web analytics

Tag Archive | "Health Department"

Flu season is here


Vaccinations available

From Kent County Health Department

Last year, three children in Michigan died due to complications from influenza. It takes about two weeks for the vaccination to become effective, so this is a great time to protect yourself and your family. Starting this week, you can schedule appointments through the Kent County Health Department (KCHD) for vaccinations for the 2015-2016 Flu Season. New this year: KCHD can accept Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Blue Care Network for flu vaccinations with no copay from subscribers.

The flu can have serious complications for children under the age of five, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with already-weakened immune systems. The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone over 6 months of age to protect against flu viruses. “Over the past three years, we’ve seen people wait until flu season is in full swing to get vaccinated,” says Adam London, Administrative Health Officer for the Kent County Health Department. “We hope this year, everyone makes a plan to get vaccinated early, before the virus starts spreading. In addition to our clinics, there are many pharmacies and health care providers offering vaccines.”

KCHD’s seasonal influenza program provides vaccinations for all individuals six months of age and older. The cost of the vaccine ranges from $39-$55. KCHD offers FluMist (nasal mist vaccine) for $41, preservative-free options for $40-$44, and injectable three-strain egg-free vaccines or high-dose vaccines for $55.

Influenza viruses infect the nose, throat, and lungs and cause respiratory illness. Flu viruses spread when people with flu cough, sneeze, or even talk. Someone might also get flu by touching a surface or object (like a phone) that has flu virus on it, and then touching their own mouth, eyes, or nose. The flu can cause mild to severe illness, and in some cases, it can be deadly. Signs and symptoms can include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue (very tired), vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults). Not everyone with flu will experience all of the symptoms.

Children from six months through eighteen years who have no insurance, or who have insurance that doesn’t cover vaccines, will pay a sliding scale administration fee of up to $23. The Health Department can bill Medicaid and Medicare, and we accept Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Blue Care Network. (No other private insurance is accepted at this time.) Cash, check, MasterCard, Visa, or Discover are accepted. To make an appointment at any of our four clinic locations, call (616) 632-7200. You can learn more about flu prevention at www.stickittotheflu.com.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Sewage leaks at mobile home park


By Judy Reed

A routine sewer system flush in May reportedly caused an overflow at a local mobile home park earlier this week.

According to Heather Smith, assistant manager at Cedar Springs Mobile Estates, on 18 Mile Road, the flush last month caused a blockage, and resulted in sewage leaking into storm drains. “It started about 3:30 p.m. Monday,” she explained.

Smith said that a plumber was called in to clear the blockage, and the storm drains were pumped Wednesday. “It was taken care of by today (Wednesday) at noon,” she said.

Smith noted that residents were notified, and both the Department of Environmental Quality and the Kent County Health Department were alerted. The Health Department was on scene Tuesday, and the DEQ was there Wednesday.

Steve Kelso, with the Kent County Health Department, confirmed that there was a sewer overflow. “DEQ is the lead investigator on the case, but if an overflow is not contained, the Health Department has the authority to take samples of adjacent waterways,” explained Kelso. He said that they confirmed the overflow on Tuesday, and took samples from Cedar Creek on Wednesday, before the leak was contained.

He expects that the results will be back sometime Thursday, June 4.

The Post was unable to reach the specific DEQ investigator on the case by press time, and expects a call from them on Thursday.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Sewage leaks at mobile home park

Health department announces influenza activity

(Grand Rapids, MI) — “It’s not over yet.” says Cathy Raevsky, Administrative Health Officer for the Kent County Health Department (KCHD). “The typical flu season is November through April with a peak during the middle of February. The number one way to protect people from the flu is with the influenza vaccination. I encourage anyone who would like a vaccination to make an appointment with their doctor, a pharmacy, or the Kent County Health Department.”

That’s right! It’s not too late to get your flu shot and KCHD offers flu shots by appointment at all six of its clinic locations. Clinics are in Wyoming, Kentwood, Rockford, and multiple Grand Rapids locations.

Appointment times for each location vary, but appointments can be made by calling (616) 632-7200 or by visiting www.stickittotheflu.com.

Since the beginning of February there has been a significant increase (from 7% – 10%) of influenza-like-illness symptoms in emergency room visits in Kent County. Please note that influenzalike-illness complaints are not always lab-confirmed cases of the flu. As of February 5th, there have been 63 reported cases of lab-confirmed influenza since the first case on September 1st of 2010. This year’s flu season is a very typical season and trending very similar to past flu seasons (compared to 2006-2008 data).

For most recent data reports, please visit www.stickittotheflu.com. It is extremely difficult to predict if this is the peak, or if we are going to continue to see a rise in reported flu cases. But one thing is for sure, it’s definitely not over yet. This year’s influenza vaccine happens to be a great match with the influenza virus that has been most common in Kent County. So protect yourself during the duration of this year’s flu season, get vaccinated and stick it to the flu! Call KCHD at (616) 632-7200 or make an appointment online at www.stickittotheflu.com.

Posted in HealthComments Off on Health department announces influenza activity

January is radon action month

(Grand Rapids, MI) – Radon gas is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. You can’t see, smell, or taste radon, so what can you do to protect your home? Get it tested. Test kits are inexpensive and can be purchased from local hardware stores or from the Environmental Health Division of the Kent County Health Department (KCHD). The Health Department is located at 700 Fuller NE, Grand Rapids.
“Protecting indoor air is a vital part of maintaining a healthy home,” said Cathy Raevsky, Administrative Health Officer for KCHD. “With 16 percent of homes tested in Kent County having an elevated radon level, it is important for homeowners to take action. Getting tested is a simple way to protect your family.”
Radon is created by the breakdown of uranium in soil. It finds its way into homes and other buildings through passages like cracks in the foundation, and is second only to smoking as the leading cause of lung cancer. It is estimated that one in eight Michigan homes has an elevated level of radon. January is National
Radon Action Month and is an ideal time to test your home, because chilly weather means windows are closed, air is stagnant, and if radon is present, it will be more concentrated.
The test kits are easy to use and include confirmatory testing and referrals to approved radon contractors if necessary. The kits cost $5. To date, KCHD has received nearly 8,000 test results from homes across the county. For more information, visit www.epa.gov/radon.

Posted in Home and GardenComments Off on January is radon action month