Health briefs: Precautions advised during tick season   | SteamboatToday.com

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Health briefs: Precautions advised during tick season  

Yampa Valley Health

Northwest Colorado Health advises precautions against ticks and tick-borne diseases during spring and summer months. Tick bites in Colorado can result in Colorado Tick Fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, Tick-borne Relapsing Fever. Ticks should be removed from skin as soon as possible. If you remove a tick from a person or a pet, wash your hands immediately. If you become ill after a tick bite or exposure to ticks, seek prompt medical attention. Ticks are commonly found in wooded or brushy areas with tall grass. They may also inhabit rustic mountain cabins where chipmunks and other rodents may have visited. Wear protective clothing – long-sleeved shirts and long pants – and do thorough tick checks after being in areas where ticks may be present. For information on how to safely remove a tick that has settled into the skin, go to cdc.gov/ticks.

Take precautions to avoid foodborne illness

Each year, one in six Americans becomes ill as a result of consuming foods or beverages contaminated with disease-causing microbes or pathogens. Northwest Colorado Health recommends the following precautions to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

  • Always wash hands with soap and water before preparing food.
  • Cook meat, poultry and eggs thoroughly. Use a food thermometer to measure internal temperature of meat.
  • Wash hands, utensils and cutting boards after they have been in contact with raw meat or poultry and before they touch another food.
  • Refrigerate leftovers that won't be eaten within four hours. Bacteria can grow quickly at room temperature.
  • Wash produce in running tap water. Remove outermost leaves of a lettuce or cabbage. Bacteria can grow well on the cut surface of a fruit or vegetable. Take care not to contaminate produce while slicing on a cutting board, and don't leave cut produce out for many hours.
  • Keep food away from flies and insects.

Common symptoms of foodborne illness include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever and chills. Avoid preparing food for others if you have these symptoms.

Pregnant women, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe infections and should not consume undercooked animal products. Contact a healthcare provider if foodborne illness is suspected. For more information, visit cdc.gov/foodsafety/facts.

Free breast exams available for qualified women

Women who are age 40 to 64 and have limited or no health insurance may qualify for free breast exams and cervical cancer screenings. In addition to meeting age and income requirements, women must live in Colorado, be legal residents (or legally present) in the U.S. and have not had a mammogram or Pap test in the last 12 months. Women's Wellness Connection is a program at Northwest Colorado Health. For more information, visit northwestcoloradohealth.org/wwc or call 970-879-1632.

Share your healthy recipes with the Steamboat Today

The Steamboat Today publishes simple, healthy recipes in the Yampa Valley Health section of the newspaper on Monday. Anyone who has a recipe that is easy-to-fix and made from commonly found ingredients is welcome to share it with the paper. Forget the fussy soufflé or the dish requiring fenugreek seeds, we're looking for basic recipes that will inspire people to cook. Email recipes to Karen Massey at karen.massey@colostate.edu or send them to Massey at the Routt County Extension Office, P.O. Box 772830, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477.