Steamboat Briefs: Community Bible study ongoing on Thursdays

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— A men’s community Bible study is from 7 to 8 a.m. every Thursday at The Egg & I restaurant. All are welcome.

Local nurse to get award for immunization work

For more than a decade, the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition has worked to increase childhood immunizations through coalition building, provider education, community outreach and legislative advocacy. This year, Janice Poirot will be awarded the Sure Shot Regional Award for her efforts in promoting immunization in Northwest Colorado, according to a news release. She’ll receive the award at the Shots Offer Unrivaled Protection event April 27 at the Cable Center in Denver.

The event is expected to draw more than 200 of Colorado’s pediatricians, physicians, nurses, educators, legislators, public health experts and vaccine advocates to further the coalition’s mission of promoting improved access, delivery, and demand for children’s vaccinations to keep Colorado healthy.

Working as a registered nurse since 1985, Poirot received her Bachelor of Education degree in Community Health from Utah State University in 1993. In 2003, she moved to Steamboat Springs to pursue an opportunity to live in the mountains and lead Public Health’s Immunization Program for Routt, Moffat and Jackson Counties at the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association.

Yampa Valley autism group seeks skate event sponsors

Yampa Valley Autism Program is looking for sponsors for its fourth annual Skate-a-thon for autism, scheduled for May 14 at Howelsen Ice Arena.

Pledge packets for participants are being distributed to students in Routt County school districts.

Last year, more than 100 children and parents skated laps for autism, raising more than $ 10,000 to support and sustain the services and programming for the life-long disorder.

Several sponsorships are available. Donors can sponsor an individual a team or provide a corporate sponsorship. Prizes will be given in each age group for the most money raised and the most laps skated.

Contact Yampa Valley Autism Program for details at 970-870-4263 or Director Lu Etta Loeber at lloeber@yampavalleyautism.org for more information about participating.

State warns of risks of children handling birds

As spring approaches, state epidemiologists are warning parents and caregivers to keep children 5 years of age and younger from handling young birds, such as chicks and ducklings, as they pose a health risk from salmonella bacteria, according to a news release.

Salmonellosis is a common food-borne illness, but it also can be spread to people by direct contact with animals that carry the bacteria, or from contact with the animal environments, like the cages or bedding.

Salmonellosis outbreaks from chicks and ducklings often occur during the spring as the demand rises for baby birds as gifts and for backyard use to raise them for meat and eggs. In past years, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Disease Control and Environmental Epidemiology Division has investigated outbreaks of salmonella infection that were associated with exposure to baby birds. Most cases were among children younger than 5 year. However, simple steps after handling these birds, such as frequent hand washing, can prevent illness, health officials said.

Other individuals at high risk of severe illness include the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.

These tips can help prevent exposure to salmonella:

■ Wash your hands and children’s hands with soap and water immediately after touching any chicks, ducklings or other animals. If soap and water are unavailable, alcohol-based hand wipes and gel sanitizers may be used.

■ Do not buy chicks, ducklings or other baby birds as pets for children younger than 5 or for people with weakened immune systems.

■ Supervise children when handling baby birds. Do not allow children to nuzzle or kiss chicks and ducklings; touch their mouths with their hands after handling baby birds; or eat and drink before washing their hands thoroughly.

■ Keep chicks, ducklings and other baby birds in a designated area away from family living spaces.

■ If an adult or child has a high fever, severe diarrhea or other symptoms after handling baby birds, contact a health care provider.

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