Health briefs for June 21, 2014: June is Colorado Bike Month
Throughout June, multiple agencies are supporting Colorado Bike Month as a way to increase the recreational activity for the purposes of fun and health.
Part of this initiative is Bike to Work Day on June 25, as promoted by Colorado Department of Transportation’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Programs and Federal Highway Administration.
The exercise from regular, moderate cycling can help people avoid significant health issues, and other health benefits can result from the lessened effect on the environment.
For more information, call 303-757-9982 or visit http://www.coloradodot.info/programs/bikeped.
National Lightning Safety Awareness Week is June 22 to 28
The National Weather Service is promoting lightning safety awareness from June 22 to 28 to remind people of all ages about the dangers of lightning.
On average, lightning kills and injures more people in the western portion of the United States than any other thunderstorm hazard. Although lightning can occur at any time of the year, it is most common during the summer months.
More than 260 people were killed by lightning between 2006 and 2013 in the United States, according to a study performed by NWS. The majority of these people were engaging in outdoor leisure activities at the time, many of whom were fishing, boating or camping.
NWS also features a slogan for lightning safety to encourage finding shelter as quickly as possible: “When thunder roars, go indoors!”
For more information, visit http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov.
Visiting Nurse Association offers incentive for new mothers
The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association is offering the Baby and Me Tobacco Free Program.
The free program offers prenatal smoking cessations sessions. Expectant moms who quit smoking, stay smoke-free during their pregnancy and stay smoke-free after their baby is born will receive a monthly voucher for free diapers for as many as 12 months.
For more information, call Hope Cook at 970-871-7622.
Hantavirus, rabies can affect rural areas
With warmer weather comes a greater chance for contact with wildlife, which also can mean greater exposure to diseases animals may carry.
Hantavirus is a serious respiratory disease carried by deer mice, which are brown on top and white underneath with large ears. Be careful when doing spring cleaning and before opening up cabins, buildings, sheds and barns.
You can become infected when you inhale dirt and dust contaminated with deer mice droppings. Air out rodent-infested buildings or areas at least 30 minutes before cleaning. Use a solution of household bleach — 1 cup bleach per gallon of water — to spray materials you have used for cleaning mouse droppings.
For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/hantavirus/.
Bats, foxes, porcupines and other small rodents can have rabies, meaning you should never touch these animals. Rabies is a deadly disease transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal, usually from bites.
Most human cases of rabies in the United States are caused by bats. Bites leave a small wound but require urgent medical attention. If bitten, wash the wound with soap and water and call your doctor.
For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/rabies.
Health care premiums are dropping for the first time in a long time, and for the individual marketplace on the Western Slope, premiums are going down dramatically.