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Tag Archive | "Michigan Department of Health and Human Services"

Michigan resident infected with Eastern equine encephalitis


LANSING, Mich. – Health officials from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Allegan County Health Department have confirmed an infection of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in an Allegan County resident. The individual was hospitalized in late August with a neurologic illness.

EEE is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the U.S., with a 33 percent fatality rate. The disease can often leave survivors with lasting brain damage.

The southwestern region of the state has experienced outbreaks of this mosquito-borne disease in people and horses in the past, with the most recent outbreaks occurring in the early 1980s, mid-1990s and 2010. This is the first human case reported in Michigan since 2016, when three people were infected. Mosquito-borne illness will continue to be a risk in Michigan until late fall when nighttime temperatures consistently fall below freezing. Michigan residents are reminded to protect themselves against mosquito bites.

“There is still plenty of mosquito season left in Michigan,” said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive. “When outdoors, Michigan residents are urged to take precautions to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites including using mosquito repellent and wearing long pants and long sleeves.”

Horse owners should note that EEE can also cause neurologic illness in horses. However, vaccination can protect horses from infection with EEE.

EEE is a virus of birds that is spread by mosquitoes near swamps and bogs. Human cases are rare, with only a few cases reported each year in the U.S. People who become ill with EEE may experience fever, headache, chills and nausea. In some cases, symptoms may progress to inflammation of the brain, signaled by disorientation, seizures and coma. Physicians treating patients with these symptoms should consider testing for EEE and other mosquito-borne viruses and should report suspected cases to their local health department.

As a reminder, West Nile virus is continuing to cause illness in people across the state, with a total of 44 cases and two fatalities reported to date. WNV has also been identified in 149 mosquito pools, 115 birds and one horse throughout the state.

Steps people should take to protect themselves include:

• Avoid being outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

• Wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.

• Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET or other EPA- approved product to exposed skin or clothing, always following the manufacturer’s directions for use.

• Use nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas.

• Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes out of buildings.

• Empty water from mosquito breeding sites such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes lay eggs.

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Michigan extends “Do not eat” fish advisory for Huron River to Lake Erie 


 

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recently issued an expanded “Do not eat” fish advisory for all fish in the Huron River in Livingston, Oakland, Washtenaw, Wayne, and Monroe Counties. The original advisory was issued on August 4, 2018. 

The “Do not eat” advisory for the Huron River starts where N. Wixom Road crosses in Oakland County and extends downstream to the mouth of the Huron River as it enters Lake Erie in Wayne County. This includes: 

  • Norton Creek (Oakland County) 
  • Hubbell Pond, also known as Mill Pond (Oakland County) 
  • Kent Lake (Oakland County) 
  • Ore Lake (Livingston County) 
  • Strawberry & Zukey Lake (Livingston County) 
  • Gallagher Lake (Livingston County) 
  • Loon Lake (Livingston County) 
  • Whitewood Lakes (Livingston County) 
  • Base Line & Portage Lakes (Livingston/Washtenaw County line) 
  • Barton Pond (Washtenaw County) 
  • Geddes Pond (Washtenaw County) 
  • Argo Pond (Washtenaw County) 
  • Ford Lake (Washtenaw County) 
  • Bellville Lake (Wayne County) 

This extension is a result of new perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) fish data from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Base Line Lake and Argo Pond fish fillet data, downsteam from Kent Lake, were found to have high PFOS levels. Additionally, high PFOS surface water levels were found upstream of Kent Lake. 

Touching the fish or water and swimming in these water bodies is not considered a health concern as PFAS do not move easily through the skin. An occasional swallow of river or lake water is also not considered a health concern. 

For current guidelines relating to PFAS fish contamination, visit Michigan.gov/pfasresponse. For more information about the Eat Safe Fish guidelines, visit Michigan.gov/eatsafefish. 

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Time to get flu vaccine


Michigan residents are being urged by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to get flu vaccines to protect themselves from potentially life-threatening influenza amidst the first confirmed cases in the state.

“Now is the time to get their flu immunization to make sure they are protected from the flu season,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for MDHHS.

“The flu should be taken seriously because it can have serious and even deadly consequences.”

Three Michigan residents tested positive for seasonal influenza—the Influenza A (H1N1) virus—in late August. A resident who attended a conference in Grand Rapids and two family members tested positive for the virus after approximately 120 attendees of the conference reported illnesses. Testing is ongoing in Michigan and in other states, as attendees of the conference were from around the country.

An annual flu vaccination is the best way to prevent getting the flu and its complications.

The flu is a contagious respiratory virus that often causes fever, sore throat, cough, body aches, runny or stuffy nose, headaches and fatigue. People already infected with the flu can spread the virus to others even before they feel sick.

Everyone 6 months of age and older should receive a flu vaccine every year.

While most people who get influenza recover, others may develop more serious complications. It is especially important that children, adults ages 65 years and older, persons with chronic health conditions, and pregnant women get vaccinated against the flu. Flu vaccination for pregnant women protects both the mother and the unborn child.

Influenza outbreaks associated with settings where people have close, prolonged contact, such as long-term care facilities, schools, college dorms, and conferences, are not uncommon during the influenza season and can even occur during times of low influenza virus circulation, such as during the summer.

Influenza testing should be considered when a patient has signs and symptoms, regardless of the season.

With many young people heading to college, it’s a good idea to get a flu vaccine before heading to campus.

There is no way to know when flu activity will be widespread in communities, which is why Michigan residents should get vaccinated against the flu now before they are exposed to a flu virus. It takes about two weeks to be fully protected after vaccination.

For more information about vaccinations in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/immunize and www.michigan.gov/flu. To find a vaccine near you, visit http://vaccine.healthmap.org/.

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Women urged to prevent congenital heart defects in newborns 


 

More than 333,000 babies screened for heart disease since 2014 

To help prevent congenital heart defects, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Newborn Screening Program is urging women to take preventative steps before, during and after pregnancy, including newborn screening. 

Congenital heart defects are one of the most common birth defects and leading cause of birth defect-related deaths. Present at birth, the defects affect the structure and function of the heart. These defects can be detected with a pulse oximeter during newborn screening. Since April 2014, when this screening became a part of the Newborn Screening Panel, more than 333,000 babies born in Michigan have been screened for critical congenital heart disease. 

 “Michigan babies are greatly benefiting from a simple, painless screen done at 24 hours of life,” said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS’ chief medical officer. “With technology and treatment for these conditions improving, if diagnosed early, children with serious congenital heart defects have the potential to lead normal, healthy lives. “ 

It is important for parents to know that newborn screening cannot identify every child with a critical heart problem. Warning signs that all parents should watch for are: bluish color of the lips or skin, grunting, fast breathing, poor feeding and poor weight gain. 

Some congenital heart defects have only a minor and brief effect on a baby’s health and some have very serious and life-long effects and can cause early death. Public awareness, accurate diagnosis and expert medical care are all essential for adequate management of these all too common and deadly conditions. 

Studies have reported increased risks for congenital heart defects associated with maternal obesity, diabetes and smoking. 

 “The heart forms in the early weeks of pregnancy, often before a woman realizes she is pregnant,” Wells said. “Diet, genetic and environmental factors, life-style choices, health conditions and medications all can play a role in preventing or causing congenital heart defects.” 

As part of Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week, Feb. 7-14, MDHHS is advising women who are pregnant or may become pregnant to: 

  • Avoid all alcohol and illegal/recreational drugs. 
  • Avoid exposure to smoke, chemicals and toxins, both at work and at home. 
  • Take a folic acid supplement throughout the childbearing years and check with their healthcare provider to confirm that they are getting adequate amounts of all the essential nutrients. 
  • See a physician prior to pregnancy, especially if there are medical conditions which require medications, any known metabolic conditions including diabetes, obesity, phenyketonuria (PKU), or a family history of congenital heart defects. 
  • Receive regular medical check-ups and learn about their family history and potential genetic risks. 

For more information about Michigan’s Newborn Screening Program, visit Michigan.gov/newbornscreening

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More than 300 children in foster care need adoptive homes 


Bruce is among the Michigan children who are available for adoption.

Mariah is among the Michigan children who are available for adoption.

Mariah, 15, is from Wayne County and enjoys playing cards and crocheting purses. 

Bruce, 13, is from Kent County and likes koala bears and french fries. He says he wishes for “family safety, for lots of love, and for the world to be a better place.” 

Bruce and Mariah are among the approximately 330 children in Michigan’s foster care system looking for loving adoptive homes. 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is sharing their stories during November, which has been proclaimed Adoption Month in Michigan by Gov. Rick Snyder. Nov. 21 is Adoption Day in Michigan. 

Anyone interested in adopting from foster care can contact the Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange at 800-589-6273 or see biographies and photos of children available for adoption, including Bruce and Mariah, at www.mare.org

MDHHS, in partnership with adoption agencies and the courts, works to find and create forever families through adoption. In fiscal year 2017, more than 1,900 children were adopted from the Michigan foster care system. 

“All children should have permanent homes to call their own,” said MDHHS Director Nick Lyon. “We appreciate the love and stability provided by our adoptive families and hope that more Michiganders will open their hearts to adoption.” 

People can adopt whether they’re single or married. They don’t have to be wealthy or own their own home, but must have adequate financial resources to provide for a family. 

Children in the foster care system become eligible for adoption following termination of parental rights due to abuse or neglect. There are about 13,000 children in the foster care system, but the goal for most of these children is reunification with their families. 

New families are becoming “official” at Adoption Day ceremonies around the state this month, including Nov. 21 at the Michigan Supreme Court Hall of Justice in Lansing. 

Details can be found on the Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange Adoption Day 

webpage, along with profiles of outstanding adoptive families and wishes being granted to the families this month. 

For more information about adoption in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/adoption

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First human cases of West Nile virus for 2017 confirmed in Michigan



Activity is high throughout the State 

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed the state’s first human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) for 2017.  Four cases of WNV have been confirmed; two residents of Montcalm County, and one each from Oakland and Macomb Counties.  Their illness onsets range from August 6-11, and all have been hospitalized with neurologic disease.

“This is an important reminder to stay vigilant and protect against mosquito bites throughout the summer and into the fall,” said Dr. Eden Wells, Chief Medical Executive at the MDHHS.  “All residents should take steps to prevent bites, such as use repellent and take extra care during peak mosquito-biting hours between dusk and dawn.”

Surveillance for mosquito-borne diseases is being conducted by the MDHHS and Departments of Natural Resources (MDNR) and Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD).  In 2017, WNV activity appears to be widespread statewide in Michigan. In addition to the four human cases, five Michigan blood donors have had WNV detected in their blood.

To date, 148 birds have tested positive for WNV from 44 of Michigan’s 83 counties.  In addition, 86 WNV positive mosquito pools have been detected in seven Michigan counties. MDARD has reported eight horses that have tested positive for WNV (Clinton, Jackson, Livingston, Missaukee, Mecosta, Midland, Ottawa, and Wexford Counties). Also one horse has tested positive for Eastern Equine encephalitis virus (Wexford County). Vaccination is the best way to protect horses from both WNV and EEE. Horse owners should work with their veterinarian to make sure their horse is properly vaccinated. Finding infected birds, mosquitoes and horses in a community is an indication of risk for human infection.

Most people who become infected with WNV will not develop any symptoms of illness. However, some become sick three to 15 days after exposure. About one-in-five infected persons will have mild illness with fever, and about one in 150 infected people will become severely ill.

Mild illness may include headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting diarrhea, or rash. Severe symptoms of WNV are associated with encephalitis or meningitis, and may include: stiff neck, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, muscle weakness, convulsions and paralysis. People 50 and older are more susceptible to severe WNV disease symptoms.

Residents can stay healthy by using simple, effective strategies to protect themselves and their families. The following steps are recommended to avoid WNV and other mosquito-borne diseases:

Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.

Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes lay eggs.

Use nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas.

Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other EPA approved product to exposed skin or clothing, and always following the manufacturer’s directions for use.

Wear light colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.

Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.

For more information and surveillance activity about West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne viruses, visit www.michigan.gov/westnilevirus.

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KCHD urges caution as bat and human interactions increase in August 


This bat was captured on August 17, 2017 in Kent County.

This bat was captured on August 17, 2017 in Kent County.

In the past several days the Kent County Health Department (KCHD) has started to receive reports from people who have had contact with bats indoors. While these types of encounters are not uncommon in August, any direct contact with a bat represents a potential exposure to rabies.

It is critically important to capture the bat for testing if there is reason to believe a person may have been bitten or scratched by a bat. Do not release a bat if you find it in the room of a sleeping person, an unattended child, someone who is mentally impaired or an intoxicated individual as they may have been bitten without their knowledge.

A captured bat in Kent County will be sent to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for testing. If the bat tests negative for rabies, then no treatment is required. However, if a bat tests positive, or if the bat is not available for testing then the exposed person should receive the post-exposure prophylaxis for rabies.

To safely capture a bat, experts recommend that you wear leather gloves to avoid being bit. Place a box or a coffee can over the bat and then slide a piece of cardboard under the container to trap the bat inside. Secure it with a piece of tape and contact the Kent County Health Department at 616-632-7200 during regular business hours. If you know that you have been bitten or scratched by the bat and the exposure has occurred outside of normal business hours, seek medical attention but keep the bat.

While relatively rare in the United States, human cases of rabies are almost always associated with bats.

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system and is invariably fatal once symptoms appear.

“Bat encounters rise every year during late August and early September,” says Adam London, Administrative Health Officer at KCHD. “We can’t stress enough how important it is to be able to perform tests on these animals. Unless you are certain that no one has been bitten by a bat you find in your home, please do not let it go.”

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MDHHS Director and four others charged in Flint Water death


 

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced on Wednesday, June 14, that he has charged Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon, former Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley, former City of Flint Water Department Manager Howard Croft, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Drinking Water Chief Liane Shekter-Smith, and Water Supervisor Stephen Busch, with involuntary manslaughter related to their alleged failure to act in the Flint Water Crisis.

Involuntary manslaughter is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, and/or a $7,500 fine.

In addition to the involuntary manslaughter charges, Schuette also charged Lyon with Misconduct in Office, a felony, subject to 5 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Eden Wells has also been charged with lying to a peace officer and obstruction of justice related to an alleged attempt to stop an investigation into the health crisis in Flint and later misleading investigators as to her actions.

INVESTIGATION INTERIM REPORT

With more than a dozen people now having been charged, and pre-trial hearings and other legal proceedings occurring, Schuette released the initial results of the more than yearlong investigation. Included in the report is a look at today’s and past charges made, as well as a review of the facts and evidence in the case. (You can find the report by clicking on this link – Flint-Water-Interim-Report.pdf)

DEFENDANTS 

Multiple Flint-area residents died of Legionnaires’ disease in the time immediately following the switch from Detroit Water and Sewer Department to the Flint River. All defendants charged with involuntary manslaughter are charged in relation to the death of Robert Skidmore, 85, of Mt. Morris, Michigan. Skidmore died of Legionnaires’ disease after many others had been diagnosed with the illness, yet no public outbreak notice had been issued. The charges allege failure to notify and lack of action to stop the outbreak allowed the disease to continue its spread through Flint’s water system.

NICK LYON – As the Director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, a position whose duties are outlined in the Michigan Constitution, Lyon has a duty to protect public health. The investigation has shown that Lyon allegedly received notice of a deadly Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak in Genesee County nearly one year before he informed the public.  After being informed about a potentially fatal health risk, Lyon allegedly deliberately failed to inform the public of a deadly Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak, which resulted in the death of Robert Skidmore.  Furthermore, Lyon allegedly participated in covering up the source of Genesee County’s Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak by repeatedly attempting to prevent an independent researcher from looking into the cause of the outbreak.

Charges: COUNT 1 – HOMICIDE – MANSLAUGHTER – INVOLUNTARY Did cause the death of Robert Skidmore on December 13, 2015, by failing to alert the public about a Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak in Flint, Michigan when he had notice that another outbreak would occur; contrary to MCL 750.321. [750.321-C] FELONY: 15 Years and/or $7,500.00. DNA to be taken upon arrest.

COUNT 2 – MISCONDUCT IN OFFICE Did between February 2015 and May 2017, commit misconduct in office, an indictable offense at common law, in violation of his duty to protect the health of the citizens of the County of Genesee, State of Michigan and to protect the public health enjoined upon him by the Michigan Public Health Code, MCL 333.5111(1); MCL 333.5111(2)(f);MCL 333.2251(1): MCL 333.2251(3); and MCL 333.20531 and the Critical Health Problems Reporting Act; contrary to MCL 750.505. [750.505] FELONY: 5 Years and/or $10,000.00.

EDEN WELLS – As the Chief Medical Executive of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Eden Wells has a responsibility to protect the health and welfare of Michigan residents. During the course of the investigation of the Flint Water Crisis, it is alleged that Wells attempted to withhold funding for programs designed to help the victims of the crisis, and then lied to an investigator about material facts related to the investigation.

Charges: COUNT 1 – OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE Did commit the common law offense of obstruction of justice by knowingly providing false testimony to a Special Agent and by threatening to withhold funding for the Flint Area Community Health and Environment Partnership if the partnership did not cease its investigation into the source of the Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak in Flint, Michigan; contrary to MCL 750.505. FELONY: 5 Years or $10,000.  DNA to be taken upon arrest.

COUNT 2 – LYING TO A PEACE OFFICER – 4 YEAR OR MORE CRIME INVESTIGATION After being informed by Special Counsel Todd Flood, in the presence of Special Agent Arthur Wimmer, that they were conducting a criminal investigation, did knowingly and willfully make a statement or statements to the officer that he or she knew was false or misleading regarding the following material fact or facts relating to the investigation: the date she knew of the Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak in Flint, Michigan, and the officer was conducting a criminal investigation regarding involuntary manslaughter; contrary to MCL 750.479c(2)(c). [750.470C2C]. HIGH COURT MISDEMEANOR: 2 Years and/or $5,000.00.

STEPHEN BUSCH – Stephen Busch served as the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality District 8 Water Supervisor, a position which would have allowed him to order the Flint Water Treatment Plant be shut down because it was not producing safe water. In January of 2015, Busch was made aware of the Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak, yet he allegedly represented to the public that Flint’s drinking water was safe.

Busch was previously charged with felony Misconduct in Office, Tampering with Evidence, Conspiracy to Tamper with Evidence, and two misdemeanor counts for both a treatment and monitoring violation of the Michigan Safe Water Drinking Act.

Charges: COUNT 1 – HOMICIDE – MANSLAUGHTER – INVOLUNTARY Did cause the death of Robert Skidmore on December 13, 2015, by failing to alert the public about a Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak in Flint, Michigan when he had notice that another outbreak would occur; contrary to MCL 750.321. [750.321-C] FELONY: 15 Years and/or $7,500.00. DNA to be taken upon arrest.

LIANE SHEKTER-SMITH  – As the Chief of the Office of Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance at the Department of Environmental Quality, Shekter-Smith had the ability to order the Flint Water Treatment Plant shut down for failure to produce safe water.

Shekter-Smith was previously charged with a felony of Misconduct in Office and a misdemeanor charge of Willful Neglect of Duty.

Charges: COUNT 1 – HOMICIDE – MANSLAUGHTER – INVOLUNTARY Did cause the death of Robert Skidmore on December 13, 2015, by failing to alert the public about a Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak in Flint, Michigan when he had notice that another outbreak would occur; contrary to MCL 750.321. [750.321-C] FELONY: 15 Years and/or $7,500.00. DNA to be taken upon arrest.

HOWARD CROFT – As Director of Public Works for the City of Flint, Croft had the ability to mandate changes to the treatment processes at the WTP to ensure proper disinfection was occurring, or switch back to DWSD. Mike Glasgow, former Flint Water Treatment Plant Operator, was allegedly pressured by Croft to start using the Flint Water Treatment Plant. Croft’s alleged failure to treat the water properly contributed to the bacterial outbreaks found in Flint, including the legionella in the spring of 2015.

Croft was previously charged with felony False Pretenses and Conspiracy to Commit False Pretenses.

Charges: COUNT 1 – HOMICIDE – MANSLAUGHTER – INVOLUNTARY Did cause the death of Robert Skidmore on December 13, 2015, by failing to alert the public about a Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak in Flint, Michigan when he had notice that another outbreak would occur; contrary to MCL 750.321. [750.321-C] FELONY: 15 Years and/or $7,500.00. DNA to be taken upon arrest.

DARNELL EARLEY – As an appointed Emergency Manager for the City of Flint, Earley was tasked with ensuring the health and welfare of the City. During his terms as Emergency Manager, Earley contributed to the decisions that allegedly caused the death of Robert Skidmore by keeping the City on the water source even as it became obvious the source should be switched back to Detroit Water & Sewer.

Earley was previously charged with felony False Pretenses, Conspiracy to Commit False Pretenses, Misconduct in Office and a misdemeanor charge of Willful Neglect of Duty.

Charges: COUNT 1 – HOMICIDE – MANSLAUGHTER – INVOLUNTARY Did cause the death of Robert Skidmore on December 13, 2015, by failing to alert the public about a Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak in Flint, Michigan when he had notice that another outbreak would occur; contrary to MCL 750.321. [750.321-C] FELONY: 15 Years and/or $7,500.00. DNA to be taken upon arrest.

A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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MDHHS reminds parents spring chicks may carry Salmonella


N-chicks

LANSING, Mich. – Health experts at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are warning parents about the potential for baby poultry to carry Salmonella. A common bacteria found in the droppings of poultry, Salmonella can cause illness in people. Salmonella germs contaminate feathers, feet and beaks of birds, as well as cages, coops and the environment where the birds live and roam. “Washing your hands thoroughly before and after handling chicks and other poultry protects both you and your family from the risk of Salmonella, and also helps keep the birds healthy,” said MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Dr. Eden Wells. “Even birds appearing cute, healthy, and clean can carry bacteria that can make people sick.”

In 2016, there were nine nationwide outbreaks of Salmonella illness linked to contact with live poultry, causing illness in 911 people in 48 states. Michigan reported 55 cases, of which almost half (45 percent) were in children.

During spring, live baby poultry are often displayed in stores in a way that children may be able to reach and touch the birds or areas where the birds are contained. This is one way people become exposed to harmful bacteria that leads to illness. People may also obtain birds through the mail by placing an order directly with a hatchery that supplies baby birds to raise for food or as pets.

Salmonella can cause diarrhea, vomiting, fever and/or abdominal cramps lasting four to seven days or more. Salmonella infections can be especially serious for the very young, the very old, and those with weak immune systems.

Baby poultry have special requirements for warmth and protection. Backyard flock owners may not be aware of the risk of Salmonella from baby poultry and consequently, may keep the birds inside their home. Potential poultry owners should plan ahead to provide a proper space that is safe for the birds and for the people in the household. To address this, backyard flock owners should give live poultry their own space to live, outside of the home. People should follow these recommendations to protect themselves and others:

  • Children younger than five years old, older adults or people with weak immune systems should not handle or touch chicks, ducklings or other poultry because they are more likely to become severely ill.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching the birds or anything in their environment. Adults should supervise hand washing for young children.
  • Use hand sanitizer until you can wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Always keep poultry away from areas where food or drink is prepared, served or stored, such as kitchens or outdoor patios.
  • Do not kiss the chicks.
  • Do not put anything to or touch your mouth, eat or drink after handling poultry.
  • Do not keep live poultry inside the house where people live, eat or sleep.
  • Do not give live baby poultry as gifts to young children.

Stay outdoors when cleaning any equipment associated with raising or caring for poultry, such as cages, feed, water containers and other materials.

For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/features/salmonellababybirds/.

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Two pediatric flu deaths confirmed in Michigan


 

First of the 2016-2017 season 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services recently confirmed the first two influenza-associated pediatric deaths of the 2016-2017 flu season. Influenza claims the lives of children every year across the United States, which is why MDHHS is reminding residents that it’s not too late to get vaccinated for protection this season.

The reported deaths involve one child from Kalamazoo County, and one from northern Michigan in District Health Department 10, which includes 10 northern Michigan counties.

Although this flu season has been moderate in Michigan so far, flu viruses are circulating in the community and can cause serious illness, hospitalization, and death. MDHHS strongly recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a seasonal flu vaccine.

“The flu vaccine this year is a good match to those viruses circulating in our communities, meaning it offers more protection than it may have in recent years,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for MDHHS. “It is not too late to get vaccinated. And remember, if you or your child is sick, stay home to help protect others.”

More than three quarters of the positive influenza specimens confirmed by MDHHS Bureau of Laboratories this flu season have been an H3N2 virus. This virus can cause severe flu infections in children, as well as in young- and middle-aged adults. Flu vaccine is the best way to prevent getting the flu and can also reduce the severity of flu illness.

Vaccine is especially important for persons at increased risk for complications from flu, including children, adults aged 65 years and older, persons of any age with underlying medical conditions, and pregnant women. Children less than 6 months of age are too young to be vaccinated and need to be protected by vaccination of their close contacts, including parents, siblings, grandparents, child care workers, and healthcare personnel.

In the 2015-2016 flu season, only 42.2 percent of Michigan residents were vaccinated against flu, putting Michigan in 42nd place in the country. MDHHS urges residents to make sure they protect themselves and their families against getting flu this season.

There is still plenty of flu vaccine available. To find flu vaccine near you, call your healthcare provider, local health department, or check the Health Map Vaccine Finder at http://flushot.healthmap.org. For more information about the flu, visit www.michigan.gov/flu.

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