Public Health Department
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It’s that time of year again for the Vilas County Public Health Department nurses to come to your community to administer seasonal influenza shots. This year the cost for the seasonal flu shots will be $25.00. The Public Health Department will bill Medicare Part B, Medicaid, and some Medicare replacements.
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated against the flu. People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.
The flu shot clinic schedule is as follows:
Any clinic cancellations will be announced on the radio.
Please take the following precautions to protect your health: Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs can spread this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- Stay home if you are sick until at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100°F or 37.8°C) or signs of a fever (without the use of a fever-reducing medicine).
- Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.
Please feel free to contact the Vilas County Public Health Department at 715-479-3656 with any questions regarding the flu shot clinics.
Water lab Update
PLEASE NOTE: Our Water Lab will be closed October 27,2021 through November 24, 2021 and will re-open December 1, 2021. The Water Lab will also be closed December 22, 2021 through December 29, 2021 and will
re-open on January 5, 2022.
Effective Wednesday, June 2, 2021, private well owners can bring in water samples for testing on Wednesday Mornings from 8am – 12pm Only.
Ticks are Still Out - Check Yourself!
Deer ticks can pass more than Lyme disease
Tick season is here and taking steps to protect against tick bites will help prevent Lyme disease. Lyme disease is the state of Wisconsin’s most commonly reported tick-borne disease. However, two other diseases- human anaplasmosis (formerly called ehrichiosis) and babesiosis-can also result from the bite of ticks. While these diseases are less common than Lyme’s disease, they can results in serious sickness.
According to the WI Department of Health Services, the average number of reported cases of Lyme disease has more than doubled over the past 10 years. There were 443 cases reported in Vilas County in 2020 and 9 cases reported in 2019. Estimates from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention indicate that the total number of cases could be approximately 10 times higher than what is reported.
The prime season for tick-borne disease begins when weather becomes warmer and the deer ticks begin to be more active. People are at risk for tick-borne diseases as they begin to enjoy outdoor activities in woody or brushy areas. By following the steps listed below, you can protect yourself from deer ticks and the diseases they carry:
- Know when you are in tick habitat—brushy, wooded areas, and long grasses.
- Use a good tick repellent, such as a product containing permethrin or DEET, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Wear clothes that will help to shield you from ticks. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants are best. Tuck your pants into the top of your socks or boots to create a “tick barrier.”
- Check frequently for ticks and remove them promptly. This is an important step in preventing disease.
- Remove the tick slowly and gently using a pair of tweezers. Folk remedies like Vaseline, nail polish remover, or matches are not safe or effective methods of tick removal.
Lyme disease symptoms include a bulls-eye rash, fever, headache, chills, muscle pain and joint pain. The bulls-eye rash, one of the earliest symptoms, typically appears between 3 and 30 days after the tick bite. Not everyone with Lyme disease develops the rash. Some people can develop two or more of these diseases at the same time.
If you develop signs or symptoms of a tick-related illness after spending time in areas where deer ticks are found, you should seek medical attention right away. Lyme disease, human anaplasmosis, and babesiosis can be treated with medication. Early diagnosis and treatment are important in preventing severe illness.
It is a challenging time for everyone right now and it’s hard to find stability in our lives. While many things are beyond our control, there are many things that we can control. When we are anxious and fearful, working some of these things into our lives can be empowering and comforting.
Focusing on establishing new practices of self-care can support your immune system and overall physical and mental health.
Maintain a routine
Do your best to maintain a regular routine: sleep, exercise, and diet.
- Set a regular sleep and wake schedule and stick to it as much as possible.
- If you are able, go for a walk in your neighborhood or on a trail, while keeping six feet apart from others. If you’d rather exercise at home, take advantage of the many online exercise routines available for free.
- Try at-home yoga or exercise.
- Take this time to practice new, healthy recipes. With more time at home, cooking can be an outlet that helps keep both our minds and bodies healthy.
Avoid crowds, but stay connected.
- Connect with a friend via phone or video chat. Sharing your concerns and anxieties is helpful. The other person likely has the same or similar concerns.
- Reach out to a family member or neighbor – let them know you’re thinking about them.
- Share meals with family or roommates.
- If you are able, help a neighbor who is at high-risk. Offer to pick up groceries or other necessities and leave them at the front door.
Be intentional about making time for fun and joy.
- Limit the amount of times you look at the news to only a few times or once per day from a reliable source. Watch a movie or catch up some comedies instead.
- Play a game.
- Start a new hobby.
- Have a dance party.
Nurture your mental health
Adopt new practices to care for your mental health during this stressful time.
- Take a deep breath. Practice yoga or mindfulness.
- If you meet with a therapist, let them know your concerns about coronavirus. If you don’t have a regular therapist, contact your healthcare provider.
The Key to Mold is Moisture Control
Tiny mold spores are all around us, both indoors and outdoors. Mold spores travel easily through the air and begin to grow indoors when moisture is present. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores from the indoors, so the best way to control mold growth is to control indoor moisture. When indoor conditions are just right, mold spores can grow and become a problem. By taking important steps, you can prevent and control mold growth inside your home.
Mold spores need 3 things to grow:
- A nutrient source (i.e., wood, paper, or other materials)
- The right temperature
Of these three conditions, the most important to control is moisture. Indoor mold growth is really a sign that moisture is present. If indoor moisture is controlled, mold will not grow.
Fixing the Mold Problem
Since moisture is essential for mold growth, do all you can to quickly identify and fix any source causing too much indoor moisture. Common household problems that lead to indoor moisture issues include:
- Roof leaks.
- Leaking pipes or plumbing fixtures.
- Condensation due to high indoor humidity.
- Indoor flooding.
After all moisture and water problems have been fixed, clean the moldy area and keep the area dry.
If you cannot identify the moisture source, or if you are dealing with a large mold and water problem, consider a professional home inspection. Visit our Wisconsin Mold Contractor's page for a listing of indoor air consultants and mold remediation contractors.
Preventing Mold Growth
Important actions can be taken to prevent indoor mold from becoming a problem:
- Keep indoor spaces well ventilated and dry. Air conditioners and dehumidifiers can help.
- Keep indoor humidity levels below 50%.
- Clean bathrooms often and keep surfaces dry. Run the bathroom ventilation fan during and after showers.
- Promptly fix water leaks.
- Clean up and dry your home fully and quickly (within 24-48 hours) after any flooding event.
Testing for Mold
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services does not recommend testing for mold because:
- Federal standards or limits for airborne mold concentrations or mold spores do not exist.
- Mold spores are everywhere around us, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold testing can be expensive.
If you see or smell mold, it is present. In any situation, your approach should be to find the moisture source, fix it, and clean what you can.
Tips for Food Safety in a Power Outage
For more information, visit: https://www.foodsafety.gov/food-safety-charts/food-safety-during-power-outage