Health Briefs: Chamber mixer celebrates Community Health Center Week

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Northwest Colorado Health and Craig Chamber of Commerce are hosting a mixer to celebrate National Health Center week. The event will be 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Northwest Colorado Health, 745 Russell St. The mixer will include food, drinks and door prizes. Tickets for the Rubber Ducky Race on Aug. 27 also will be available for $10 each. Please RSVP to the Chamber at 970-824-5689.

Parkinson's Support Network Meeting

The Yampa Valley Parkinson’s Support Network meets at 5 p.m. the second Monday of every month at Casey’s Pond in Steamboat Springs. All patients, caregivers and family members are welcome to attend. Discussions often include guest speakers and focus on quality of life issues, research updates and living well with Parkinson’s Disease. Contact Adrienne Hearne for more information: ahearne@nwcovna.org or 512-630-1373.

NCH reminds residents to protect themselves from Hantavirus

Northwest Colorado Health advises precautions when cleaning — or just being in — areas inhabited by rodents. Hantavirus is a serious, potentially fatal respiratory disease carried primarily by deer mice, which can be abundant in rural areas. Cases and deaths from the virus have increased in Colorado over the past several years; most cases occur in the spring and summer. Breathing in dirt and dust contaminated with deer mouse urine and feces can infect people. The illness can begin one to six weeks after exposure. Early symptoms are fatigue, fever and muscle aches and may also include pain in the legs and back, headaches, dizziness, chills and abdominal problems. If a person experiences these symptoms and has potentially been exposed to rodents, they should seek medical attention immediately. Hantavirus can be prevented by avoiding areas infested by rodents and following safety recommendations when cleaning up possible rodent food sources and nesting sites around the home, work areas or campsite. For information about safely cleaning rodent areas, go to cdc.gov/rodents/cleaning/.

Walking groups under way

Community members are invited to join Yampa Valley SoleMates walking group at 4 p.m. on Thursdays. The free group will meet at the ice rink at Loudy Simpson Park. Yampa Valley SoleMates provides opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to walk together for health and social benefits. Groups are led by trained walking companions in an effort to ensure safe and enjoyable walks, according to organizers. For more information, go to meetup.com/yampavalleysolemates.

The Senior Social Center is also offering two walking groups designed for people 50 and older: Walk With Ease and Walk & Get Fit. The programs cost $1 per walk for Senior Social Center members, and $3 for non-members.

Walks through the Walk With Ease program, which comes from the Arthritis Foundation, are slated to meet at 9 a.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, usually at the Loudy Simpson Park. According to the Senior Social Center, this walking group “can teach you how to develop an exercise routine that fits your unique needs.” People can take a six-week group class or use a Walk With Ease workbook. The leader is Glenna Grandbouche. Some walks may take place at other sites.

The Walk & Get Fit program is for people who “want to add some strengthening exercises” to their walks. It meets at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting on Tuesday, at the Craig Cemetery. The leader is Tammy Workman.

People may register on the second floor of the Bell Tower Building, and they can contact Jackie Camp for more information at 970-326-3188.

Rubber Ducky Race tickets for sale

Northwest Colorado Health (formerly Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association) will host the Rubber Ducky Race for Hospice Aug. 27. Tickets are $10. The race will start at 11 a.m. at the Ranney Street Bridge. A celebration with children’s activities and food vendors will follow at Loudy Simpson Park. There will be $1,000 in cash prizes including a $500 grand prize. All proceeds benefit Northwest Colorado Health’s Hospice program. You don’t need to be present to win. Purchase tickets online at northwestcoloradohealth.org/rubberducky. You also can get tickets at Northwest Colorado Health at 745 Russell St. or Yampa Valley Bank at 435 Mack Lane. Volunteers are needed to help with pre-event ticket sales and other aspects of the race. Call Mindy Marriott for more information at 970-871-7609.

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