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3rd Annual Teen Health Day on December 2nd from 9:30 a.m. – 4pm at the Carmel Fire Department

free flu shots

Last Chance Public flu clinic for Fall 2016 Final

The Putnam County Department of Health is offering a public seasonal flu vaccine clinic for Putnam County residents, 18 years of age and older on Tuesday, December 6, 2016, from 2:00pm -6:30pm at the Putnam County Department of Health, 1 Geneva Road, Brewster, NY. Flu is already being diagnosed in Putnam County, so take advantage of this opportunity to protect yourself during

National Influenza Vaccination Week. No appointments are necessary.

Please bring proof of residency (driver’s license) and Medicare card if applicable.

Cost for flu vaccine is $25, though for persons age 65 and older or with a Medicare card, flu vaccine will be free. In order to move people more quickly through the clinic, required vaccine consent forms will be available at www.putnamcountyny.com.

Download the forms, complete them and bring them with you to the clinic. Forms will be available at the clinic if you are unable to download them. For questions call the Putnam County Department of Health at (845) 808-1390.

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Cold Spring Site Added to Health Department’s “Caught-in-the-Act” Contest on America Recycles Day

BREWSTER, NY— By popular demand, a third location—FoodTown in Cold Spring—has been added to the Caught-in-the-Act” Contest, commemorating America Recycles Day. From 2 to 4 p.m., on November 22, the recycling coordinator from the health department will be looking again for residents who recycle and rewarding them with a free reusable shopping bag, and social media recognition for their efforts.

Plastic film is everywhere. Store “carry-out” bags are made of it. Beverage cases are shrink-wrapped in it. Newspapers are delivered curbside in it, and unfortunately most is not recycled. The Putnam County Department of Health is trying to change that.

On Tuesday, November 15, the recycling coordinator will be at Acme Supermarket, 149 Route 6 in Mahopac, in the morning from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Afternoon hours will be DeCicco & Sons, 50 Independent Way in Brewster from 2 to 4 p.m.,

Less than one percent of plastic bags are being recycled, and the health department has been working with stores in the county that are required by law to accept plastic films. All large retail stores, or chains with more than five smaller stores, must participate. Currently there are 25 drop-off locations in Putnam County, including Home Depot, Acme, and Kohl’s in Brewster, and Foodtown in Cold Spring. A complete list is posted online at the PCDOH website.

The Health Department’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education.

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Recycling Reaps Rewards: Health Department Holds “Caught-in-the-Act” Contest on America Recycles Day

Recycling Reaps Rewards:

Health Department Holds “Caught-in-the-Act” Contest on America Recycles Day

BREWSTER, NY— Plastic film is everywhere. Store “carry-out” bags are made of it. Beverage cases are shrink-wrapped in it. Newspapers are delivered curbside in it, and unfortunately most is not recycled. The Putnam County Department of Health is trying to change that. On Tuesday, November 15, America Recycles Day, the department is holding a “Caught-in-the-Act” Contest.

From 10 a.m. to 12 noon and then again from 2 to 4 p.m., the recycling coordinator from the health department will be looking for residents who recycle and rewarding them with a free reusable shopping bag, and social media recognition for their efforts. The morning session will take place at Acme Supermarket, 149 Route 6 in Mahopac, and the afternoon hours will be spent at DeCicco & Sons, 50 Independent Way in Brewster.

“We are launching this campaign because most people are unaware you can recycle these plastic film items,” says County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Curbside recycling does not include them. Instead they must be brought to a drop-off location. But it’s the responsible and civic thing to do—for your family and your community.”

“Less than one percent of plastic bags are being recycled,” continues Interim Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD. “It may take a bit of extra effort in the beginning, but only until it becomes more routine. And it makes a positive impact on our environment.”

The health department has been working with stores in the county that are required by law

to accept plastic films. All large retail stores, or chains with more than five smaller stores, must participate. Currently there are 25 drop-off locations in Putnam County, including Home Depot, Acme, and Kohl’s in Brewster, and at Foodtown in Cold Spring. A complete list is posted online at the PCDOH website.

The Health Department’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education.

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Cold and Flu Season Arrives: Antibiotics are not always the answer, warns health department

Cold and Flu Season Arrives:

Antibiotics are not always the answer, warns health department

BREWSTER, NY— As the cold and flu season swings into full gear, visits to doctors’ offices will undoubtedly rise. To receive the best care, patients as well as doctors should stay informed about proper use of antibiotics. Two studies this year have reported not only about the overuse of these medicines, but also frequent incorrect prescribing. These problems are a focal point of the campaign for the Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, from November 14 to 20, which calls attention to the increasing problem of antibiotic resistance. This phenomena occurs when bacteria evolve into “super bugs” that no longer respond to ordinary antibiotics.

“Antibiotics can’t help a patient who has come down with the flu,” explains Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD, Interim Commissioner of Health. “The flu is a viral infection. Antibiotics are only helpful with bacterial infections. People need to understand the difference.”

This popular misconception is familiar to Dr. Nesheiwat. He has run a busy family medicine practice in Putnam County for the past 25 years. “Sometimes patients just want a prescription—something they think will make them better. This is why the health department has been helping physicians educate their patients by providing doctors with more information, posters and a new type of prescription pad. The pad gives physicians a place to check the appropriate diagnosis—cold, cough or the flu, and clearly spells out the best medicines—simply fluids, saline nasal spray and throat spray.” Older children or adults can also use lozenges for sore throat relief.

According to the New York State Department of Health, Putnam County’s overprescribing rates may be among the highest in the state. The state health department has identified Putnam as one of 11 counties with the uppermost rates of potentially avoidable antibiotic prescription—with 55 to 64 percent of adults filling a prescription after an upper respiratory infection diagnosis, such as a cough or cold. Most other counties fall in the lower two ranges, either 35 to 44 percent, or 45 to 54 percent.

Another problem on the rise is with prescribing the wrong antibiotic. An October 2016 report released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Pew Charitable Trusts describes the pattern for ear and sinus infections, and sore throats. They found that only 52 percent of patients were given the recommended “first-line” medication. That leaves 48 percent getting a broad-spectrum antibiotic, which is not necessary and increases drug resistance. Surprisingly, adults are much more likely than children to receive the wrong antibiotic. The report found more than 60 percent of adults diagnosed with strep throat were prescribed an antibiotic not recommended by medical guidelines. Only 40 percent of children faced the same situation.

“The public health implications of this situation are huge and not confined to New York or even just the U.S,” continues Dr. Nesheiwat.  “In fact, global health experts have warned that by the year 2020, super-bugs may kill more people than cancer kills today. These are truly scary numbers.

“Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple solution,” says Dr. Nesheiwat. “But we have to start with what we can do, and informing the public, as well as health care providers, is that first step.”

For more information about Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, visit: www.cdc.gov/getsmart

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lead

Lead Screenings and Water Testing Help Protect Children

Lead Screenings and Water Testing Help Protect Children
Lead Poisoning Prevention Week Commemorated October 23-29

Brewster, NY—Children who are exposed to the toxin lead can have serious, long lasting health problems. That is why public health law requires testing lead levels in children’s blood at age one and again at two. It is also why last month Governor Cuomo signed legislation requiring immediate testing of drinking water in all New York State schools by October 31. The good news is that lead poisoning is preventable and that’s one of the main messages of International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, from October 23 to 29.
“It’s hard to believe testing school water was not required before, given the health risks especially to young children,” says Michael Nesheiwat, MD, Interim Commissioner of Health in Putnam. “We have been working with all the school districts in the county, providing technical assistance to them and their water operators, to help them comply with these new requirements.” Until then schools with unacceptable levels are providing alternate water supplies for both cooking and drinking. The schools must also report the water test results to parents, and the New York State and Putnam County health departments.
Ironically and heartbreakingly, it was about a year ago in September—a month before International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week 2015—that the lead poisoning of numerous children gained national attention with reports from Flint, Michigan. Elevated blood lead levels in children there had almost doubled after the city switched its water source.
In Putnam County, most child lead-poisoning cases have been the result of ingesting chips or inhaling dust from lead-based paint common in older homes built before 1978. In fact, approximately 73% of Putnam cases of childhood lead poisoning are from a lead-paint source. Preventing this exposure, early identification of children with high levels, and treatment, are all important efforts.
“Lead poisoning can have serious neurological results for young children, with developing brains,” continues Dr. Nesheiwat. “It can affect their behavior and ability to learn, along with their growth.” Parents should make sure their child has his or her blood lead levels checked at one year of age, and again at two years of age as mandated, and at older ages if there is reason for concern. Healthcare providers can perform or order this test, or contact the PCDOH for testing assistance.
Very young children are at highest risk. When learning to crawl, they spend a lot of time on the floor and put things in their mouth. Frequent washing of hands, face, toys, bottles and pacifiers is important. For children and youth of all ages, a foundation of good nutrition and eating foods high in calcium, iron and vitamin C in particular, can limit the impact of lead, if it is ingested or inhaled. Lead can also harm babies before they are born, if a pregnant mother is exposed to possible lead hazards.
Lead dust is hard to see. A problem can occur when lead-painted surfaces are disturbed in any way. Even cutting a small hole when remodeling, or opening and closing doors and windows, covered with lead-based paint, for example, can generate lead dust. This dust then falls on windowsills, floors and toys. Children with lead poisoning do not look or feel sick in the beginning. However, health problems can still start. The only way to know is to test a child’s blood lead level.
Lead poisoning can happen in other ways as well. Follow these tips to be safe:

  • Avoid cooking, storing or serving food in leaded glass, crystal and pewter and painted china or pottery from Asia, Latin America or the Middle East.
  • Check toys and other children’s products because some may contain lead. A list is available on the Consumer Product Safety Commission website at www.cpsc.gov or by calling 800-638-2772.
  • If you have a job or hobbies where you are exposed to lead (carpentry, hunting, stained glass work, or those that use leaded gasoline for example), be extra careful. Shower, and change clothes and shoes, before going home. Clothes that may be contaminated should be washed alone.
  • Assume homes built before 1978 contain lead paint. Keep painted surfaces in good condition. If lead surfaces are disturbed, don’t sweep—damp mopping is a must. Better yet, consider hiring a certified contractor when renovating or remodeling. They follow strict Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines to prevent contamination. Call the health department with questions. Renters should ask landlords to safely repair any peeling paint. If the landlord is not responsive, local town building inspectors may be able to assist.

Call the Putnam County Department of Health at 845-808-1390 for more information or visit the New York State Department of Health web site at: www.nyhealth.gov/environmental/lead.

Garment bags fall into the plastic film category and should be recycled, explains Vicki DiLonardo, recycling coordinator for the Putnam County Department of Health.
These items belong to the category of “plastic film” and must be taken to a drop-off location in major stores. Most items can be identified by their recycling icons and fall into two categories: Number 2 Plastics—HDPE (high density polyethylene) and Number 4 Plastics LDPE (low density polyethylene). A list of 25 drop-off sites in Putnam County is posted on the health department website: putnamcountyny.com/health

Health Department Promotes Plastic Film Recycling; 25 Drop Off Locations in Putnam

Health Department Promotes Plastic Film Recycling;

25 Drop Off Locations in Putnam >>>  (CLICK HERE FOR THE LIST)

BREWSTER, NY— A staggering 100 billion plastic bags or more are thrown away each year by Americans, according to conservationists. Putnam County numbers may be impossible to get but one  thing is sure: It is far too many. That is why the New York State’s Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Act went into effect back in 2009 and was updated in 2015 to add plastic films to the list of recyclable items.

“Recycling is a win-win-win scenario,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “It reduces landfill waste, reduces our demand on oil, and it reduces litter, preserving our beautiful Putnam landscape, waterways and wildlife. Plastic bags are convenient, but their harms are real. The effects of clogged drainage and flooding alone make recycling a must, and now it’s the law.”

“Less than 1 percent of plastic bags are being recycled, but we are trying to change that,” said Michael Nesheiwat, MD, Interim Commissioner of Health. “Everyone is used to recycling hard plastics, usually through curbside pick-up. However, plastic films must be recycled differently. They have to be brought to a drop off site, which all major stores should have.”

The health department has been working with stores in the county that are required by law to accept plastic films. All large retail stores, or chains with more than five smaller stores, must participate. Currently there are 25 drop-off locations in Putnam County, including Home Depot, Acme and Kohl’s. A complete list is posted online at the PCDOH website.

“Plastic film recycling may require a bit of effort at first,” continues Dr. Nesheiwat, “but only until it becomes more routine. Think of it as an investment in the future—for our children. Then it becomes a little easier.”

Plastic films include many everyday items. Newspaper delivery bags, dry cleaning bags and shrink-wrap, in addition to the commonplace “carry-out bags” are some examples. Wrap from packages of paper towels, napkins, bathroom tissues and diapers; beverage case wrapping; shipping “pillows” and bubble wrap, as well as clean bags from bread, produce and sealable food storage bags—all these items should be dropped off for recycling. It is important to know that the recycling items need not be brought back to the store where they were originally purchased. Participating stores are required to accept all items together.

Next month is America Recycles Day and the health department will be visiting local drop off sites on Tuesday, November 15, to photograph residents as part of a “Caught in the Act” Recycling Campaign. Stay tuned or go online to the health department website, as details become available in early November.

The Health Department’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit the PCDOH website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health or visit the social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

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PUTNAM COUNTY HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE COLLECTION DAY SCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

PUTNAM COUNTY HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE COLLECTION DAY SCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

Brewster, NY -Putnam County will hold a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Day for Putnam County residents on Saturday, October 1. The Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH) and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are co-sponsoring the FREE event which is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (rain or shine) at the Putnam County Department of Health, 1 Geneva Road, Brewster, NY.

“Improper storage and disposal of hazardous waste can create health risks for our residents and their families,” says County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “We hold these events twice a year so that people can safely get rid of these toxic materials.”

Hazardous materials that can be brought to the HHW Collection Day event include: household cleaners, pesticides, herbicides, oil- based paint (not latex), automotive solvents, thinners, mothballs, rodent poisons, gasoline, kerosene, small propane tanks (up to 20 pound size), etc. Disposal items will only be accepted if they are labeled and identifiable.  Items which will not be accepted are water-based paints (latex), used oil, lead-acid or other batteries, plastic bags, tires, electronic waste or any materials from commercial establishments. For a complete list of acceptable items, please visit the county website at http://www.putnamcountyny.com/health/recycling/ . Pre-registration is required. Call the Putnam County Department of Health at (845) 808-1390, ext. 43150, with questions about the event or to pre-register.
If you would prefer to register by email, please send your three preferred times (every 15 minutes beginning
at 9 a.m.) to PutnamHealth@putnamcountyny.gov . You will be sent a confirmation with a time. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 2 business days, please call the above number. Call or email early to reserve your spot.

For information regarding electronic waste disposal, call your local town. Also, please note that household hazardous waste items will not be accepted at any of the town electronic waste drop-off locations.                                                                              

The Health Department’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth  and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

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PCDOH Schedules Three Fall Flu Clinics

PCDOH Schedules Three Fall Flu Clinics

BREWSTER, NY— It’s official: the 2016-2017 flu season is here.  The Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH) has scheduled three fall vaccine clinics and their skilled and experienced nurses are ready to immunize residents. The first clinic is Tuesday, September 20, from 2 to 6:30 p.m. at the Carmel Fire Department, Route 52 and Vink Drive in Carmel. The second is on Wednesday, October 19, from 2 to 6:30 p.m.at the Garrison Fire Department, 1616 Route 9; the third is Monday, October 24 from 2 to 6:30 p.m.at Carmel Fire Department again.

“Getting vaccinated early is best,” says Michael Nesheiwat, MD, Interim Commissioner of Health. “That’s because it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop and provide protection. Getting your flu shot is important for many of reasons. It keeps you healthy, and so saves money on medical and prescription costs. It also provides what’s called ‘herd immunity’ to those who can’t be vaccinated because they are too young, or have a specific medical condition, and is the socially responsible thing to do.

“Certain people should make sure they get vaccinated,” continued Dr. Nesheiwat, “because they can have serious problems if they get the flu.” For example, pregnant women, children 6 months through 18 years of age, people over 50 years of age, and those with chronic (long-lasting) medical conditions and the people who live with them—all these groups may have or cause serious results if they get the flu. Health care workers are also required to get the flu in order to protect their patients.

The clinic is open to all Putnam County residents 18 years of age and older. The vaccination fee is $25 for residents under 65 years of age. Those 65 years and older, or with a Medicare card, can receive the vaccine free of charge. High-dose flu vaccine is being offered for seniors, aged 65 years and older, as studies show this vaccine is more effective for this population. However, at the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the FluMist will not be available. Proof of residency (driver’s license) is required. Pneumonia vaccine will also not be available through the Health Department’s public flu clinics.

Appointments are not necessary, but a signed consent form is required. Forms will be available on the Putnam County website at http://www.putnamcountyny.com/health/immunization

In order to streamline the onsite process, people are encouraged to download the forms, complete them and bring them to the clinic. Forms will also be available at the clinic.

Flu vaccination will be offered by the Health Department in all school districts this fall strictly for students and staff. Check your school calendar or with the school nurse for details of these school-based clinics. More public flu clinics may be held later this year. Check the PCDOH website for possible dates and further details.

The Health Department’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our website at www.putnamcountyny.com ; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth  and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

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