Putnam County Department of Health warns that Tick Season is Approaching

Brewster, NY—Warm weather brings people outside where they are exposed to tiny ticks carrying much more than Lyme disease. Cases of babesiosis, anaplasmosis, ehrilichiosis and powassan virus are still relatively small overall, but from 2012 to 2013, the total number rose more than 60 percent. Lyme is still most prevalent, but these other serious illnesses are on the rise and should not be discounted.

“Preventing tick bites is the first step,” explains Allen Beals, MD, JD, Commissioner of Health for Putnam County. “If you are out in wooded areas, or even tall grass, you must take precautions to avoid being bitten.” This
means long sleeves and pants, tucked in socks, and the use of repellents containing DEET, following the label instructions. “Wear light-colored clothing to make „tick checks‟ easier,” he continues, “and look for them at least every two or three hours while outdoors, so they can be brushed off before attaching.” Dr. Beals further advises that, once inside at the end of the day, do a thorough check of your whole body, giving special attention to your scalp, back, armpits, behind ears and the back of knees. “Remember, for transmission of Lyme disease the tick has to be attached for a number of hours, so checking at the end of the day is usually adequate,” he says.

In springtime, the population of tick nymphs increases. These young ticks are responsible for most of the 
infections because they are more difficult to spot because of their small size. Gardeners, campers, hikers, and outdoor workers are more likely to be exposed. They rest on low-lying vegetation and attach to passing animals and people. The risk is greatest along trails in the woods and on the edges of properties with tall vegetation, where the higher humidity levels are ideal for tick survival. Ticks are also carried into lawns and gardens by pets, mice and other small animals. Pets can additionally bring them into homes.

Attached ticks should be removed immediately to limit the chance of infection. Here‟s how:
1. Use fine-tipped tweezers to carefully grasp the mouth-parts—not the body—of the tick close to the skin.
2. Gently and steadily pull the tick out without twisting or squeezing.
3. Wash the bite area thoroughly.
4. Apply antiseptic, and mark the date on your calendar.

Symptoms of Lyme disease generally appear within 30 days of exposure, and may include fatigue, chills and fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, and swollen lymph nodes. For Lyme disease, a “bull‟s eye” red rash may also appear at the bite site, often earlier than the other symptoms.

All tick-borne illnesses can be difficult to diagnose. Symptoms may mimic those of many other diseases. Left untreated, serious complications can occur, including severe arthritis, neurological and cardiac problems. With early detection and antibiotic treatment for the bacterial infections (Lyme, anaplasmosis and ehrilichiosis), recovery is usually rapid and complete. For more information about Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases, call the Putnam County Department of Health at (845) 808-1390 or visit the New York State Department of Health web site at www.health.state.ny.us.

The Health Department‟s mission is to improve and protect the health of Putnam County residents through prevention of illness and injury. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, 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.

Putnam County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day, Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

Brewster, NY -Putnam County will hold a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Day for Putnam County residents on Saturday, May 3, 2014. The Putnam County Department of Health and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are co-sponsoring the FREE event which is scheduled from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm (rain or shine) at the Canopus Beach parking area, Fahnstock State Park, Route 301, in Kent, NY.

Improper storage or disposal of hazardous waste poses a health risk to residents and their families. County Executive MaryEllen Odell maintains HHW Collection Day in the budget as an opportunity for Putnam
County residents to safely dispose of toxic materials such as: 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 batteries, plastic bags, batteries, tires, electronic waste or any materials from commercial establishments. For a complete list of items being accepted, please visit the Health Department website at http://www.putnamcountyny.com/green-putnam/.

Pre-registration is required. Call early to reserve your spot. Call the Putnam County Department of Health at (845) 808-1390 ext. 43150 with questions about the event or to pre-register.

Please call your local town for information regarding electronic waste disposal. 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, 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.

Putnam and Surrounding Counties See Flu Cases Spike

Brewster, NY— It’s April and the weather is finally improving, but flu season is not over yet. In fact Putnam County and surrounding areas in New York State are experiencing a spike in influenza cases. It is not too late to receive a flu shot.

“The flu season doesn’t end until late Spring,” explains Allen Beals, MD, Commissioner of Health for Putnam County, “so this is not entirely unusual. What’s interesting is that earlier in the season we saw mostly Type A influenza, and this current spike is mostly in Type B.”

Each year the vaccine is reformulated to be most protective against the dominant strains. This scientific endeavor is played out in university research departments and pharmaceutical laboratories around the U.S. This year most vaccine was a trivalent variety, meaning it would immunize a patient against 3 strains—two As and one B. A newer quadrivalent vaccine, available in limited quantities and at higher cost this year, was engineered to protect against two As and two Bs.

“The good news,” reports Dr. Beals, “is that next year, more quadrivalent vaccine will be available and we plan to purchase it in greater quantities; and it looks like the Putnam County government will support and fund this initiative.”

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, 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.

NBC’s TODAY Show featured one of our Putnam Residents in a series called HOOKED: A Teacher’s Addiction and the New Face of Heroin

The heroin epidemic is on the rise and much more severe than before. On April 8th, NBC’s Today Show interviewed one of Putnam’s residents. Who is a Teacher, a mother, a daughter and now a recovering heroin addict. Follow the link below to find out more about this interesting story in Putnam County. CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Celebrating National Public Health Week…April 7th-13th

Day #1: Be healthy from the start.

Starting tiny tots out right reaps benefits for years to come. Moms and babies enjoy many health benefits provided free of charge from the Putnam County Department of Health. Mothers’ support groups offer a chance for the littlest residents to socialize, along with their mothers who also benefit from the expertise of our maternal child health public health nurses, each a gold-standard certified lactation consultant. Click Here

Day #2: Keeping you safe.

Cleanliness and proper handling help ensure food safety and health. Inspectors from the Putnam County Department of Health visit all 377 restaurants in the county each year, ensuring every food safety rule and regulation is followed. More than 50 temporary food permits are issued, all food-borne illnesses are investigated, and each year the annual food operators’ seminar offers restaurateurs and other food establishments a chance to brush up on their safety skills and hear about industry advances. Click Here

Day #3: Get out ahead.

Immunizations are one of the top success stories in public health. In the early 1900s infectious diseases were the number-one cause of death and disability for all ages. Outbreaks of pertussis and diphtheria were commonplace and nearly one out of every five children did not reach their fifth birthday. Last year the Putnam County Department of Health administered nearly 6,000 various vaccines helping countless residents of all ages protect their health. Click Here

Day #4: Eat Well.

Children eat better when they help grow and prepare their food. Studies have proven this true. That’s why the Putnam County Department of Health partners with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam, the Child Care Council of Dutchess and Putnam and camp operators to bring vegetable gardens to the community.

Childhood obesity affects nearly 17 percent of U.S. children. Putnam’s young residents are at similar risk. Click Here

Day #5: Be the healthiest nation in one generation.

Rabies is a deadly disease—for humans and animals. The Putnam County Department of Health holds free rabies vaccination clinics three times a year, as part of a broad rabies prevention program that included more than 400 investigations by health department staff and more than 100 animals being tested in 2013. The recently launched Feral Cat Task Force puts the Trap-Neuter-Return concept into action, reducing potential for rabies exposure by immunizing feral cats. Click Here

PUTNAM COUNTY RANKS 4TH IN NYS FOR HEALTH OUTCOMES

Brewster, NY—The 2014 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, presented by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, were released to the public this morning. For the second year in a row, Putnam County ranks fourth in the state in the overall category of “health outcomes.” The rankings provide a snapshot of a community’s health and a starting point for investigating and discussing ways to improve health.

“I am so proud that once again Putnam County has ranked among the highest counties in the Hudson Valley region,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “The rankings reflect the healthy lifestyle choices of our residents and the work that our Health Department does to make our communities aware of the tools available to individuals and families.”

“We will continue to work to help Putnam residents remain healthy and to provide access to resources that support their efforts,” said Allen Beals, M.D., Commissioner of Health. The rankings are based on a model of population health that emphasizes many factors that, if improved, can help make communities healthier places to live, learn, work and play.

The Putnam County Department of Health recently collaborated with 82 community partners to develop and complete the Putnam County Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) for 2013-2017. This plan focuses on areas that these partners identified in order to improve overall health, including obesity prevention, smoking cessation, and overall mental health and well-being.

For more information on the 2014 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, visit http://www.countyhealthrankings.org 

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, 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.

2014 Annual Food Operator’s Seminar

The 2014 Annual Food Operator’s Seminar was held on March 25 and 26, with over 140  food service establishments attending this event held at the TOPS building. The Health Department kicked off its  campaign for “Eat Smart Restaurant Week” to be held in September.    A panel of local farmers and restaurateurs discussed the trend of farm-to-table initiatives in Putnam and the benefits of developing the farmer and  chef alliance.

 

Screening and Lifestyle Choices Can Lower Colorectal Cancer Risk

Brewster, NY – Colorectal cancer – cancer that begins in the colon or rectum – is one of the most common cancers
among New Yorkers. Each year more than 10,000 people develop colorectal cancer, and nearly 3,500 die in New
York State alone. Early detection is key and March, National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, is a good time to
schedule a screening and make some lifestyle changes for further protection.

“Screenings for colorectal cancer can detect polyps before cancer even begins,” says Allen Beals, M.D.,
Putnam County Commissioner of Health. “If polyps are found early, they can be removed easily.”
“It is always smart to take the initiative when it concerns matters of health,” said County Executive
MaryEllen Odell. “I am so pleased to see that our Health Department is proactive in seeing to it that information on a
variety of health matters is brought to the attention of the public.”

Colorectal cancer can strike younger adults, but most cases are in people aged 50 or older. According to the
Centers for Disease Control, if everyone 50 years and older were screened regularly, nearly 60% of deaths from this
cancer could be avoided. Certain individuals should begin testing earlier, such as those with a personal or family
history of colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease or colorectal polyps. These conditions may put them at
greater risk. Recommended screening tests include: stool tests, colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy or a barium enema.

Colorectal polyps and colorectal cancer do not always cause symptoms, especially in the early stages.
Symptoms for colorectal cancer typically do not surface until it has spread and become life threatening. Symptoms
may include bleeding from the rectum, blood in the stool, change in bowel habits, decreased appetite or unexplained
weight loss, weakness and fatigue, or stomach pain that does not go away, and should prompt a call to your health
care provider.

Lifestyle choices can help protect against developing colorectal cancer and other cancers. The American
Cancer Society recommends the following to reduce a person’s risk:
      -Do not smoke
      -Maintain a healthy weight
      -Be physically active on a regular basis
      -Make healthy food choices
      -Limit alcohol consumption

No single food or nutrient protects against colorectal cancer by itself; a variety of factors in foods work together to
provide anti-cancer effects. There is convincing evidence that a high-fiber, plant-based style of eating, incorporating a
variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans, helps lower the risk for several cancers, including colorectal
cancer. For more information about healthy eating to reduce your cancer risk, visit www.AICR.org.

The New York State Cancer Services Program (CSP) provides breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings
at NO COST to women and men who:

      -Do not have health insurance OR have health insurance that does not cover the cost of these screenings
      -Cannot pay for these screenings
      -Meet income eligibility requirements
      -Meet age requirements
      -Live in New York State

Additional services include diagnostic testing if results are abnormal and referrals for treatment. For more
information or to schedule an appointment, please contact the Cancer Services Program at 1-866-442-2262 or visit
http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/cancer/services/community_resources and click on your county.

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, environmental health protection, family health promotion, emergency preparedness 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.

FREE Rabies Vaccination Clinic Scheduled for March 22

Bring your dogs, cats and ferrets to a FREE rabies vaccination clinic on Saturday, March 22, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Sponsored by the Putnam County Department of Health, the clinic is being held at South Putnam Animal Hospital, 230B Baldwin Place Road, Mahopac, N.Y. and is open to all Putnam County residents.

Please bring photo ID as proof of Putnam County residency, as well as written proof of prior rabies vaccination. Tags are not acceptable. If you do not have a written certificate documenting prior rabies vaccination, your pet will receive a one-year rabies vaccine. All dogs must be leashed and cats and ferrets must be in a carrier. An animal information/release form will be available and can be completed at the clinic site. For more information and directions, please call the Putnam County Department of Health at (845) 808-1390 ext. 43127.

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, 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.

Putnam County Department of Health Issues Carbon Monoxide Alert: Carbon Monoxide Detectors Can Save Lives

Brewster, NY —With frigid outside temperatures, people shut and seal their windows, turn up their heat, and
carbon monoxide (CO) poisonings rise. Every year hundreds of Americans are killed, and thousands more injured,
due to CO poisoning. In fact, this odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas, known as the “silent killer”, is the leading
cause of poison-related deaths in the U.S. Most incidents occur in residential homes and are the result of faulty
venting of a fuel burning device such as a furnace or automobile, though recent reported cases have involved larger
community establishments.

Like other serious injuries, CO poisoning is both predictable and preventable, with information and the proper
precautions. In addition to furnaces and automobiles, CO is emitted from malfunctioning or improperly used stoves,
portable generators or space heaters, gas ranges, charcoal, firewood and other products. After snow storms or other
severe weather events with power outages, people often use generators and portable heaters. In everyday living, faulty
home heating systems, including both gas- and oil-burning furnaces, are more often the cause. In these cases, nearly
half of the victims—49 percent—are asleep at the time of poisoning.

“Everyone interested in protecting their family should have a carbon monoxide detector in their home,” says
Commissioner of Health Allen Beals, MD.

CO detectors are an inexpensive solution to a potentially deadly problem. They are widely available at home
and hardware stores and not difficult to install. CO detectors come with manufacturers’ instructions about placement,
usage and maintenance. For maximum protection, installing alarms on each level of your home is advised, with at
least one near the sleeping area. Even residents with “all electric homes”, often use CO-emitting devices such as
generators, automobiles, gas dryers and fireplaces. CO alarms should be tested monthly and batteries typically should
be changed twice a year.

The number-two prevention tip is to have your furnace serviced regularly by a professional. The Consumer
Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends annual inspections and local gas and utility companies usually have
similar recommendations.

Other important prevention tips include:
1. Never use a gas range or oven for warmth.
2. Never run generators in indoor spaces such as garages, basements or porches. (Place all generators at least 20
feet from a home. This is usually adequate to prevent CO from entering the home.)
3. Never start up or run any gasoline-powered engine (snow blowers, mowers, weed trimmers, chain saws, etc.)
in an enclosed space.
4. Have fireplaces, oil and gas heat and hot water systems serviced annually.
5. Never use a stove or fireplace unless it is properly installed and vented.
6. Never use a charcoal or barbeque grill inside your home or garage.
7. Never run a car or motorcycle inside a garage attached to a house or in a detached garage with the garage door
shut. Open the door to remove CO and other toxic exhaust gases.
8. Never operate an unvented fuel burning appliance, such as a gas or kerosene heater, in any room where
people are sleeping.

Initial symptoms of CO poisoning are flu-like and may include dizziness, shortness of breath, sleepiness,
weakness, nausea and headache. If the early signs are ignored, a person could lose consciousness and be unable to
escape danger. If you suspect CO is leaking in your home or building, go outside immediately and call 911 from
outside.

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, 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.

For further information, please visit:
New York State Department of Health
http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/emergency/weather/carbon_monoxide/
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
http://www.cdc.gov/co/