Steamboat briefs: State group provides help for World No Tobacco Day

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As Tuesday approaches, many tobacco users are gearing up to stop using tobacco for World No Tobacco Day and some are planning this as the first day of their tobacco-free life. Quitting “cold turkey” works for some, but more often than not, nicotine replacement therapies help make quitting more tolerable. The Colorado Quitline (1-800-Quit Now) can provide free nicotine patches or gum. Those who want to quit also can buy nicotine patches, lozenges or gum over the counter without a prescription.

2011 tee ball, coach pitch registration is under way

Registration for the 2011 tee ball and coach pitch program is under way. Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until 5:30 p.m. Thursday. For more information or to register, visit www.steamboatsprings.net/recreation and click on youth sports, or stop by the Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Department, 245 Howelsen Parkway. If you are interested in coaching, contact Kate Warnke at kwarnke@steamboatsprings.net or 970-879-4300, ext. 354.

YES Golf Tournament is on June 1 at Rollingstone

The 23rd annual Youth Educational Scholarship Fund Golf Tournament is June 1 at the Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club in Steamboat Springs. The tournament is organized by the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association ambassadors, and proceeds go to scholarships for Routt County youths pursuing a business-related course of study.

The entry fee is $135. The tournament format is a mixed scramble with four-player teams; teams that include a woman may have five players. There is no handicap required; however, no team may have more than two players with handicaps of 12 or lower. Prizes will be awarded to the top three teams, with additional prizes for the longest drives, longest putt and drives closest to the center line. There will be two hole-in-one prizes, slated to be a car donated by Steamboat Motors and a $25,000 cash prize donated by Yampa Valley Bank.

Forms can be downloaded from www.steamboatchamber.com/yes, including scholarship information and application forms, tournament player forms and tournament sponsor forms. Email yes@steamboatchamber.com.

Colorado health officials warning about hantavirus

State health officials are warning Coloradans to avoid exposure to hantavirus when opening up cabins, buildings, sheds and barns, according to a news release. Hantavirus is a respiratory disease carried by deer mice. Deer mice are brown on top and white underneath. They have large ears relative to their head size. House mice are all gray and have small ears and don’t carry the disease.

Hantavirus is transmitted by inhaling dust contaminated with the virus in a mouse-infested area.

Rodent proofing and control should be done before extensive cleaning efforts, said Elisabeth Lawaczeck, state health veterinarian with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. She also urged people to be wary of areas with mouse droppings. Structures should be ventilated thoroughly and any accumulation of dust, dirt and mouse droppings should be wetted down with a mixture of bleach and water before cleaning.

She advised rodent-proofing the home by plugging holes and entry points where mice can get inside; eliminating food sources for rodents; and removing abandoned vehicles and wood, brush and junk piles where rodents hide.

Hantavirus, which causes death in nearly half of all cases, begins with a high fever, severe body aches, a headache and vomiting. The onset of these symptoms begins from one to six weeks after exposure. Initially, there are no respiratory symptoms present.

“If, however, you develop a fever, headache and muscle pain within six weeks of exposure to deer mice, seek medical care immediately,” advised Lawaczeck.

Hantavirus prevention tips:

■ Rodent-proof buildings by plugging holes or other mouse entryways.

■ Make home or work areas unattractive to rodents. Keep indoor areas clean, especially kitchens. Store food in rodent-proof containers and properly dispose of garbage in sealed containers.

■ Remove rodent hiding places such as wood, junk and brush piles. Store firewood at least 100 feet from the house. Keep vegetation near house well-trimmed.

■ Use caution when cleaning out enclosed areas such as trailers, cabins, barns or sheds. Open doors or windows to provide good ventilation for 30 to 60 minutes before cleaning out structures. Avoid stirring up dust by watering down areas of mouse infestation with a mixture of bleach and water. A bleach mixture of one cup of bleach per gallon of water is recommended.

■ Thoroughly soak potentially contaminated areas with the bleach mixture.

■ Use rubber gloves to pick up saturated waste, including nesting materials or dead mice. Double-bag the waste using plastic bags, and bury or dispose of in an outdoor garbage can or landfill.

■ Disinfect gloves with bleach and water before removing.

■ In cases of severe infestation, or when ventilation and dust suppression are not possible, use a rubber face mask with a high efficiency particulate air filter.

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