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Children's Library Summer Program

11:00-11:30 AM on Thursdays at the Bismarck Public Library, 515 North 5th Street, Bismarck.

"Eat, Play, Grow. Fun, hands-on lessons for young children and their caregivers. Click here for more information.




7th Annual Bike Rodeo

The Bismarck-Mandan Safety Council is hosting the 7th Annual Bike Rodeo.

4:00 - 8:00 PM
Tuesday, May 13th
Burleigh County Extension Office
3715 Bismarck Expressway

Many partners assisting and numerous activities. Partipants must provide their own bicycle and helmet and be accompanied by an adult.

A limited number of free bike helments will be given away for youth without helmet.

Click here for more information.




January 28, 2014

For Immediate Release

Custer -Burleigh-Emmons-Kidder Regional Public Health
210 Second Avenue Northwest
Mandan, North Dakota 58554
701-667-3370 ● Fax: 701-667-3371 1-888-667-3370
ATTN: Erin Loeb

Local Public Health Units Collaborate to Launch Regional Public Health Network




News Release

For Immediate Release:
March 27, 2013

For More Information, Contact:
Connie Griffin, Acting Director
Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health
Phone: (701) 355-1552
Email: CMGRIFFI@nd.gov

Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health Encourages Residents To Get Active
Public Health Week Recognized April 1 through 7, 2013

BISMARCK, N.D. - During National Public Health Week, April 1 through 7, 2013, Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health (BBPH) is highlighting the return of investment that public health and prevention bring in keeping our community healthy. The theme for Public Health Week is "Public Health is ROI (Save Lives, Save Money)."

Every year in the United States, seven out of 10 deaths are due to preventable chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. In fact, chronic diseases account for 75 percent of national healthcare spending, yet only 3 percent of our health-care dollars go toward prevention. Here in North Dakota 58.3 percent of our residents are living with a costly and potentially life-threatening chronic illness. But there are steps we can take to help turn these statistics around.

Residents can learn and be empowered to change risky behaviors through public health approaches that include promoting wellness in the workplace and schools, and engaging communities in changing risky behaviors.

Small preventive changes and initiatives in our community, schools and workplace can make a big difference in living healthier lives. We hope this event encourages people to learn more about the steps they can take to prevent diseases.

According to Connie Griffin (Acting Director of BBPH), chronic diseases can be prevented by taking actions through more active living, healthy eating, and living tobacco free.

During public health week, Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health will hold the following events:

  • Monday April 1st we will be kicking off our 10,000 Steps a Day Challenge. Stop by BBPH to sign up, get your pedometer and join in the fun.(limited pedometer supply)
  • Wednesday April 3rd we will be providing resources and a small token promoting smoke-free living.
  • Thursday April 4th we will be holding a walk at 12:15 pm starting at 500 E Front Ave for all city employees.
  • Friday April 5th we will be awarding a prize to the winner of the 10,000 Steps A Day Challenge where participants track their steps throughout the week and report their total.


Public Health Week is part of the American Public Health Association's annual celebration of the role of public health and helps educate and engage Americans in the movement to create a healthier community, state and nation for ourselves and the generations to come. If public health can change risky behaviors in worksites, and schools in our community, we will impact a significant portion of our residents.

For more information about Public Health Week and steps you can take to prevent chronic diseases, contact Connie Griffin, Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health, at (701) 355-1540.





Universial No Smoking Sign
North Dakota's new smoke-free law to take effect December 6, 2012

North Dakota's new smoke-free law (passed by over two-thirds of North Dakota voters) will take effect on December 6. The new law strengthens North Dakota's existing smoke-free law by making all public places smoke free. For more information about the smoke-free law, contact Bismarck/Burleigh Public Health at 355-1597, or www.breathend.com.






North Dakota Observes Child Passenger Safety Week

September 17, 2012

For More Information, Contact:
Dawn Mayer
Division of Injury Prevention and Control
North Dakota Department of Health
Phone: 701.328.4536
E-mail: drmayer@nd.gov

BISMARCK, N.D.
- In observance of National Child Passenger Safety Week September 16 through 22, 2012, The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) is asking parents and caregivers to pay special attention to how they put their child in a car seat - each time they ride in a car. When going through the daily repetitive motions of buckling up children each day, it's easy to take short cuts or not secure children in the car seat or the car seat in the car properly.

The NDDoH is emphasizing this after learning about the results from the report, "Child Passengers at Risk, 2011 North Dakota Car Seat Checkup Summary." North Dakota car seat checkup statistics continue to indicate a high percentage of car seats are misused. While the percent of misuse has gone down since 2010, the overall misuse rate of car seats in North Dakota is 84 percent.

According to the report completed by the NDDoH, data collected from car seat checkups statewide show the top five forms of misuse include:

•53 percent of the children were not secured tightly by the car seat harness.
•34 percent of the children had the harness clip located on their body incorrectly.
•29 percent of the harnesses were in the wrong slots for the child riding in the car seat.
•49 percent of the car seats were not installed tight enough in the car.
•47 percent of the car seat tether straps were not used to help anchor the seat to the vehicle.

To cut down on misuse, the Department of Health always suggests reading the instructions for the car seat and the vehicle owner's manual. Since correct use of car seats can be complicated and confusing, the state health department encourages caregivers to attend a car seat checkup or contact a certified child passenger safety technician for help. There are approximately 200 certified child passenger safety technicians in the state. To find a certified technician near you, call the North Dakota Department of Health at 701.328.4536 or 800.472.2286, or visit the Department of Health website or the NHTSA website.

In addition, the department recommends the following tips:
•Choose the right car seat to fit your child's size, age, physical development and behavioral needs.
•Install your car seat into the vehicle with either the lower anchors and tethers (LATCH) or the seat belt, not both.
•If the car seat instructions recommend using a tether anchor strap, make sure to use it. This anchors the top of the car seat to the vehicle.
•Once installed, car seats should not move more than one inch.
•Harnesses should always be snug on a child's body to keep them from moving in a crash. The more a child moves in a crash, the likelihood of injury increases.
•Don't move children to booster seats too early, children should not go into booster seats before 4 years of age. Keep children in harnessed car seats to the maximum size limits.
•Keep kids in booster seats until they are 4 foot 9 inches tall, which is usually around 8 to 12 years of age. This will help ensure the seat belt fits their body correctly.

For more information about child passenger safety, contact Dawn Mayer, North Dakota Department of Health, at 701.328.4536. To access the "Child Passengers at Risk Report," click here.

Please note: To access archived news releases and other information, visit the North Dakota Department of Health Press Room.

NEWS RELEASE
August 28, 2012

For More Information, Contact:
Paula Flanders, Director Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health
701.355.1540
pflander@nd.gov

Anton Sattler, Administrator Environmental Health Division
701.355.1418
asattler@nd.gov

West Nile Virus Numbers on the Rise, Residents Urged to Take Precautionary Measures
Bismarck, ND - Despite low numbers of mosquitoes this summer, the number of West Nile virus cases is on the rise in Burleigh County. Four of the state's reported 19 cases of West Nile have been reported in Burleigh County. No deaths from West Nile have been reported in North Dakota this year. Last year, only four cases of West Nile were reported in all of North Dakota.

The number of mosquitoes is significantly less than last year. Bismarck vector control has trapped just 1,016 mosquitoes so far this year. Only 36 of those mosquitoes are Culex Tarsalis, the mosquito that carries West Nile. That compares to 11,520 mosquitoes trapped at this time in 2011. 1,706 of those were Culex Tarsalis.

"West Nile virus is a serious disease, and we can't afford to be complacent. It's important that people take steps to reduce their risk of contracting the virus," says Paula Flanders, Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health Director.

Treating standing water is one way to reduce the risk of West Nile. Burleigh County has larvicide briquettes available to residents. One briquet treats 100 square feet of shallow water
with no current and lasts up to 150 days. Residents can purchase the briquets for $3 each at the Burleigh County Extension Office (3715 East Bismarck Expressway) Monday - Friday, between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.

There are other things you can do to protect yourself from West Nile virus. Here are some tips:
  • Wear light-colored, long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
  • Stay indoors during the evening and early morning hours when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or permethrin. Always follow directions on the label.
  • Keep grass and shrubbery cut short.
  • Empty water from buckets, birdbaths, wading pools, troughs and potted-plant trays every four to five days.


For more on West Nile virus, visit one of our websites:
www.bismarck.org/publichealth
www.burleighco.com/departments/ph




North Dakota Businesses Designated as "Infant Friendly"

For Immediate Release:
Aug. 1, 2012

For More Information, Contact:
Deanna Askew, MPA, RD, LRD
Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity
North Dakota Department of Health
Phone: 701.328.4568
E-mail: daskew@nd.gov

BISMARCK, N.D. - The North Dakota Department of Health, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, recognized 20 North Dakota businesses as "Infant Friendly" in the past year, according to Deanna Askew, Healthy Communities coordinator for the North Dakota Department of Health. Employers can apply for this designation if they adopt a worksite policy that includes:
•Flexible work scheduling, including scheduling breaks and permitting work patterns that provide time for expression of breast milk.
•A convenient, sanitary, safe and private location (other than a restroom), allowing privacy for breastfeeding or expressing breast milk.
•A convenient, clean and safe water source with facilities for washing hands and rinsing breast-pumping equipment located near the private location.
•A convenient place for temporarily storing breast milk, such as a refrigerator or cooler.

The following North Dakota employers have been designated as infant-friendly in the last year:
•Bismarck - Bismarck Burleigh Public Health, Bismarck Public Schools, Capital Credit Union, Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy, Dakota Eye Institute
•Dickinson - Baker Boy
•Enderlin - Sanford Clinic
•Fargo - Gate City Bank
•Grand Forks - City of Grand Forks
•Jamestown - Central Valley Health District
•Lisbon - Ransom County
•Rolla - Rolette County Public Health District
•Valley City - City-County Health District, City of Valley City, Sanford Clinic, Sanford Eye Clinic, Valley City Area Chamber of Commerce, Valley City State University, Circle of Friends Preschool
•Williston - Upper Missouri District Health Unit

The designation of these businesses coincides with Governor Jack Dalrymple's proclamation of Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7, 2012. This week is the global celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, an annual event that draws attention to the health impacts of breastfeeding for both babies and mothers.

"We understand that if a woman has support in her place of employment she will breastfeed her infant for a longer duration," said Askew. "This will give the baby an edge in overall health, including fewer infections, disease, obesity and diabetes."

According to research, breastfeeding also benefits the employer. Such benefits include lower health-care costs because breastfed babies are healthier, lower absenteeism, and lower turnover rates since woman are more likely to return to their previous jobs if the company provides support for breastfeeding mothers. These benefits can provide considerable cost savings to employers.

"We understand breastfeeding offers society improved health outcomes for children and mothers, as well as economic and environmental benefits," said Desire'e Steinberger, Public Health Dietitian, Upper Missouri District Health Unit, Williston.

Businesses interested in joining the list of recognized organizations can find resources for supporting their employees and the simple application at www.ndhealth.gov/breastfeeding.

For more information about the infant friendly designation or Breastfeeding Week in North Dakota, contact Deanna Askew, North Dakota Department of Health, at 701.328.4568.

Note: Proclamation follows

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Please note: To access archived news releases and other information, visit the North Dakota Department of Health Press Room.

PROCLAMATION
BREASTFEEDING WEEK
AUGUST 1-7, 2012

WHEREAS, breastfeeding reduces our children's risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), asthma, infectious diseases, diabetes and obesity; and

WHEREAS, mothers who breastfeed reduce their risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and type 2 diabetes; and

WHEREAS, all major medical authorities recommend that mothers breastfeed exclusively for six months and continue breastfeeding for at least the first year of a child's life; and

WHEREAS, North Dakota state law protects a woman's right to breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where the woman and child are otherwise authorized to be; and

WHEREAS, employers that provide breastfeeding support experience an impressive return on investment, including lower health-care costs, absenteeism and turnover rates, and improved morale, job satisfaction and productivity; and

WHEREAS, federal law now requires support at work for some mothers who breastfeed, including the provision of a location, other than a bathroom, and reasonable break times to express breast milk; and

WHEREAS, North Dakota employers who support breastfeeding mothers in the workplace can be designated as "Infant Friendly" by the North Dakota Department of Health; and

WHEREAS, the Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding calls on health-care providers, employers, insurers, policymakers, researchers and the community at large to support mothers in reaching their personal breastfeeding goals.

NOW, THEREFORE, as Governor of the State of North Dakota, I do hereby proclaim August 1-7, 2012, BREASTFEEDING WEEK in the state of North Dakota.

Jack Dalrymple
Governor




North Dakota Department of Health Reminds Parents That Now is the Time to Think About Back-to-School Immunizations

For Immediate Release:
July 24, 2012

For More Information, Contact:
Abbi Pierce
Division of Disease Control
North Dakota Department of Health
Phone: 1.800.472.2180
E-mail: apierce@nd.gov

BISMARCK, N.D. - The North Dakota Department of Health is encouraging parents to get their children vaccinated now to avoid the back-to-school rush later this summer.

Children entering school should have five doses of DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis), four doses of IPV (polio), three doses of HBV (hepatitis B), two doses of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), and two doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine. There also are vaccines that are required for adolescents when entering middle school. Middle school requirements include an immunization against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) and meningococcal disease (MCV4). Starting this fall for North Dakota college students, the vaccine that protects against meningococcal disease is required for newly admitted students residing in on-campus housing. Other vaccines may be recommended by children's health-care providers.
"By requiring vaccines, we hope to minimize the spread of preventable illnesses in schools and provide North Dakota's children with a healthier environment to learn," said Abbi Pierce, Immunization Surveillance Coordinator. "Children should get vaccinated as soon as possible to ensure they are protected before the first day of school."

The school requirements reflect immunization recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Approximately one-third of middle school students were not up-to-date with Tdap and meningococcal vaccine during the 2011-2012 school year.

"There are many new residents to the state of North Dakota and it is important that parents bring their child's immunization record from out-of-state to the clinic when they present for immunizations. This way the North Dakota provider will know which immunizations are needed," said Pierce. "New North Dakota residents may contact the state health department in the state they previously lived in or their previous health-care provider to find their child's immunization record."

Children can be vaccinated at local public health units or private health-care providers. For more information on school immunization requirements, contact Abbi Pierce, North Dakota Department of Health, at 1.800.472.2180, or visit our website by clicking here. - 30 -

Please note: To access archived news releases and other information, visit the North Dakota Department of Health Press Room.

Connie Griffin
Connie Griffin
Connie Griffin Awarded 2012 Public Health Outstanding Service Award

Connie Griffin, RN with Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health, has been awarded the North Dakota 2012 Public Health Outstanding Service Award. This award honors an individual who has exhibited continued excellence in the field of public health.

Congrats to Connie!


Bismarck and Burleigh County Health Needs Survey

Bismarck and Burleigh County Health Needs Survey (document)
File Size: 577.3 kb

Here are the results of our Health Needs Survey.




North Dakota Observes National HIV Testing Day - Department of Health Urges Testing for At-Risk People

For Immediate Release:
June 26, 2012

For More Information, Contact:
Shannon Jahner
HIV Prevention Coordinator
North Dakota Department of Health
Phone: 701.328.1059
E-mail: sdjahner@nd.gov


BISMARCK, N.D. - In observance of National HIV Testing Day on June 27, 2012, the North Dakota Department of Health is urging people at risk for HIV/AIDS to get tested, according to Shannon Jahner, HIV Prevention Coordinator for the North Dakota Department of Health.

It is estimated that more than one million people in the United States are HIV positive, and approximately 56,300 new infections occur every year. As of Dec. 31, 2011, 541 cases of HIV/AIDS had been reported in North Dakota since HIV/AIDS surveillance began in 1984. About one-fourth of the people estimated to be HIV positive are believed to be unaware of their infections; as a result, they do not receive medical care that could help them live longer, fuller lives. Without knowing it, they also may be transmitting HIV to others. That is why it is important for people to learn their HIV status by getting tested.

Behaviors that put people at risk include:
•Unprotected sex.
•Needle sharing for drug use.
•Unsafe tattooing and body piercing practices.

HIV testing is available at test sites throughout the state, and results are available in 20 minutes. The test sites are staffed by trained personnel who offer free and confidential HIV testing, counseling and referrals to those at risk.

For information about HIV testing and other HIV/AIDS services, call the North Dakota Department of Health HIV/AIDS Program hotline at 1.800.70.NDHIV or click here to visit the program's website. There is also a website where you can identify your risk factors through an anonymous survey. Click here to take the survey.

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Please note: To access archived news releases and other information, visit the North Dakota Department of Health Press Room.

Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health Asks for Public's Help With POD Exercise

For Immediate Release
June 21, 2012

For More Information, Contact:
Jody Kerzman, Emergency Preparedness
Public Information Officer
Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health
701.355.1556
jskerzman@nd.gov

Bismarck, ND - Practice makes perfect, and that's exactly why Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health is practicing responding to an emergency. On June 28, BBPH will be holding an exercise at Century High School. Nurses and other staff from BBPH and other area public health units will practice setting up a Point of Dispensing (POD) site and distributing medication to people who come to the POD.

Volunteers ages 16 and over are needed to make this exercise successful. Volunteers should go to Century High School at 2:00 pm. During the two hour exercise, volunteers will go through the POD and receive an antibiotic (for this exercise, candy will be used instead of real antibiotics). Volunteers who have a driver's license should bring it along.

"We are required to do exercises like this every year. The idea is to give our staff hands-on experience, so if there ever is a real emergency, we know what to do," says Jody Kerzman, Emergency Preparedness Public Information Officer for BBPH.

Pre-registration is not necessary - volunteers are encouraged to drop in on June 28 between 2:00pm and 4:00pm. But, if you know you would like to help, please contact Jody Kerzman at 355.1556 or jskerzman@nd.gov by June 27.

###


West Nile Virus Surveillance Activities Begin in North Dakota

For Immediate Release:
June 5, 2012


For More Information, Contact:
Michelle Feist
Division of Disease Control
North Dakota Department of Health
Phone: 701.328.2378
E-mail: mafeist@nd.gov

BISMARCK, N.D. - On June 1, 2012, the North Dakota Department of Health - in conjunction with several local, state, federal and private agencies - began coordination of West Nile virus surveillance activities, according to Michelle Feist, epidemiologist with the Department of Health. Surveillance activities include reporting and testing sick horses, trapping and testing mosquitoes, monitoring illness in humans, and reporting and testing dead birds.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. In North Dakota, the greatest risk for West Nile virus transmission occurs during the months of July and August when the Culex tarsalis mosquito, the mosquito that transmits the disease, is more abundant.

"Most people infected with West Nile virus experience no symptoms or have only mild symptoms such as fever and headaches," Feist said. "More severe infection may result in high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, altered mental state and death. "The elderly are more likely to have severe infections, but anyone who develops severe symptoms should consult a physician."

In 2011, four West Nile virus cases in humans were reported to the Department of Health, with no deaths. Additionally, West Nile infection was identified in one horse and six dogs. It's also important to note that since surveillance started in 2002, a human case has been reported in every county in the state.

"Anyone who comes into contact with mosquitoes is at risk for West Nile virus, no matter where you live in the state," Feist said. "It is important for people to take precautions now and throughout the summer months to protect themselves."

The best protection against West Nile virus infection is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. People are encouraged to take the following protective measures:
•Use insect repellents containing ingredients registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - such as DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (or PMD) or permethrin - and apply according to manufacturer's instructions.
•Wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and pants.
•Limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most likely to bite.
•Eliminate stagnant water in containers around homes where mosquitoes can lay their eggs (such as buckets, flowerpots, old tires, wading pools and birdbaths).
•Keep the grass around your home trimmed.

For more information about West Nile virus, contact Michelle Feist, North Dakota Department of Health, at 701.328.2378 or click here.

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Please note: To access archived news releases and other information, visit the North Dakota Department of Health Press Room.

Department of Health Observes National Cancer Survivors Day®

For Immediate Release:
May 31, 2012


For More Information, Contact:
Krista Headland
North Dakota Department of Health
Division of Cancer Prevention and Control
Phone: 701.328.3046
E-mail: kheadland@nd.gov


BISMARCK, N.D. - The North Dakota Department of Health is observing National Cancer Survivors Day® on Sunday, June 3, 2012. This 25th annual celebration of life will be held in hundreds of communities worldwide. Cancer survivors, family members, friends and health-care professionals will unite to show that life after a cancer diagnosis can be meaningful and productive.

Anyone living with a history of cancer - from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life -
is a cancer survivor. Nearly 12 million Americans are now living with and beyond a diagnosis of cancer. In the United States, men have a slightly less than a one in two lifetime risk of developing cancer. For women, the risk is a little more than one in three. Learning about this disease is crucial, because many forms of cancer can be prevented and most cured if detected early.

"It's important for everyone to learn about how to prevent cancer and what factors may put them at risk," said Krista Headland with the North Dakota Department of Health's Division of Cancer Prevention and Control. "Many forms of cancer can be prevented and most cured if detected early. Making sure that you complete recommended screenings could save your life."

Major advances in cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment have resulted in people living longer with the disease and growing number of cancer survivors. However, a cancer diagnosis can leave a host of problems in its wake. Physical, financial and emotional hardships often persist after diagnosis and treatment. Survivors may face many challenges such as hindered access to cancer specialists and promising new treatments, inadequate insurance, financial hardships, employment problems and psychological struggles. In light of these difficulties, communities are encouraged to focus on improving the quality of life for cancer survivors.

For more information, contact Krista Headland, North Dakota Department of Health, at 701.328.3046, or click here.
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Please note: To access archived news releases and other information, visit the North Dakota Department of Health Press Room.

North Dakotan Featured in National Education Campaign

For Immediate Release:
May 30, 2012

For More Information, Contact:
Michelle Walker
Tobacco Prevention and Control Program
North Dakota Department of Health
Phone: 701.328.2315
E-mail: mlwalker@nd.gov


BISMARCK, N.D. - Brandon Carmichael, from West Fargo, is currently being featured in the Tips From Former Smokers national education campaign produced by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This campaign features a variety of people, many of whom started smoking in their early teens, who are suffering from tobacco-related illnesses. By showing people whose lives have been tremendously impacted by the damage caused by smoking, the CDC hopes to encourage smokers to quit and to stop young people from starting. Brandon's part of the campaign centers around his struggle with Buerger's disease and includes television, radio and print advertisements.

"The CDC tracked me down through my website, www.smokinggotme.com," Brandon said. "I use my website to educate people about Buerger's disease, help people quit using tobacco and hopefully help young people make the decision to never start using tobacco."

Buerger's Disease is a vascular disease where the arteries in the arms and legs swell and can become blocked with blood clots, effectively cutting off circulation and possibly leading to infection and gangrene. The disease usually first shows in the hands and feet and may eventually affect larger areas of the arms and legs. Virtually everyone diagnosed with Buerger's disease smokes cigarettes or uses other forms of tobacco, such as chewing tobacco. Quitting all forms of tobacco is the only way to stop Buerger's disease. For those who don't quit, amputation of all or part of a limb may be necessary.

Brandon was diagnosed with the disease when he was 18 and was having trouble getting a cut on his big toe to heal. At 19, Brandon had his left leg amputated below the knee. In spite of his health problems, Brandon continued to go back to smoking, and continued to have more problems with Buerger's disease. He eventually had both of his legs amputated below the knee and lost several of his fingertips.

"When you're young and you know everything, you think these things won't happen to you. Even after I was diagnosed at 18, I was still in denial. I figured that the bad things would not happen to me," Brandon said. "But something will happen to you - whether it's Buerger's disease, cancer, heart attack or any of the other health problems that come from smoking.
Tobacco is life altering and lethal. Why risk your health?"

At age 31, Brandon has been tobacco-free for four years and is currently free from symptoms of the disease. But, he still must deal with the consequences of being a double amputee.

"If I could go back and talk to the 18-year-old me, I would tell him to do things differently," Brandon said. "I would tell him that it's not a game. What you do and the decisions you make as a young person affect the rest of your life. They affect you, your friends, your family and even your future children. My family has suffered through everything with me. And now I have an 8-month-old son who is going to suffer from my decisions - from my tobacco addiction. How will he feel when I can't run and play with him as he grows up?"

Two weeks after the CDC launched the campaign in mid-March, calls to the national tobacco quitline number (1.800.QUIT.NOW) more than doubled. North Dakota's NDQuits program, which uses the same 1.800.QUIT.NOW number, has seen an increase of about 30 percent.

"We're happy that this education campaign has compelled more North Dakota tobacco users to seek help with quitting," said Michelle Walker, director of the North Dakota Department of Health's Tobacco Prevention and Control Program. "The NDQuits program is here to help North Dakotans. It's free and includes telephone-based or online counseling, support from other quitters, and free cessation medications to help people quit. You don't have to do it alone. Free help is available."

According to the CDC, smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, killing more than 443,000 Americans each year. Cigarette smoking costs the nation $96 billion in direct medical costs and $97 billion in lost productivity each year. More than 8 million Americans are living with a smoking-related disease, and every day more than 1,000 youth younger than 18 become daily smokers. Still, nearly 70 percent of smokers say they want to quit, and half make a serious quit attempt each year.

"Brandon was able to use his struggles to help other people across the country stop using tobacco or avoid starting," said Michelle Walker "For every person who dies from smoking, there are another 20, like Brandon, who suffer from one or more serious smoking-related illnesses. We are thankful that Brandon is using his experience to help others, helping them to avoid the pain and suffering that goes along with tobacco use."

Brandon is available to speak about his experiences to schools, youth groups and others. He has shared his story many times in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota.

To learn more about Brandon and to view his portion of the campaign (television, radio and print advertisements), click here.

For help with quitting tobacco, click here or call 1.800.QUIT.NOW (1.800.784.8669).

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Please note: To access archived news releases and other information, visit the North Dakota Department of Health Press Room.

North Dakota Department of Health Urges Parents To Keep Concentrated Packets of Laundry Detergent Out of Reach of Children

For Immediate Release:
May 25, 2012

For More Information, Contact:
Diana Read
Injury/Violence Prevention Program
North Dakota Department of Health
Phone: 1.800.472.2286 (press 1)
E-mail: dread@nd.gov


BISMARCK, N.D. - The North Dakota Department of Health is urging parents to make sure to keep highly concentrated "single dose pack" of laundry detergent away from children. This comes after a warning from the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

Poison centers across the United States are reporting a recent increase in calls about exposures of children to laundry detergents packaged in very small, single-dose packets. Some young children and toddlers who swallow these small packets have become very ill and have required hospitalization. Other children have gotten the product in their eyes, resulting in significant eye irritation. Some children have been exposed when the product burst after putting it into their mouths.

"When we checked with the poison control center that serves North Dakota, we were informed that four of these cases have been reported from North Dakota," said Diana Read, Injury/Violence Prevention Program director for the North Dakota Department of Health. "Luckily, the cases reported in North Dakota were not serious, but we want to make sure that parents know these detergent packages can be dangerous so they can make sure they are stored somewhere children can't get to them."

The American Poison Control Centers recommends the following steps:
•Always keep detergents locked up and out of reach of children.
•Follow the specific disposal instructions on the label.
•If you think a child has been exposed to a laundry detergent packet, call your local poison control center at 1.800.222.1222 immediately.

For more information, or to request stickers and magnets with the national poison control number, contact Diana Read, North Dakota Department of Health, at 800.472.2286 (press 1) or visit our website (click here).

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Please note: To access archived news releases and other information, visit the North Dakota Department of Health Press Room.

State Health Department Issues Hantavirus Disease Warning

For Immediate Release:
May 24, 2012

For More Information, Contact:
Michelle Feist
Division of Disease Control
North Dakota Department of Health
Phone: 701.328.2378
E-mail: mafeist@nd.gov


BISMARCK, N.D. - People who are cleaning cabins or other buildings that had been closed for the winter should protect themselves against hantavirus, a disease transmitted by infected mice, according to the North Dakota Department of Health.

"Hantavirus infection has been associated with cleaning or occupying previously vacant cabins or other dwellings," said Michelle Feist, epidemiologist with the Department of Health's Division of Disease Control. "It's important to take precautions while cleaning buildings infested with rodents. Preventing infection is important since there is no cure and the disease can be fatal."

Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a viral infection that causes severe lung disease. Infected rodents spread the virus in their urine, droppings and saliva. The virus may be transmitted if an infected rodent bites someone, but is mainly transmitted to people when they breathe in air contaminated by the virus. The deer mouse is the primary carrier of the virus.

The Department of Health offers the following tips for cleaning a rodent infested building to prevent hantavirus infection:
•Ventilate the space by opening the doors and windows for 30 minutes, and leave the area during this period.
•Do not stir up dust by sweeping or vacuuming up droppings, urine or nesting materials.
•Wear gloves and use disinfectant when cleaning up dead rodents or their urine, droppings and nests.
•Mop floors and clean countertops, cabinets and drawers with disinfectant.

Symptoms of HPS usually occur two to three weeks after infection. Early symptoms commonly include fever, muscle and body aches, fatigue, headache, dizziness, chills, nausea and vomiting. The illness worsens within a short period of time to include coughing and severe shortness of breath when lungs fill with fluid.

Eleven cases of HPS have been reported to the North Dakota Department of Health since 1993, when it was first recognized in the United States. Six of these cases were fatal. Nationwide, 587 cases have been reported, of which 36 percent have resulted in death. It is also worth noting that about 75 percent of all cases in the U.S. have occurred in residents living in rural areas.

For more information, contact Michelle Feist, North Dakota Department of Health, at 701.328.2378.

Please note:
A fact sheet containing important precautions to minimize the risk of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome infection is available here.

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To access archived news releases and other information, visit the North Dakota Department of Health Press Room.

Emergency Medical Services for Children Day Observed in North Dakota

For Immediate Release:
May 22, 2012

For More Information, Contact:
Mary Tello-Pool
Emergency Medical Services for Children
North Dakota Department of Health
Phone: 701.328.2953
E-mail: matellopool@nd.gov

BISMARCK, N.D. - Governor Jack Dalrymple has proclaimed May 23, 2012, as Emergency Medical Services for Children Day in North Dakota.

Emergency Medical Services for Children Day highlights the unique emergency care needs of children and emphasizes the importance of properly trained emergency personnel, appropriately equipped ambulances and emergency departments, and well-defined pediatric treatment procedures.

"Our children are precious and deserve the best possible care when they are sick or injured," said Mary Tello-Pool, Emergency Medical Services for Children Program coordinator for the North Dakota Department of Health. "North Dakota's emergency personnel are dedicated to saving children's lives and to ensuring they grow up safe and healthy."

About 30 million children need emergency care each year in the United States. Emergency medical services professionals work to save children's lives through emergency response, injury prevention, safety awareness and emergency preparedness. In addition, parents and caregivers play a critical role in preventing and preparing for pediatric emergencies.

For more information about Emergency Medical Services for Children Day, contact Mary Tello-Pool, North Dakota Department of Health, at 701.328.2953.


PROCLAMATION

EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES FOR CHILDREN DAY
May 23, 2012


WHEREAS, Emergency Medical Services for Children supports emergency medical services, the community-based public service that is vital to children in need; and

WHEREAS, the needs of children are different than the needs of adults in medical emergencies; and

WHEREAS, Emergency Medical Services for Children promotes the high-level emergency care given by emergency medical services providers with pediatric emergency skills; and

WHEREAS, Emergency Medical Services for Children works with physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, firefighters, educators, administrators and others to identify and address the issues surrounding the provision of optimal pediatric care; and

WHEREAS, Emergency Medical Services for Children assists in the development and implementation of training programs and guidelines for emergency care providers and the use of advanced technical equipment and services; and

WHEREAS, Emergency Medical Services for Children Day is a time to recognize the value and accomplishments of the men and women who have dedicated their lives to saving our children.

NOW, THEREFORE, as the Governor of the State of North Dakota, I do hereby proclaim May 23, 2012, as EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES FOR CHILDREN DAY in the state of North Dakota.


Jack Dalrymple
Governor

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Please note: To access archived news releases and other information, visit the North Dakota Department of Health Press Room.

State Health Department Urges Caution During Tick Season

For Immediate Release:
May 21, 2012

For More Information, Contact:
Alicia Lepp
Division of Disease Control
North Dakota Department of Health
Phone: 701.328.2378
E-mail: alepp@nd.gov
BISMARCK, N.D. - The North Dakota Department of Health encourages residents to take measures to avoid tick bites and the potential for serious tick-borne diseases while enjoying outdoor activities this summer.

"Tick-borne diseases such as tularemia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease can be prevented by taking some basic precautions to avoid tick bites," said Alicia Lepp, epidemiologist with the Department of Health's Division of Disease Control. "Areas that are heavily wooded or have tall grass or brush are more likely to be infested with ticks, especially between April and September, with the highest risk of disease transmission occurring during the warmer months."

The Department of Health offers the following tips to help reduce the chance of ticks making contact with your skin:
•Wear light-colored clothing to make the ticks easier to see.
•Wear long pants, and tuck the legs into your socks or boots.
•Keep your shirt tucked in.
•Apply insect repellent that contains DEET to your clothes and exposed skin. Always follow label directions. (Repellents that contain permethrin should be used only on clothing.)

"One of the best ways to prevent tick bites is to avoid habitats where ticks can be found," Lepp said. "However, if these tick-infested areas cannot be avoided, it's important to remove and wash all clothing as soon as possible and check carefully for ticks. Use tweezers to remove any ticks that have attached to your body."

According to Lepp, the best way to remove a tick is to use tweezers to grasp it as closely to the skin as possible and gently pull upward with a steady, even pressure until it is free. Avoid
crushing the tick during removal. Make sure to wash your hands and the site of tick attachment with soap and water after removal.

In the last five years, six cases of tularemia, four cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever and 97 cases of Lyme disease were reported in North Dakota. Human Lyme disease cases have been increasing since 2005 with an average of five to 15 cases reported each year; however, in the past two years there have been a total of 59 cases reported.

The most common tick in North Dakota is the dog tick, which is associated with the transmission of Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia. The deer tick, which can carry Lyme disease, has been identified in areas in the northeastern region of North Dakota through surveillance activities by the North Dakota Department of Health, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota in the spring and summer of 2010. Finding the deer tick in the state is a significant discovery because there could be areas in the state at risk for Lyme disease transmission.

Symptoms of tularemia usually begin with a painless ulcer at the site of the tick bite and may include swollen glands. If the bacteria enter the bloodstream, more severe infections, including pneumonia, can occur.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is characterized by a sudden onset of fever, a general feeling of illness, deep muscle pain, severe headaches, chills and irritated eyes. A rash begins on about the third day of illness, usually appearing first on the hands and feet and then spreading to the rest of the body.

Symptoms of Lyme disease occur three to 32 days after infection. The first symptom is often a red rash near the tick bite, which develops in about 60 percent of patients. Other early symptoms include fatigue, fever, headache, stiff neck, sore muscles, swollen glands and painful joints. Without treatment, these symptoms may last several weeks or more. Arthritis, neurological or cardiac problems may develop weeks to months after the initial infection if the initial infection is not treated with antibiotics.

People who have symptoms that may be associated with a tick-related illness should seek medical care.

For more information on tick-borne diseases and tick bite prevention, contact Alicia Lepp, North Dakota Department of Health, at 701.328.2378 or click here.

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To access archived news releases and other information, visit the North Dakota Department of Health Press Room

Governor Dalrymple Proclaims Drinking Water Week - North Dakotans Encouraged To Protect and Conserve the State's Water

For Immediate Release:
May 3, 2012

For More Information, Contact:
Larry Thelen
Drinking Water Program
North Dakota Department of Health
Phone: 701.328.5257
E-mail: lthelen@nd.gov

BISMARCK, N.D. - Gov. Jack Dalrymple has declared May 6 through 12, 2012, as Drinking Water Week in North Dakota.

This annual event is dedicated to the belief that North Dakotans should have a safe and dependable supply of water, both now and in the future. Citizens are called upon to help protect the state's source waters from pollution.

Drinking Water Week recognizes the importance of source water protection and water conservation, as well as the value, importance and fragility of the state's water resources.

Organizations involved in the promotion of Drinking Water Week include the North Dakota Department of Health, the North Dakota Section of the American Water Works Association, the North Dakota Water and Pollution Control Conference, the North Dakota Chapter of the American Public Works Association, the North Dakota Water Environment Association and the North Dakota Rural Water Systems Association.

PROCLAMATION
DRINKING WATER WEEK
MAY 6-12, 2012

WHEREAS, the citizens of North Dakota recognize that our health, comfort and standards of living depend on an ample supply of safe, high-quality drinking water; and
WHEREAS, water greatly influences our everyday lives through its uses in public health, economic development, power production, agriculture, recreation, and businesses and industries; and
WHEREAS, many dedicated men and women have made significant contributions in developing, operating and maintaining our public water systems; and
WHEREAS, what we do today to protect our drinking water will affect the prosperity and well-being of future generations; and
WHEREAS, North Dakotans are encouraged to recognize this precious resource and to help protect our source waters from pollution, to practice water conservation, to become involved in local water issues and to plan for its efficient use.

NOW, THEREFORE, as Governor of the State of North Dakota, I do hereby proclaim May 6-12, 2012, DRINKING WATER WEEK in the state of North Dakota.

Jack Dalrymple
Governor

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Please Note: To access archived news releases and other information, visit the North Dakota Department of Health Press Room.

Department of Health Reminds Parents of the Importance of Vaccinating Their Children During National Infant Immunization Week

For Immediate Release:
April 20, 2012

For More Information, Contact:
Abbi Pierce
Immunization Surveillance Coordinator
Division of Disease Control
North Dakota Department of Health
Phone: 800.472.2180
E-mail: apierce@nd.gov

BISMARCK, N.D. - During National Infant Immunization Week, April 21-28, 2012, the North Dakota Department of Health would like to remind parents of the importance of vaccinations for their children.

National Infant Immunization Week is an annual observance that emphasizes the need to fully immunize children 24 months and younger against 14 vaccine-preventable diseases. Not only does timely immunization protect small children, but it also protects the community around them including those who cannot be vaccinated.

"Immunization is a shared responsibility," said Abbi Pierce, immunization surveillance coordinator for the North Dakota Department of Health. "Families, health-care professionals and public health officials must all work together to ensure that children are receiving the proper vaccinations at the proper times to help protect the entire community."

The importance of vaccinations is highlighted by the recent rise in pertussis (whooping cough) cases in the United States and ongoing outbreaks in numerous states. Since the beginning of the year, 30 cases of pertussis have been reported to the North Dakota Department of Health. The cases are from nine different North Dakota counties: Benson, Burleigh, Cass, Cavalier, Morton, Rolette, Sioux, Ward and Williams County.

"Pertussis often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed in adolescents and adults but can be very serious if passed to infants or those with serious health conditions," said Pierce. "It's important for both children and adults to be properly immunized against pertussis in order to protect those most at risk."

Pertussis (whooping cough) is a contagious disease that lasts for many weeks or months and can cause severe coughing with a "whooping" sound or coughing that leads to vomiting. The disease can be life threatening for infants and is usually spread by adults to infants. Generally, the illness is less severe in those who are vaccinated.

Pertussis is characterized by one or more of the following symptoms:
• Prolonged cough
• Long spells of coughing with spasms
• Coughing with a whooping sound
• Coughing that leads to gagging or vomiting

One of the most important preventive measures is vaccination against pertussis. Diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP) should be administered routinely to infants at 2, 4, 6 and 15 to 18 months of age and a booster dose of DTaP should be given at 4 to 6 years of age. DTaP is required to attend a school or child-care setting.

Pertussis outbreaks highlight the need for pertussis vaccination in adults and adolescents as well as children. Tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap) is routinely recommended for adolescents age 11 to 12 years of age. Tdap is required to be administered to all adolescents entering middle school. Adolescents 13 to 18 years of age and adults are also recommended to receive a dose of Tdap.

For more information about National Infant Immunization Week or pertussis, contact Abbi Pierce, North Dakota Department of Health at 1.800.472.2180, or visit the Department of Health's website.

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Parents and Caregivers Reminded To Think Safety During National Playground Safety Week

April 16, 2012

BISMARCK, N.D. - The North Dakota Department of Health is encouraging parents and caregivers to focus on making children's outdoor play environments safe during National Playground Safety Week being recognized April 23 through 27, 2012.

Playgrounds, both public and in private backyards, can be potential areas for falls and incidents relating to faulty equipment or improper clothing. Many children each year suffer broken bones or head injuries due to falling from high equipment.

"Parents need to make sure backyard playground equipment is safe while actively supervising their children while at play," said Diana Read, director of the Injury/Violence Prevention Program for the North Dakota Department of Health. "Many accidents can be prevented if parents and caregivers know what to look for and how to correct problems they identify."

Clothing for children has improved with removal of ties on hoods; however, many children still catch pieces of clothing such as hoods, loose sleeves or jackets on knobs or sharp points or edges of equipment. Check equipment to ensure there are no sharp edges or "S" hooks that are left open.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are far too many playground related injuries involving children - about 200,000 each year nationwide.

To help prevent injuries from falls and other hazards on public and home playgrounds, the following safety tips are recommended:
•Never attach ropes, jump ropes, clotheslines or pet leashes to the equipment. This can present a serious strangulation hazard to children.
•Make sure children remove their bike or other sports helmets before playing on the playground. Helmets can become entrapped in playground equipment, posing a strangulation hazard.
•Purchase play equipment that meets the latest safety standards.
•Smooth sharp points or edges, and close open "S" hooks and cover protruding bolts.
•Check for openings in guardrails or between ladder rungs. Spaces should be either less than 3 1/2 inches or more than 9 inches so that they don't present an entrapment hazard.
•Always supervise young children to make sure they are safe.
•Install and maintain at least 9 inches of wood chips, mulch, or shredded rubber (for equipment up to 8 feet high) or sand or pea gravel (for equipment no more than 5 feet high) as shock absorbing material under the playground. (Dirt and grass, which are the most prevalent surfaces under home playground equipment, do not adequately protect children from serious head injuries.)
•Install protective surfacing at least six feet in all directions from play equipment. For swings, the surface should extend, in back and front, twice the height of the suspending bar.

The latest Outdoor Home Playground Safety Handbook and Public Playground Safety Handbook are available here.

For more information about playground safety, contact Diana Read, North Dakota Department of Health, at 800.472.2286 (press 1).

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New Meningococcal Immunization Required for Some Students Entering College This Fall

For Immediate Release:
April 2, 2012

For More Information, Contact:
Molly Sander
Immunization Program Manager
North Dakota Department of Health
Phone: 701.328.4556
E-mail: msander@nd.gov

John Irby, Public Affairs Consultant
North Dakota University System
Phone: 701.328.2962 or 701.220.1771
E-mail: john.irby@ndus.edu

BISMARCK, N.D. - The North Dakota Department of Health and the North Dakota University System are informing parents and college students about the new immunization requirement for meningococcal vaccine implemented by the North Dakota University System.

For entry into North Dakota colleges and universities this fall, newly admitted students ages 21 and younger residing in campus housing must provide documentation of immunity against meningococcal disease. Students must provide evidence of at least one dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) in the five years prior to enrollment or evidence of two doses of MCV4 administered at ages 10 or older and at least eight weeks apart. Two doses of MCV4 vaccine are routinely recommended for all adolescents at ages 11 and 16. The new requirement only affects facilities under the North Dakota University System, not private facilities. Students enrolling in private facilities should contact that university or college to find out their immunization requirements.
"Meningococcal disease is caused by bacteria and is a severe infection of the bloodstream and the thin lining covering the brain and spinal cord," said Molly Sander, Immunization Program manager for the North Dakota Department of Health. "About 1,000 to 1,200 cases of meningococcal disease occur in the United States each year. Although the disease is rare, it is extremely serious. Ten to 15 percent of people who have the disease die. College students age 21 and younger, living in dormitories or other campus housing, are at an increased risk for meningococcal disease, which is why it is so important that they are vaccinated."
The new meningococcal vaccine requirement is in addition to the previous requirement for all college students to have two doses of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Students and/or their parents are urged to contact their health-care provider, pharmacist or local public health unit to determine whether or not the student is up-to-date on immunizations.

Click here for a fact sheet with information about meningococcal disease.

For more information about meningococcal disease and immunization requirements, contact Molly Sander, North Dakota Department of Health, at 701.328.4556. For information about the new immunization requirements, contact John Irby, North Dakota University System, at 701.328.2962 or 701.220.1771.

Please note: To access archived news releases and other information, visit the North Dakota Department of Health Press Room.

Public Health Week Highlighted in North Dakota - North DakotansEncouraged To Take Prevention Measures to Live Longer and Healthier Lives

For Immediate Release:
April 2, 2012

For More Information, Contact:
Karalee Harper, director
Division of Chronic Disease
North Dakota Department of Health
Phone: 701.328.4517
E-mail: kaharper@nd.gov

BISMARCK, N.D. - The North Dakota Department of Health is highlighting the importance of prevention and wellness to improve our state's health during National Public Health Week recognized April 2 through 8, 2012.

To highlight this year's theme of "A Healthier America Begins Today: Join the Movement," public health leaders across the country are calling on Americans to take actions aimed at preventing disease before it begins and lowering the cost of health care. Chronic illnesses such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes are responsible for millions of premature deaths and cause Americans to miss 2.5 billion days of work. Heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death for people ages 40 and older. In 2005 through 2009, more than 2,600 North Dakotans died from chronic disease each year.

"Many diseases are preventable," said Karalee Harper, director of the Division of Chronic Disease for the North Dakota Department of Health. "It is important to remember that everyone has a role to play and each action, no matter how small, can make a big difference."

Three easy things everyone can do to stay healthy and prevent chronic disease are:
•Eat more fruits and vegetables.
•Be more physically active.
•Live tobacco free. Need help quitting? Call 1.800.QUIT.NOW.

These preventive measures can help create a healthier state and nation and reach the country's goal of becoming the healthiest nation in just one generation. Small actions are needed for communities, homes and families to see the large benefits of preventive care and grow the movement.
Public Health Week is part of the American Public Health Association's annual celebration of the role of public health. Since 1995, communities around the country have celebrated National Public Week each April to draw attention to the need to protect and improve the nation's health.
For more information about Public Health Week and steps you can take to prevent chronic disease, contact Karalee Harper, North Dakota Department of Health, at 701.328.4517.

Please Note: To access archived news releases and other information, visit the North Dakota Department of Health Press Room.


North Dakota Department of Health Launches Suicide Prevention Website

For Immediate Release:
March 19, 2012

For More Information, Contact:
Micki Savelkoul
Suicide Prevention Program director
North Dakota Department of Health
Phone: 701.328.4580
E-mail: mlsavelkoul@nd.gov

BISMARCK, N.D. - The North Dakota Department of Health today announced the launch of a new website designed specifically for information about suicide prevention and other issues associated with suicide.

The new suicide prevention website can be found at www.ndhealth.gov/suicideprevention.The website will display statewide events and resources, as well as community suicide prevention events that may be occurring around the state. It is also designed to be an up-to-date resource for anyone looking for information about how suicide affects North Dakota, current facts and statistics, and educational information to help citizens learn the warning signs of suicide.

"One of the most difficult aspects of suicide prevention is raising awareness that suicide is preventable," said Micki Savelkoul, Suicide Prevention Program director with the North Dakota Department of Health. "Suicide is a difficult topic to talk about in general, but if people don't know where to find factual information most people will shy away from talking about it. That is one of the goals of this website. We need to raise awareness in the state of how to talk to people about suicide and give them the tools to do so."

The information included on the website is divided into different categories to help make it easy for people to find what they're looking for. The website provides information for many populations touched by suicide. There are educational resources for the general public, family and friends and also specific populations that may work with people who are suicidal. The website also has resources for those that are often first responders to suicide attempts and completions and those occupations that nationally have higher rates of suicide.

Some of the resource areas included on the website are:
•Information for survivors of suicide.
•Risk factors and warning signs of suicide.
•Information on bullying and suicide.
•Information on depression and suicide
•Information for health-care professionals.
•Information on elderly adults and suicide.
•Information on what to do if you are thinking about suicide.
•Information on national and local resources.
•Newsroom and events.

For additional information about the website or the Suicide Prevention Program, contact Micki Savelkoul, Suicide Prevention Program director, North Dakota Department of Health, at 701.328.4580.

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Please note: To access archived news releases and other information, visit the North Dakota Department of Health Press Room.

North Dakota Observes Poison Prevention Week

For Immediate Release:
March 14, 2012

For More Information, Contact:
Diana Read
Injury/Violence Prevention Program
North Dakota Department of Health
Phone: 701.328.4536
E-mail: dread@nd.gov

BISMARCK, N.D. - In observance of National Poison Prevention Week March 18 through 24, 2012, the North Dakota Department of Health is encouraging North Dakotans to take measures to avoid unintentional poisonings.

A poison is any product or substance that can harm someone if it is used in the wrong way, by the wrong person, or in the wrong amount. Potentially poisonous items could include some household products, chemicals, drugs (prescription, over-the-counter, herbal, illegal or animal medicines), snake bites, spider bites and scorpion stings. Poisons can enter the body through the eyes and/or ears, on or through the skin, by breathing them or by swallowing.

Adults and teens should be aware of the dangers of improper use of medicines, inhalants, carbon monoxide and alcohol. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), deaths from prescription painkillers have reached epidemic levels in the past decade. The number of overdose deaths is now greater than those of deaths for heroin and cocaine combined. Enough prescription painkillers were prescribed in 2010 to medicate every American adult around-the-clock for a month. Although most of these pills were prescribed for a medical purpose, many ended up in the hands of people who misuse or abuse them.

"Prescription painkiller overdoses are a public health epidemic," said State Health Officer Terry Dwelle, M.D., M.P.H.T.M "A big part of the problem is the nonmedical use of prescription painkillers - people using drugs without a prescription or just for the ‘high' they cause."

In 2011, there were 5,100 exposure calls made to the National Poison Helpline. Of those 5,100 calls, 56 percent were for children younger than age 6 who had a misadventure serious enough
for someone to call for help. Poison Prevention Week is an opportunity to remind parents, grandparents, caregivers and the public about the dangers of poisoning and to provide some basic prevention strategies to keep kids from getting hurt.

"Most poisonings are preventable," said Diana Read, Injury/Violence Prevention Program director for the North Dakota Department of Health. "I encourage all adults to take preventive measures to protect children and themselves from unintentional poisonings. Many of the most dangerous poisons are things found in a home such as antifreeze and window washer products, some medicines, corrosive cleaners like drain openers or toilet bowl cleaners, fuels like kerosene and lamp oil, or pesticides."

The Department of Health recommends the following poison-prevention measures:
•Keep all medicines, household chemicals and other poisonous substances away from children and away from food. Never leave them on the bedside stand, kitchen table or bathroom counter. Lock them up if possible. This is applicable for visitors as well.
•Warn children never to put medicines, chemicals, plants or berries in their mouths unless an adult says it's okay. At an early age, teach children that some pretty things, like vitamins and aspirin, can hurt them. Never call medicine "candy" to get a child to take it.
•Never store poison in food or beverage containers.
•Read all labels. Follow the instructions and measure carefully. Open and take medicines only when the lights are on. Only take medicines prescribed for you.
•Put all unused medications in a sturdy, securely sealed container and then in the trash can where children and pets can't reach them. You also can dispose of them through the North Dakota Attorney's General's Take Back Program. To find out more about the program click here.
•Do not carry medicine in your purse or diaper bags; children like to play with them.
•Do not put decorative lamps and candles that contain lamp oil where children can reach them because lamp oil is very toxic.
•Keep windows and/or doors open or run fans when using strong cleaning products. Never mix cleaning products together.
•Have the national poison control phone number with other emergency contacts available. Telephone stickers and magnets with the phone number are available from the North Dakota Department of Health

In case of a poisoning or a questionable episode, people should do the following:
•Call 9-1-1 if the person is unconscious, having difficulty breathing or not breathing.
•Do not give the person anything to eat or drink. Call the Poison Control Center at 800.222.1222 immediately.
•Bring the product or bottle to the phone so you can read the label to the staff at the Poison Control Center. Explain what was taken, how much was taken, when it was taken, and the age and weight of the person.
•Do not give syrup of ipecac or activated charcoal unless told to do so by the Poison Control Center or your physician.

For more information about poison prevention or to request stickers and magnets with the national poison control number, contact Diana Read, North Dakota Department of Health, at 800.472.2286 (press 1) or visit our website at www.ndpoison.org.

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BBPH Offers Free Blood Glucose Testing

Have a minute? Tuesday, March 27th is Diabetes Alert Day, and Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health and the American Diabetes Association want you to learn your risk for type 2 diabetes with a simple Diabetes Risk Test.

You'll find the test here

Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health will do Blood Glucose Testing at no charge during the month of March.

Call for an appointment: 355-1540


North Dakota Department of Health Sponsors Child Passenger Safety Training

For Immediate Release:
March 5, 2012

For More Information, Contact:
Dawn Mayer
Division of Injury Prevention and Control
North Dakota Department of Health
Phone: 701.328.4536
E-mail: drmayer@nd.gov

BISMARCK, N.D. - The North Dakota Department of Health is pleased to announce its 2012 training dates for the child passenger safety certification program. This program is part of a national initiative through the Safe Kids Worldwide, State Farm, the National Child Passenger Safety Board and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to equip citizens with skills to keep children safe.

During this four-day intensive course, participants learn about crash dynamics, injury prevention strategies, car seat selection, and installation and vehicle occupant protection. The course is taught through a combination of hands-on activities, lectures and discussions using a wide variety of car seats and vehicle belt systems.

At the end of the training, individuals are certified as Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPSTs). In North Dakota, CPSTs volunteer at a variety of activities, including car seat check-ups, where they educate parents and caregivers and give hands-on assistance with the proper use of child safety seats and seat belts.

To register for the course, contact the Child Passenger Safety Program at the North Dakota Department of Health at 800.472.2286 or register online here.

Attendance is required for the entire four-day course. The cost for the course and the two-year certification is $75, a $25 local fee, and participants must be at least 18 years of age. The training will be offered in three cities:

Bismarck: April 17-20, 2012
West Fargo: May 8-11, 2012
Grand Forks: June 12-15, 2012

Consider joining the team of over 33,000 nationally certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians and make a difference in a child's life by being that advocate or resource in your community! For more information, call 800.472.2286 or 701.328.4533.
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Please note: To access archived news releases and other information, visit the North Dakota Department of Health Press Room at www.nddohpressroom.gov.



NDQuits Offers Tobacco Users Innovative Resources To Help Them Successfully Quit

For Immediate Release:
Feb. 23, 2012

For More Information, Contact:
Michelle Walker
Tobacco Prevention and Control Program
North Dakota Department of Health
Phone: 701.328.2315
E-mail: mlwalker@nd.gov


NDQuits Offers Tobacco Users Innovative Resources To Help Them Successfully Quit
Department of Health Announces New Tobacco Cessation Program Name, Logo and Website


BISMARCK, N.D. - The North Dakota Department of Health today revealed a new name, logo and website for the state's tobacco cessation program. NDQuits is a program that offers multiple ways to help tobacco users quit using tobacco.

"We realize that no single method of quitting tobacco works for everyone," said Michelle Walker, director of the North Dakota Department of Health's Tobacco Prevention and Control Program. "NDQuits offers three ways for tobacco users to get help with quitting - by phone, online or by using their mobile device. North Dakota residents can use any or all of these services for free. They can find the way that fits for them."

NDQuits was developed to provide one name for the tobacco cessation services offered by the North Dakota Department of Health and to make it more convenient and easy to remember. People can go to the NDQuits website at www.ndhealth.gov/ndquits to learn about all the ways they can get help quitting. The website also features a brief video that describes some of the cessation options available.

NDQuits offers cessation services on the phone through the North Dakota Tobacco Quitline, on the computer via North Dakota QuitNet and on mobile devices via North Dakota QuitNet Mobile. Some of the services offered through NDQuits are:
•Free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges to help with the quitting process for qualified enrollees.
•Access to professional cessation counselors.
•Assistance in designing a personal quit plan.
•Online support from other quitters all over the world 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year.
•QuitTips e-mail messages that will offer tips about staying quit.
•An audio library featuring prerecorded messages about the quitting process.

"Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and disability in North Dakota. Nearly 900 people in the state die each year and many more suffer illnesses like heart attacks, strokes and lung diseases because of tobacco use and secondhand smoke," said Karalee Harper, director of the North Dakota Department of Health's Division of Chronic Disease. "It's sad to think of the suffering that our family members, friends and neighbors experience due to tobacco. We encourage people to seek help from NDQuits, which is free and confidential, and beat tobacco for good."

Approximately 17 percent of North Dakota adults smoke and 5 percent of adults use smokeless tobacco products. In 2010, nearly 59 percent of adult smokers tried to quit.

"Studies show that tobacco users are much more successful at quitting when they have help and advice from a professional counselor, along with medication. NDQuits offers both of these services for free," said Walker. "Our current Quitline and QuitNet services have been very successful. Since the inception of the Quitline in September 2004 and the addition of QuitNet in February 2010, we've had 13,601 enrollments in our cessation services. The Quitline has an extremely high success rate. Six months after counseling, 36.1 percent of former tobacco users are still not using tobacco. We plan to continue that success with NDQuits and provide even more tobacco users with the chance to achieve better health and a longer life."

NDQuits is part of the North Dakota Department of Health, Tobacco Prevention and Control Program, funded by the legislature through funds received in the Master Settlement Agreement with the tobacco industry.

If you would like help quitting smoking or tobacco use, log on to www.ndhealth.gov/ndquits and find the way of quitting that fits for you.

For more information about quitting tobacco, tobacco use in North Dakota or the NDQuits program, call Michelle Walker at 701.328.2315.

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Please note: To access archived news releases and other information, visit the North Dakota Department of Health Press Room at www.nddohpressroom.gov.

Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health Asks for Public's Help With Community Heath Needs Assessment

Bismarck, ND - When it comes to your health needs, how does our community stack up? Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health wants to hear your opinion and is asking you to take a survey to share your thoughts.

Click here

Copies of the survey are also available at Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health, 500 East Front Avenue, Bismarck.

All survey responses are anonymous. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to complete the survey. Surveys must be completed by March 1, 2012.

This survey is part of the community health needs assessment Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health is currently working on. BBPH is working with a number of community partners on this project. The goals of the survey are to help BBPH learn about community assets, our community's awareness of services being provided, and suggestions to identify gaps in the services.

The survey questions were provided from survey tool developed by Center for Rural Health, The University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences.

If you have questions about the survey, contact Sue Kahler, Accreditation Coordinator at BBPH, 701-355-1595.


Elementary Students in Bismarck Public Schools to Have Fun with Fruits and Veggies

For Immediate Release
January 5, 2012

Bismarck - Can you name a fruit that is brown and fuzzy on the outside, green on the inside, and has more vitamin C per bite than an orange? If you answered kiwi, you are correct!

The elementary Bismarck Public Schools will be participating in the first annual "Fruit and Veggie Week" January 9-13. The goal is to eat more fruits and vegetables each day in a rainbow of colors. Research shows that students who eat a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables learn better in school. It also shows us that most students (and adults) don't get the number of fruit and vegetable servings recommended each day by the USDA. In an effort to promote heath and learning among our students the BPS school nurses have introduced this program which was developed by www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org.

You can look forward to a week full of color and facts about fruits and veggies. Each day is assigned a different color which will focus on fruits and veggies that fall in that group. Students and staff are asked to wear clothing that coordinates with each day.

•Monday is Purple/Blue Day
•Tuesday is White/Tan/Brown Day
•Wednesday is Red Day
•Thursday is Yellow/Orange Day
•Friday is Green Day

Students will be exposed to fun facts about fruits and veggies through trivia each morning, activities in the classroom and posted information.

Because we learn by doing, students are asked to bring a 100% fruit or vegetable to school for snack each day. The classroom in each school with the highest percentage of participation will star in their own "Classroom that Moves" video that will be made available on YouTube.

For More Information, Contact:
Evy Monzelowsky
Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health
323.4024
evy_monzelowsky@bismarckschools.org

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Governor Dalrymple Proclaims Dental Health Awareness and Prevention Month in North Dakota

For Immediate Release:
Feb. 16, 2012

For More Information, Contact:
Kimberlie Yineman
Oral Health Program director
North Dakota Department of Health
Phone: 701.328.4930
E-mail: kyineman@nd.gov

Governor Dalrymple Proclaims Dental Health Awareness and
Prevention Month in North Dakota


BISMARCK, N.D. - Governor Jack Dalrymple has proclaimed February as Dental Health Awareness and Prevention month in North Dakota.

During Dental Health Awareness and Prevention Month, families are encouraged to review the preventive measures they are taking to make sure everyone has healthy teeth, gums and mouths.

"Dental health is often an area of health care that is overlooked, but is so important for a person's overall health," said Kimberlie Yineman, director of the North Dakota Department of Health's Oral Health Program."By increasing awareness, we are hoping that we can prevent serious long-term health issues."

The Department of Health encourages everyone to take some simple steps to keep your teeth and gums healthy:
•Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
•Floss once a day.
•Visit a dentist regularly for checkups.
•Get a professional cleaning on regular basis.

"It's also important for parents to make sure that children are taking care of their teeth," reminds Yineman. "Besides good brushing habits and taking children to a dentist regularly, parents can do simple things, like limiting sugary snacks in between meals, including soda and sports drinks."

The North Dakota Department of Health's Oral Health Program is participating in many different activities aimed at improving dental health in North Dakota. They currently are providing no-cost sealant and fluoride varnish programs throughout the state in select schools that qualify. In 2011 during the first three months of the program, more than 3,000 students received services.

The North Dakota Department of Health also recently obtained a grant from the DentaQuest Foundation to participate in its Oral Health 2014 Initiative. The grant will be used to create a strategic plan for oral (dental) health in North Dakota. Public forums are being held across the state and surveys are being distributed to gather information regarding the oral health needs of North Dakota families. Once compiled, the information will be used to guide prevention programs.

One other exciting activity being conducted is the Basic Screening Survey for Older Adults. The purpose of this survey is to gather oral health information about current oral health status, daily care techniques and habits, and access to care information from older adults residing in long-term care facilities. The survey will be completed by July 2012.

For more information about Dental Health Awareness and Prevention Month or any of the Oral Health Program activities mentioned, contact Kimberlie Yineman, North Dakota Department of Health, at 701.328.4930.

PROCLAMATION
DENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS AND PREVENTION MONTH
FEBRUARY 2012


WHEREAS, tooth decay affects more than one-fourth of U.S. children ages 2 to 5 years and half of those ages 12 to 15 years, and 20 percent of adolescents ages 12 to 19 years currently have untreated decay; and

WHEREAS, periodontal disease (disease of the gums and underlying bone) affects 4 percent to 12 percent of U.S. adults. Half of the cases of periodontal disease are a result of cigarette smoking; the prevalence of gum disease is three times higher among smokers than non-smokers; and

WHEREAS, this year, more than 36,500 new cases of oral and pharyngeal cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S.; and

WHEREAS, prevention is the most efficient and cost-effective way to achieve and maintain a healthy mouth and body, including proper oral hygiene techniques of flossing and brushing two times daily, good nutrition, fluoridated tap water and consistent professional care; and

WHEREAS, the North Dakota Department of Health's Oral Health Program works to reduce early childhood decay and to improve access to care by providing direct services of fluoride varnish and sealants, as well as educational programs; and

WHEREAS, proper oral health care and healthy habits prevent tooth decay, periodontal disease and contribute to good overall health for children, adolescents and adults.

NOW, THEREFORE, as Governor of the State of North Dakota, I do hereby proclaim February 2012, DENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS AND PREVENTION MONTH in the state of North Dakota.

Jack Dalrymple
Governor
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Please note: To access archived news releases and other information, visit the North Dakota Department of Health Press Room at www.nddohpressroom.gov.




Department of Health Educates About Congenital Heart Defects During National Birth Defects Prevention Month in January

For Immediate Release: Jan. 3, 2012

For More Information, Contact: Devaiah Muccatira
North Dakota Department of Health
Phone: 701.328.4963
E-mail: dmuccatira@nd.gov

BISMARCK, N.D. - The North Dakota Department of Health is educating about ways to prevent birth defects, the leading cause of infant mortality in the United States, in conjunction with National Birth Defects Prevention Month observed in January.

The theme for National Birth Defects Prevention Month in 2012 is "And the Beat Goes On…Looking to the Future for Healthy Hearts," which focuses on congenital heart defects. Congenital heart defects are the most common types of birth defects and some forms may be preventable through healthy lifestyle choices and medical interventions before and during pregnancy. The North Dakota Department of Health is actively focusing on helping health-care professionals and the public take positive steps to reduce the risk of congenital heart defects.

"This is an important public health concern and our goal is make sure everyone is aware of both the possible prevention measures and early detection steps," said Devaiah Muccatira with the North Dakota Department of Health's Division of Children's Special Health Services. "The heart forms in the early weeks of pregnancy, often before a woman realizes she is pregnant. Diet, lifestyle choices, factors in the environment, health conditions and medications all can play a role in preventing or causing congenital heart defects."

Congenital heart defects include abnormalities of the heart that are present at birth. Some have only a minor and brief effect on a baby's health and some have very serious and lifelong effects. Nearly 40,000 cases (approximately 1 in 110 live births) are reported annually in the United States. Public awareness, accurate diagnosis and expert medical care are all essential for adequate prevention and management of these all too common and sometimes deadly conditions.

Studies have demonstrated several important steps women can take to help prevent congenital heart defects in newborns.

Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant are advised to:
•Avoid all alcohol and illegal/recreational drugs.
•Avoid exposure to smoke, chemicals and toxins both at work and at home.
•Take a folic acid supplement and check with their health-care provider to confirm that they are getting adequate amounts of all the essential nutrients.
•See a physician prior to pregnancy, especially if there are medical conditions which require medications, any known metabolic conditions including diabetes, obesity, phenylketonuria (PKU), or a family history of congenital heart defects. Diabetic or obese women should make sure their blood sugar is under control and work towards a healthy weight through a nutritious food plan before getting pregnant.
•Receive regular medical checkups and educate themselves about their family history and potential genetic risks.

In addition to information about prevention, the Department of Health offers support to families who have a child born with congenital heart defects. The Cardiac Care for Children Program covers examinations and routine tests to support cardiac assessments performed by pediatric cardiologists providing care in North Dakota. Nurses within the Division of Children's Special Health Services ensure care is coordinated through appointment reminders and referrals to other needed services or programs.

For more information about Birth Defects Prevention Month, contact Devaiah Muccatira, North Dakota Department of Health, at 701.328.4963 or dmuccatira@nd.gov.

Please note: To access archived news releases and other information, visit the North Dakota Department of Health Press Room at www.nddohpressroom.gov.

Nine in 10 U.S. Adults Get Too Much Sodium Every Day

Press Release
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Contact: CDC Division of News & Electronic Media
(404) 639-3286


Nearly all Americans consume much more sodium than they should, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of the sodium comes from common restaurant or grocery store items.

The latest Vital Signs report finds that 10 types of foods are responsible for more than 40 percent of people's sodium intake. The most common sources are breads and rolls, luncheon meat such as deli ham or turkey, pizza, poultry, soups, cheeseburgers and other sandwiches, cheese, pasta dishes, meat dishes such as meat loaf, and snack foods such as potato chips, pretzels and popcorn. Some foods that are consumed several times a day, such as bread, add up to a lot of sodium even though each serving is not high in sodium.

"Too much sodium raises blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke," said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "These diseases kill more than 800,000 Americans each year and contribute an estimated $273 billion in health care costs."

The report notes that the average person consumes about 3,300 milligrams of sodium per day, not including any salt added at the table, which is more than twice the recommended limit for about half of Americans and 6 of every 10 adults. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams per day. The recommendation is 1,500 milligrams per day for people aged 51 and older, and anyone with high blood pressure, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease, and African Americans.

Key points in the Vital Signs Report:
•Ten types of foods account for 44 percent of dietary sodium
consumed each day.
•65 percent of sodium comes from food sold in stores.
•25 percent of sodium comes from meals purchased in
restaurants.
•Reducing the sodium content of the 10 leading sodium
sources by 25 percent would lower total dietary sodium by
more than 10 percent and could play a role in preventing up
to an estimated 28,000 deaths per year.

Reducing daily sodium consumption is difficult since it is in so many of the foods we eat. People can lower their sodium intake by eating a diet rich in fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables without sauce, while limiting the amount of processed foods with added sodium. Individuals can also check grocery food labels and choose the products lowest in sodium. CDC supports recommendations for food manufacturers and restaurants to reduce the amount of sodium added to foods.

"We're encouraged that some food manufacturers are already taking steps to reduce sodium," said Dr. Frieden. "Kraft Foods has committed to an average 10 percent reduction of sodium in their products over a two year period, and dozens of companies have joined a national initiative to reduce sodium. The leading supplier of cheese for pizza, Leprino Foods, is actively working on providing customers and consumers with healthier options. We are confident that more manufacturers will do the same."

To learn more about ways to reduce sodium, click here.

Vital Signs is a CDC report that appears on the first Tuesday of the month as part of the CDC journal, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The report provides the latest data and information on key health indicators. These are cancer prevention, obesity, tobacco use, motor vehicle passenger safety, prescription drug overdose, HIV/AIDS, alcohol use, health care-associated infections, cardiovascular health, teen pregnancy, asthma, and food safety.

###
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

CDC works 24/7 saving lives, protecting people from health threats, and saving money to have a more secure nation. Whether these threats are chronic or acute, manmade or natural, human error or deliberate attack, global or domestic, CDC is the U.S. health protection agency.





January is National Cervical Health Awareness Month

For Immediate Release: Jan. 3, 2012

For More Information, Contact: Barb Steiner
Women's Way Clinical Coordinator
North Dakota Department of Health
Phone: 701.328.2333 or 800.280.5512
E-mail: bsteiner@nd.gov

Bismarck, N.D. - January is National Cervical Health Awareness Month, and the North Dakota Department of Health is reminding women of the importance of regular Pap tests.

Although cervical cancer is highly preventable through screening and other preventive measures, about 4,200 women die from the disease in the United States each year. Having a Pap test regularly is the key to preventing cervical cancer. About 50 percent of women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer have never had a Pap test, and an additional 10 percent have not had a Pap test in the last five years. Some women believe they can stop having Pap tests once they have stopped having children. This is not correct.

"According to the American Cancer Society, cervical cancer tends to occur in midlife. Most cases are found in women younger than 50; however, the risk of developing cervical cancer is still present for women older than 50," said Barb Steiner, Women's Way Clinical Coordinator for the North Dakota Department of Health. "That is why it is important for women to continue to have Pap tests until their health-care provider recommends that a Pap test is no longer needed."

The main cause of cervical cancer is the human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. Most people with HPV do not even know they have it, because they never have symptoms or problems. Usually the body's immune system will fight off the infection, and it goes away on its own. But sometimes an HPV infection does not go away, and this can cause abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix. If that happens, treatment may be needed. If left untreated, these abnormal changes can eventually lead to cervical cancer.

A Pap test can detect the abnormal changes in the cervical cells before they become cancer. If cancer does occur, regular Pap tests can find it early when it is easier to treat.

While routine Pap tests are the best means of detecting cervical cancer at an early stage, vaccines also have the potential to protect women from the disease. Two vaccines are now available for young women to help protect against HPV types 16 and 18, the two main types of HPV that cause cervical cancer. However, women who have been vaccinated still should get regular Pap tests.

"Unfortunately, many women do not get regular Pap tests because they are uninsured or underinsured," Steiner said. "The good news is that Women's Way, North Dakota's Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program may be able to pay for their Pap tests and may also provide a way to pay for clinical breast exams and mammograms. Women's Way is available to eligible North Dakota women ages 40 through 64."

To learn more about Women's Way or to see if you are eligible, call 1.800.44.WOMEN or visit www.ndhealth.gov/womensway.

To learn more about cervical cancer or HPV, visit www.cancer.org or www.cancer.gov.

To access archived news releases and other information, visit the North Dakota Department of Health Press Room at www.nddohpressroom.gov.





Documents

Bismarck and Burleigh County Health Needs Survey
File Size: 577.3 kb

Here are the results of our Health Needs Survey.