Craig health briefs for July 25, 2015: New K-12 student varicella vaccine requirement | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig health briefs for July 25, 2015: New K-12 student varicella vaccine requirement

Craig Daily Press Staff Report

— The Colorado school-required immunization schedule requires students in kindergarten through 12th grade have two varicella (chicken pox) immunizations at the beginning of the 2015-16 school year.

Children typically have the first varicella immunization at age one. They should have the second at 4 to 6 years old. It is especially important students in eighth through 12th grades be vaccinated twice; the disease tends to be more severe in adolescents and adults. Students do not need to get the varicella vaccine if they have evidence of having had chicken pox.

Low cost varicella and other recommended vaccinations for all ages are available at the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association's drop in immunization clinics, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursdays at the Craig VNA, 745 Russell Street. Immunizations also are available by appointment, call 970-824-8233.

For more information about immunizations in Colorado, go to Colorado.gov/cdphe. Click on services and information, health, prevention and wellness.

Relay For Life fundraising under way

The Relay For Life of Craig will take place at 6 p.m. Aug. 7 at Moffat County High School, 900 Finley Lane in Craig. So far, five teams have raised more than $800 for the Craig event and organizers are hoping to sign up at least five more teams for the event.

"The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is the world’s largest and most impactful fundraising event to end cancer," according to the event website. "It unites communities across the globe to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and take action to finish the fight once and for all."

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For more information, visit the Relay for Life of Craig website online or contact Sabrina Jackman at Sabrina.jackman@cancer.org or at 970-254-5587.

Pregnancy Center offers printer cartridge recycling program

Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center would like to help you help the environment and raise funds for the center by recycling your used inkjet and laser cartridges.

Individuals may drop off their cartridges at the Pregnancy Center at 25 W. Victory Way from 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Pick-up boxes will also be available at the Community Budget Center 555 Yampa Avenue and Cornerstone Realty 508 Yampa Avenue during their normal business hours.

The center can also arrange mutually convenient times to pick up used cartridges for businesses, churches and other organizations. If interested, please call Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center, 970-824-5204.

Avoid mosquito bites and West Nile virus

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association advises precautions against mosquitoes, which can carry West Nile Virus.

• Drain standing water where mosquitoes lay eggs. Empty old tires, cans, flower pots, clogged rain gutters, rain barrels and toys where puddles occur.

• Limit outdoor activities or take precautions during dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

• Dress in long sleeves and pants in active mosquito areas.

• Insect repellents containing DEET are effective in repelling mosquitoes. Always follow label instructions and precautions. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not using insect repellent on children younger than two months old and not using repellents containing more than 30 percent DEET on children. For tips on safely using insect repellents on children, go to http://www.healthychildren.org (type "insect repellent" in the search box).

West Nile virus is rare, but if you have symptoms including high fever, severe headache and stiff neck, contact your health care provider immediately. For more information about West Nile virus, go to http://www.cdc.gov/westnile.

Take precautions to avoid foodborne illness

Each year, one in six Americans get sick from consuming foods or beverages contaminated with disease-causing microbes or pathogens. The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association recommends the following precautions to reduce your risk of foodborne illness.

• Always wash your hands with soap and water before preparing food.

• Cook meat, poultry and eggs thoroughly. Use a food thermometer to measure internal temperature of meat.

• Wash hands, utensils and cutting boards after they have been in contact with raw meat or poultry and before they touch another food.

• Refrigerate leftovers that won't be eaten within four hours. Bacteria can grow quickly at room temperature.

• Wash produce in running tap water. Remove outermost leaves of a lettuce or cabbage. Bacteria can grow well on the cut surface of a fruit or vegetable. Take care not to contaminate produce while slicing on a cutting board, and don't leave cut produce out for many hours.

• Keep food away from flies and insects.

Common symptoms of foodborne illness include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever and chills. Avoid preparing food for others if you have these symptoms. Pregnant women, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe infections and should not to consume undercooked animal products. Contact your healthcare provider if you think you have a foodborne illness.

For more information, go to http://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/facts.

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