shorewood DPW and the North Shore Water Commission to test water at least twice a week. Signs are posted at each beach, indicating whether a beach is open (green), closed (red) or has elevated levels of E. coli detected (yellow). Current status of E. coli levels in most Wisconsin beaches, including the North Shore beaches, is available at: https://www.wibeaches.us.

In 2017, two drownings occurred on North Shore beaches. Seeing a need for more urgent response and rescue equipment, a Whitefish Bay resident, 17-year-old Matthew Pomes, worked in conjunction with the North Shore Health Department and the Village of Whitefish Bay to design and install a beach rescue equipment kiosk at Klode Beach for his Eagle Scout project. Congratulations, Matthew, and thank you for helping make Klode Beach a safer place to swim!

Photo caption: Eagle Scout Matthew Pomes and North Shore Health Director/Officer Ann Christiansen

What is the health department working on?

Last Thursday the North Shore Health Department hosted a Community Conversation at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center to help us in developing the North Shore Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). We had a great turnout and many suggestions for us to integrate into the CHIP.

If you were unable to make the Community Conversation, you can still view the information from posters, and provide feedback on the topic areas electronically. Visit:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NSHealthConversation.

North Shore Health Department Highlights 7/24/2018

The North Shore Health Department will be hosting a Health and Well-Being Community Conversation at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. Stop by between 3:00-6:30pm on Thursday, July 26, to prioritize community health issues and action steps for the North Shore Health Improvement Plan. Please register online at http://ow.ly/QkMn30kEWII or by calling (414) 371-2980.

The North Shore Health Department reports a dead crow found in Milwaukee County has tested positive for West Nile virus.  West Nile virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes acquire the virus by feeding on infected birds. The majority of people (80%) who are infected with West Nile virus do not get sick. Those who do become ill usually experience mild symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle ache, rash, and fatigue. Less than 1% of people infected with the virus get seriously ill with symptoms that include high fever, muscle weakness, stiff neck, disorientation, mental confusion, tremors, confusion, paralysis, and coma. Older adults and those with compromised immune systems are at greater risk of developing central nervous system illness that can be fatal.

The North Shore Health Department recommends the following:

  • Limit time spent outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Apply an insect repellant with DEET, IR3535, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus to exposed skin and clothing.
  • Make sure window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquito entry.
  • Prevent mosquitoes from breeding by removing stagnant water from items around your property, such as tin cans, plastic containers, flower pots, discarded tires, roof gutters, and downspouts.
  • Turn over wheelbarrows, wading pools, boats, and canoes when not in use.
  • Change the water in bird baths and pet dishes at least every three days.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs; drain water from pool covers.
  • Landscape to prevent water from pooling in low-lying areas, and trim tall grass, weeds, and vines since mosquitoes use these areas to rest during hot daylight hours.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services will continue surveillance for West Nile virus until the end of the mosquito season. To report a sick or dead crow, blue jay, or raven, please call the Dead Bird Reporting Hotline at 1-800-433-1610.

Listen to Ann Christiansen, Health Director, discuss West Nile virus on WUMW Lake Effect:  http://wuwm.com/post/tuesday-lake-effect-spread-insect-borne-illnesses-designer-donna-ricco-royal-roost

For more information on West Nile virus: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/arboviral/westnilevirus.htm


North Shore Health Department Highlights 7/17/2018

The North Shore Health Department is hosting our first broad community discussion to help us in developing the North Shore Community Health Improvement Plan. The CHIP is a 5-year plan that identifies health priorities, develops and implements strategies to address the priorities, and lays out the means to measure health improvements.

Please consider joining us on Thursday, July 26th, 2018 at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center where we will review the community health issues that emerged from the North Shore Community Health Assessment and discuss potential action steps for improvement. We invite you to stop by anytime between 3:00pm – 6:30pm to meet with stakeholders and staff, review the potential topic areas, and provide input on what is being or could be done to make our communities healthier and safer. If you can’t join the discussion on July 26th, please let us know as there will be other opportunities to provide input and get involved.

The event is free, but we would like everyone to register through the link on our website (https://nshealthdept.org).


To view the 2017-2021 Community Health Assessment and the 2014-2019 Community Health Improvement Plan visit: http://www.nshealthdept.org/Reports.aspx



North Shore Health Department Highlights 7/10/2018

The North Shore Health Department investigates several tickborne infections including Lyme disease, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, and rocky mountain spotted fever. Lyme disease is the most frequently reported tickborne illness in Wisconsin, but numbers for the other conditions are increasing. Common symptoms of tickborne diseases may include fever, chills, muscle aches, headache and rash. Preventing tick bites is the key to reducing your risk of tickborne diseases.

  • Avoid areas with tall grass and brush where ticks are common.
  • Apply repellents that contain at least 20%–30% DEET.
  • Wear clothing treated with 0.5% permethrin.
  • Shower soon after coming indoors.
  • Perform daily checks. Check your entire body after being outside even if you were only in your yard.

It is important to remember that ticks are present in all counties in Wisconsin. People living in any county in Wisconsin can contract Lyme disease or other tick-borne diseases.

For information on how to safely remove a tick, visit https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/removing_a_tick.html

For information on Lyme disease incidence in Wisconsin, visit https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/tickborne/lyme/index.htm

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North Shore Health Department Highlights 7/3/2018


Summer is in full swing and Fourth of July is here! As you celebrate with friends and family this week, it is important to remember some key safety tips about the use of fireworks. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, 280 people on average go the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday. Per the North Shore Fire Department, sparklers, smoke bombs and snakes are the only fireworks that have been identified as legal in the State of Wisconsin and the North Shore. 

If you are travelling somewhere where fireworks are legal and you plan to use them, stay safe and follow these tips:

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities.  Never give fireworks to children.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  • Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers.

If you will be grilling for the holiday follow these steps to safely cook up treats for the backyard barbecue:

  • Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
  • Never grill indoors – not in your house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
  • Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
  • Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
  • Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using grills.

For more safety tips visit: www.fireworkssafety.org, www.nfpa.org