Health briefs for May 10, 2014: Screenings important during National Women’s Health Week | CraigDailyPress.com

Health briefs for May 10, 2014: Screenings important during National Women’s Health Week

The American Cancer Society and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are encouraging women to schedule preventive screenings during Women's Health Week, which is from May 11 to 17.

According a news release from ACS, women who don't receive appropriate cancer screenings face a greater risk of late stage cancer detection and death. Early diagnosis through regular screenings can prevent 98 percent of breast cancer deaths, 96 percent of cervical cancer deaths and 60 percent of colorectal cancer deaths.

Such screenings can save hundreds of lives and keep thousands of women from getting cancer.

"Women are often the caregivers in the family," said Dr. Larry Wolk, department executive director and chief medical officer. "During Women's Health Week, we want to recognize how important their health is to us and urge them to talk to their doctors about the screening they need to prevent cancer and lead a long, healthy life."

Resources are available across the state for free breast and cervical cancers screenings. Women's Wellness Connection program offers free breast and cervical cancer screenings to eligible women. The program works in partnership with the American Cancer Society to operate a statewide referral and information line.

For more information, call 1-866-951-WELL (9355), or visit http://www.womenswellnessconnection.org.

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Also, local resources for colorectal cancer screenings for women and men 50 years or older may exist in your community. For more information about the Colorado Colorectal Screening Program, call 1-866-227-7914 or visit http://www.colonscreen.coloradocancercenter.org.

You can also consult with your health care professional about any screenings you may need.

The Memorial Hospital hosting community barbecue

The Memorial Hospital's Emergency Medical Services department and other first-responder agencies will host a free barbecue from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 18 at Loudy-Simpson Park in recognition of Emergency Medical Services Week, which is from May 18 to 24.

The event includes food, health information, bicycle safety inspections by the Craig Police Department, the chance to meet the EMS mascot, Terry the Traumasaurus, and more.

For more information, call 970-824-9411.

Measles vaccines recommended

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States is experiencing a high number of reported measles, many of which were acquired during international travel. A total of 129 measles cases have been reported in the U.S. in 2014, the highest number reported since 1996.

Of these cases, 34 were imported from other countries, such as the Philippines. The Philippines has been experiencing an explosive outbreak of measles, with approximately 20,000 confirmed or suspected cases reported during January and February, including 69 deaths.

Measles is a highly contagious, acute viral illness that is transmitted by contact with an infected person through coughing and sneezing. After an infected person leaves a location, the virus remains contagious for as many as two hours on surfaces and in the air. Measles can cause severe health complications, including pneumonia, encephalitis, and death. CDC recommends international travelers, school age children and college students receive two MMR — measles, mumps, rubella — vaccinations.

Children between ages 1 to 3 years old should receive one dose of MMR, but two doses if they are traveling internationally.

For more information on getting vaccinated against measles, call 970-824-8233 or 970-879-1632 or contact your health care provider.

Hantavirus, rabies can affect rural areas

With warmer weather comes a greater chance for contact with wildlife, which can also 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. Craig residents should 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 — one 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.