April 22 – 29, 2017
National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is an annual observance to promote the benefits of immunizations and to improve the health of children two years old or younger. Since 1994, local and state health departments, national immunization partners, healthcare professionals, community leaders from across the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have worked together through NIIW to highlight the positive impact of vaccination on the lives of infants and children, and to call attention to immunization achievements.
Several important milestones already have been reached in controlling vaccine-preventable diseases among infants worldwide. Vaccines have drastically reduced infant death and disability caused by preventable diseases in the United States. In addition:
- Through immunization, we can now protect infants and children from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases before age two.
- In the 1950’s, nearly every child developed measles, and unfortunately, some even died from this serious disease. Today, many practicing physicians have never seen a case of measles.
- Routine childhood immunization in one birth cohort prevents about 20 million cases of disease and about 42,000 deaths. It also saves about $13.5 billion in direct costs.
- The National Immunization Survey has consistently shown that childhood immunization rates for vaccines routinely recommended for children remain at or near record levels.
It’s easy to think of these as diseases of the past. But the truth is they still exist. Children in the United States can—and do—still get some of these diseases.
One example of the seriousness of vaccine preventable diseases is an increase in measles cases or outbreaks that were reported in 2014. The United States experienced a record number of measles cases, with 667 cases from 27 states reported to CDC’s NCIRD. This was the greatest number of cases in the U.S. since measles was eliminated in 2000.
Langlade County Health Department promotes vaccinations for infants, children and adults. We offer an immunization clinic on the fourth Wednesday every month from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. No appointment necessary. Stop in or call us at 715-627-6250 to ask if you are up-to-date with recommended vaccines.
Article also appeared in Antigo Daily Journal, April 8, 2017
By Stephanie Thiede, Public Health Nurse
The arrival of spring gives the Health Department the perfect opportunity to remind everyone of the dangers of rabies.
Fortunately, for Wisconsinites, there have not been any active human cases of rabies since 2010, but the rabies virus remains somewhat common in wild animals. The skunk, bat, fox and raccoon are all known to transmit rabies and, in our region of the state, pose the most significant exposure risk. In 2014, there were 26 bat specimens and one fox specimen that tested positive in Wisconsin.
Rabies can be transmitted from a rabid animal to another animal or human by a bite or lick over a break in the skin. The virus is present in the animal’s saliva and travels along the nerve’s pathways to the brain, where it causes inflammation that results in delirium, painful muscle spasms in the throat, and other severe symptoms.
Once symptoms develop, human rabies is almost always fatal. The single most important and successful action is the vaccination of domestic dogs and other pets.
The most common sign to watch for is unusual behavior for that particular animal, such as unprovoked aggression. When a person is exposed through a bite or scratch where saliva could enter the body, he/she should immediately wash the area thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical care.
Every attempt should be made to capture and confine the animal, if it is possible to do so in a safe manner. If the animal appears rabid, it is euthanized, and its brain is examined for the presence of rabies.
In the attempt to keep the members of our community safe from this disease, the Langlade County Board of Health approved an Animal Bite Surveillance System and Rabies Control Plan in August, 1999. The responsibilities and consequences of animal ownership are clearly detailed in the plan. Animal owners are reminded that they carry a responsibility to care for their pet by keeping them up to date on the rabies vaccine and other immunizations.
Any and every animal should be respected at all times. The physical, emotional, and financial pain of an animal bite/exposure from an unvaccinated animal should not be something that any of us has to experience.
If you have any questions, call your veterinary clinic or the Langlade County Health Department at 715-627-6250.
Article also appeared in Antigo Daily Journal, April 1, 2017
In recognition of National Public Health week, the staff at Langlade County Health Department would like to take this opportunity to share what the department does to help support the community in becoming healthier and stronger.
“We all have a role in making our communities healthier places to live, and the Langlade County Health Department is excited to lead the way,” Ron Barger, director of Health and Social Services Department, said. “Even small steps can make a big difference in the health and safety of our county.”
Toward that effort, the following are just a few examples of how your local health department is here to help:
Public health staff is ready to respond to any health emergency. This was highlighted during 2009, with the emergence of the H1N1 influenza virus. The department’s role was to educate and prepare the community for the unknown effects of H1N1.
The health department offers preventive care needed to help maintain health. Late last year and early into this year, surrounding counties suffered from a Pertussis (whooping cough) outbreak. The nursing staff monitored all test results for our county’s residents and encouraged the public to come in for vaccine protection. For 2016, the department provided a total of 2,029 immunizations to children and adults of Langlade County.
Public health staff provides information that allows people to make healthy decisions. Last year, the department put out a total of 122 articles and interviews through local media outlets and set up 60 educational displays that an estimated 4,200 community members engaged in.
The Langlade County Health Department provides services to children and families through the WIC program, Prenatal Care Coordination program and Langlade County Diaper Bank. It’s newly established diaper bank collected over 5,870 diapers last year, which allowed our department to serve over 200 children.
The health department collaborates with other community partners to improve wellness and prevent illness in Langlade County. The department works closely with the area school districts by providing support and education to students (i.e. health fairs, SADD teen peers, class presentations).
Public health staff also coordinate with Aspirus Langlade Hospital to conduct a widespread assessment of our community’s health needs and develop a Community Health Improvement Plan to address the key issues identified in the assessment.
National Public Health Week is designed to showcase the role that public health agencies play in making illness prevention possible for this generation and generations to come.