News briefs for May 31

Tourney brings lawmakers to Craig

The 19th annual Legislative Golf Tournament and Banquet is Saturday. Sen. Jack Taylor, R-Steamboat Springs, and Rep. Al White, R-Winter Park, host the event. A large legislative turnout is expected this year.

The day starts with a five-person scramble-format golf tournament at Yampa Valley Golf Course. That evening, a social hour and banquet will be held at the Craig Holiday Inn with former Colorado Sen. Norma Anderson serving as master of ceremonies. This year's banquet will feature executive chef of the Napa Valley Marriott, Brian Martinez, who will prepare a four-course wine-dinner pairing. The public is invited to attend the golf tournament and/or the banquet. Reservations are required. This is a great opportunity to converse with state and local government officials.

The cost for the golf tournament is $15, and the banquet is $35. Sponsoring a legislator costs $125. As a sponsor, your name or company's name will be displayed at the banquet and will be mentioned as a sponsor. Sponsorships help defray the cost of the event and the tournament. Participants in the golf tournament could win a set of Ping golf clubs. Door prizes will be awarded at the banquet.

"While the purpose of the event is mostly fun, it serves an important function by allowing the state Legislature an opportunity to visit Northwest Colorado," Taylor said.

For information, call Jim Chappell in Steamboat Springs at 871-223l or Corrie Scott in Craig at 824-5694.

Health officials warn against Hantavirus

As warm weather approaches, state health officials are warning Coloradans in the rural parts of the state to be cautious and avoid exposure to Hantavirus when doing spring cleaning and before opening up cabins, buildings, sheds and barns.

Hantavirus is a serious respiratory disease, which can be fatal, according to the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association. The disease is carried by deer mice, which are rural mice. Deer mice are brown on top and white underneath. They have large ears relative to their head size. House mice, on the other hand, are all gray and have small ears.

The virus can infect humans when they inhale dirt and dust contaminated with deer mice urine and feces, which occurs when people have contact with infected mice or stir up dust while working in or cleaning out rodent-infested structures. Be particularly careful where there are mouse droppings and evidence that mice have been in and around the buildings or nearby wood or junk piles. If live mice are still occupying the structure, rodent control should be done before extensive cleaning efforts. The structures should be ventilated thoroughly, and any accumulation of dust, dirt and mouse droppings should be wet down with a mixture of bleach and water before any cleaning begins. Additional precautions that should be taken to provide protection against Hantavirus include:

  • Rodent-proof buildings by plugging holes or other mouse entryways. Conduct year-round rodent control, using traps or poisons, or hire a professional exterminator.
  • Make home or work areas unattractive to rodents. Keep indoor areas clean, especially kitchens. Store food in rodent-proof containers and properly dispose of garbage in sealed containers. This includes pet, livestock and bird food.
  • Store firewood at least 100 feet from the house. Keep vegetation around the house well-trimmed.
  • Open doors or windows to provide good ventilation for 30 to 60 minutes before cleaning out structures. Avoid stirring up dust by watering down areas of mouse infestation with a mixture of bleach and water.

Initial symptoms are much like the flu. Within one to five days after the initial symptoms a dry cough, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing develop. For more information, call (303) 692-2700.

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