Take precautions with bats, which may carry rabies – Health Briefs
Rabies is a potentially deadly virus transmitted through the saliva of infected animals. Some bats have tested positive for rabies in Northwest Colorado. The following precautions will help avoid exposure to potentially infected bats or other wild animals.
• Never touch a wild bat or any other wild animal.
• Teach children who find a bat to leave it alone and tell an adult.
• Keep doors and windows covered with intact screens. Do not leave unscreened doors or windows open in the evening.
• If a bat enters a home, call a professional trapper with experience removing bats from homes.
• Keep pets up-to-date on rabies vaccines. Call a veterinarian if unsure of a pet’s vaccination status.
• If exposed to a bat, if possible, safely collect the animal using a shovel (do not touch a bat, even if wearing gloves) and contact Northwest Colorado Health at 970-824-8233.
• Anyone who is bitten by a bat or finds a bat in a room where people sleep, contact a medical provider and Northwest Colorado Health.
For more information, visit colorado.gov/cdphe/rabies.
New health, wellness group meets Tuesdays
A free health and wellness group has begun meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays at 18 W. Victory Way.
The group focuses on weight loss and fitness and is structured similarly to Weight Watchers, with weekly meetings, weigh-ins, discussions and guest speakers.
For more information or to be placed on the group email list, call Suzanne at 970-826-0545 or 970-846-0616.
Program helps pregnant women quit tobacco
Northwest Colorado Health’s Baby and Me Tobacco Free program helps expectant mothers quit tobacco with prenatal smoking cessation sessions and incentives. Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, birth defects and infant death.
Program participants who quit smoking, remain smoke-free and attend monthly smoking cessation sessions during pregnancy and for a year after their baby is born will receive vouchers for free diapers.
For more information, call 970-870-4103.
Precautions advised during tick season
Northwest Colorado Health advises precautions against ticks and tick-borne diseases during spring and summer months. Ticks are commonly found in wooded or brushy areas with tall grass. They may also inhabit rustic mountain cabins, where chipmunks and other rodents may have visited. Recommendations to prevent tick bites include the following.
• Wear light-colored long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
• Avoid walking through high grass and bushy areas and sitting on logs or against trees.
• Use a blanket or tarp when resting or picnicking on the ground.
• Use repellents labeled for ticks. Those who spend a lot of time in tick habitat should consider wearing Permethrin-treated clothing (never apply Permethrin to the skin).
• Perform thorough tick checks after spending time in tick habitat.
Ticks should be removed from the skin as soon as possible. After removing a tick from a person or pet, wash hands immediately. If symptoms of illness are observed after a tick bite or exposure to ticks, seek prompt medical attention.
For more information and resources, visit coloradoticks.org.
Wellness Wednesday program offered weekly for seniors
Wellness Wednesday is a day of activities and health services for older adults. The day includes exercise classes, foot care, senior wellness checks, lunch, guest speakers and pinochle every Wednesday at Saint Michael Catholic Church, 678 School Street. The program is offered by Northwest Colorado Health’s Aging Well program. Suggested donations or fees apply to some activities and services, but no one will be turned away due to inability to pay.
See a complete schedule of activities, visit northwestcoloradohealth.org/agingwell or call 970-871-7676.