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Tag Archive | "Michigan Department of Community Health"

Protect against carbon monoxide poisoning 


Last week was Carbon Monoxide Safety and Awareness Week in Michigan. The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is reminding everyone to keep their families safe from being poisoned by carbon monoxide this winter.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas that kills more than 500 Americans each year and up to 50 a year in Michigan. It is produced by all forms of combustion. Warning signs include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion. The good news is carbon monoxide poisoning is completely preventable.

“Now is the time to ensure that gas-fired furnaces, hot water heaters and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly,” said Dr. Matthew Davis, Chief Medical Executive at the MDCH. “Carbon monoxide is difficult to detect so it’s important to evacuate the area of contamination immediately and seek medical attention if you suspect you have been exposed to carbon monoxide.”

Never use generators, grills, camp stoves, or other gasoline or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, basement, garage or near a window because these appliances give off carbon monoxide. Running a car in an enclosed garage can create lethal levels of carbon monoxide in minutes.

Michigan’s carbon monoxide poisoning tracking system counted 22 unintentional deaths and 765 non-fatal unintentional carbon monoxide poisonings in Michigan in 2012 alone, the most recent year of complete data. More than 60 percent occurred during the winter months and happened most frequently at home.

Michigan’s December 2013 ice storm, which caused power outages in about 400,000 Michigan households, resulted in one carbon monoxide death and 300 percent increase in emergency department visits for carbon monoxide poisoning. Proper use and placement of alternate power sources would have prevented many of these poisonings.

For more information about carbon monoxide poisoning and poisoning prevention, visit www.michigan.gov/carbonmonoxide.

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MDCH launches website to address prescription drug abuse


 

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has developed a website to increase public awareness of the risks and potential harm associated with misuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and to provide everyday steps individuals can take to address the issue in their families and communities. Do Your Part: Be the Solution is a multifaceted approach to addressing prescription drug misuse and abuse across Michigan.

“Everyone has a role to play in the solution as we address prescription drug misuse and abuse in Michigan. This website offers practical steps that everyone can take right now,” said Lyon. “We can all do our part by monitoring the medications in our homes, understanding the risks of sharing prescription medications, and properly disposing of medications when they are no longer needed.”

The non-medical use or abuse of prescription drugs is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States, and prescription medication is the second most commonly abused category of drugs. Opiate overdoses, once almost always due to heroin use, are now increasingly due to the abuse of prescription painkillers. In 2012, 941 Michigan residents died due to unintentional drug poisoning.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, every day an average of 2,000 teenagers nationwide use a prescription drug for the first time without a doctor’s guidance. Oftentimes, teens are accessing these drugs in their own homes. It can be as easy as opening a cupboard, drawer or medicine cabinet.

In addition, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) sites prescription opioid abuse may be “the first step” to heroin use. Recent research by NIDA indicated that almost half of the young heroin users who injected heroin reported they used opioid pain relievers before the started using heroin.

Do Your Part: Be the Solution addresses the issue of prescription drug misuse and abuse using a multi-pronged approach including educating communities and the general public, providing guidance and resources to the medical community and other professionals, and linking to information on proper disposal to reduce the impact on the environment.

For more information on the Do Your Part: Be the Solution campaign visit the website at www.michigan.gov/doyourpart.

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State confirms 25 Enterovirus D68 cases


 

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has been notified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that 25 patients out of 34 persons tested so far are positive for enterovirus D68 (EV-D68). Most were hospitalized and one patient, a child less than 1 year of age from Washtenaw County, developed lower extremity paralysis.

The United States is currently experiencing a nationwide outbreak of EV-D68 associated with severe respiratory disease. Michigan has seen an increase in severe respiratory illness in children across the state, and the department is working with the CDC, Michigan local health departments and hospitals to monitor the increase.

Enteroviruses are very common viruses; there are more than 100 types. It is estimated that 10 to 15 million enterovirus infections occur in the United States each year. Symptoms of EV-D68 infection can include wheezing, difficulty breathing, fever and racing heart rate. Most people infected with enteroviruses have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, but some infections can be serious requiring hospitalization.

Enteroviruses are known to be a rare cause of acute neurologic disease in children, such as aseptic meningitis, less commonly encephalitis, and rarely acute myelitis and paralysis. Enteroviruses are transmitted through close contact with an infected person, or by touching objects or surfaces that are contaminated with the virus and then touching the mouth, nose, or eyes. There is no specific treatment for EV-D68 infections but supportive care can be provided.

Young residents with asthma may be at an increased risk of severe complications and are encouraged to be vigilant in taking their asthma controlling medications. Further, Michiganders can protect themselves from enterovirus by taking general hygiene precautions:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers.
  • Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.

For additional information about EV-D68 or the national investigation, visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/about/EV-D68.html.

 

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Michigan monitoring for cases of enterovirus


 

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is receiving reports indicating an increase in severe respiratory illness in children ages 5-17 across the state. MDCH is working with local health departments and hospitals to investigate these cases. At this time, Michigan has no confirmed cases of Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) associated with the national outbreak, but MDCH is forwarding samples to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for testing.

Nationally, clusters of EV-D68 infections have recently impacted the pediatric population in multiple states. Original reports described clusters of illness in Missouri and most recently Illinois. The majority of those cases had a previous medical history of asthma or prior wheezing. Currently, suspected cases are also being investigated in Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah.

Enteroviruses are very common viruses; there are more than 100 types. It is estimated that 10 to 15 million enterovirus infections occur in the United States each year. Symptoms of EV-D68 infection can include wheezing, difficulty breathing, fever and racing heart rate. Most people infected with enteroviruses have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, but some infections can be serious requiring hospitalization.

Enteroviruses are transmitted through close contact with an infected person, or by touching objects or surfaces that are contaminated with the virus and then touching the mouth, nose, or eyes. There is no specific treatment for EV-D68 infections but supportive care can be provided.

Young residents with asthma are encouraged to be vigilant in taking their asthma controlling medications. Further, Michiganders can protect themselves from enterovirus by taking general hygiene precautions:

• Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers.

• Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.

• Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, EV-D68 was first identified in California in 1962. Compared with other enteroviruses, EV-D68 has been rarely reported in the United States for the last 40 years. There is no vaccine for it.

For more info about it, visit www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/about/EV-D68.html.

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Healthy lifestyle choices help prevent birth defects


During National Birth Defects Prevention Month in January, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is joining with the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN) to raise awareness of birth defects, which are a leading cause of infant mortality and chronic illness. Raising awareness about birth defects is closely in line with Governor Snyder’s call to reduce infant mortality rates in order to improve the health status of Michigan as a whole.

A baby is born with a birth defect in the United States every four and a half minutes. Healthy lifestyle choices as well as medical care before and during pregnancy can reduce these chances, resulting in better infant health outcomes for all Michiganders.

“Most people simply do not realize how common, costly and critical birth defects are in Michigan, as well as nationally, or that there are simple steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of birth defects,” said James K. Haveman, Director of the MDCH. “Through awareness efforts across the country we can reach millions of women and their families with vital prevention information.”

More than 120,000 babies born with a birth defect (approximately 1 in every 33 live births) are reported each year in the United States with around 7,000 cases occurring in Michigan. Some have only a minor and brief effect on a baby’s health while others have life-threatening or life-long effects. Birth defects are the most common cause of death in infants and the second most common cause of death in children aged one to four years.

Throughout National Birth Defects Prevention Month, MDCH will work to raise awareness among healthcare professionals, educators, social service professionals, and many segments of the general public about the frequency with which birth defects occur and the steps that can be taken to prevent them. Small steps such as visiting a healthcare provider before pregnancy and taking a multivitamin every day can make a significant difference towards protecting the health of women and babies. Public awareness, appropriate medical care, accurate and early diagnosis, and social support systems are all essential for ensuring prevention and treatment of these common and often deadly conditions.

In addition to its prevention efforts, the NBDPN works to improve nationwide surveillance of birth defects, provide family support, and to advance research on possible causes. Information about the NBDPN can be found at www.NBDPN.org and www.EndBirthDefects.org. For more information about birth defects in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/birthdefectsinfo or www.migrc.org.

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