Archived 2016

December 9, 2016:


 Broomfield WIC program introduces a new electronic benefit card

Across Colorado, Women, Infants, and Children Programs (WIC) are rolling out new debit-style cards called eWIC.

The WIC Program is a federally supported supplemental food program for pregnant, breastfeeding, or postpartum moms and for kids from birth to age 5. The WIC program provides healthy foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and referrals to other resources in the community.

About 500 families are served each month by Broomfield's WIC Program and will be transitioning from paper-based benefit "checks" to eWIC. The eWIC card allows WIC participants to purchase as many or as few WIC foods as they need each time they shop, making WIC purchases easier. This convenience was not possible when WIC provided vouchers or "checks" which required all food benefits on a voucher to be purchased at one time. Other benefits include:

  • Faster and easier grocery store trips
  • Less time at checkout - store cashiers no longer need to identify whether or not specific foods are WIC eligible
  • Fewer appointments at the WIC clinic
  • More ways to track WIC food balances, including checking the most recent cash register receipt

"Broomfield Public Health is excited to offer this new and streamlined way for WIC families to buy healthy and nutritious foods," said Jason Vahling, director of Broomfield Public Health and Environment. "eWIC is a breakthrough in shopping convenience for our WIC families.

WIC is the nation's premier public health program, improving the health, growth and development of children by providing important nutrition and food benefits. One in two babies nationwide are eligible for WIC.

To sign up or learn more about WIC, call 720.8872225 or visit broomfield.org/wic

Colorado WIC logo

  November 21, 2016: 

Share Your Thoughts! Take Broomfield's Walk and Bike Survey

 

Girl riding her bike in Broomfield

The City and County of Broomfield is working to identify a bicycle and pedestrian network that integrates Broomfield's excellent trail system with on-street bike facilities and sidewalks to create a seamless walking and biking environment.

Tell us what you think by providing comments on the online survey and on the study area map. broomfield.org/walkbikebroomfield

Share the survey with your family, friends, and neighbors.

Thank you for your help and input!

 

November 17, 2016: 

Today is the Great American Smokeout event

 

Great American Smokout header

 

You'd like to quit tobacco, you intend to quit, but, well, you just need to pick a day.

How about today, Thursday, November 17, 2016?

That's the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout®. You can join millions of Americans and start living tobacco free. Research shows that if you pick a quit day that's within the next 30 days and stick to it, you'll be more likely to succeed in quitting.

Here are some ways to prepare for your quit day:

  1. Pick the date and mark it on your calendar.
  2. Tell friends and family about your quit day.
  3. Visit cancer.org/smokeout and download the Craving Stopper desktop helper.
  4. The Craving Stopper will give you encouragement and tips for 30 days to help you succeed in quitting. You can even play a quick game (like Zombie Smokeout) to distract yourself!
  5. Check out the This Is Quitting app.
  6. Think back to your other attempts to quit. What worked for you and what didn't?
  7. Call the Colorado Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) for free telephone coaching and free patches or gum when you enroll.

There is no one right way to quit and it takes a strong commitment over a long period of time. People may wish there was a "magic bullet", but, unfortunately, there's nothing like that on the market. Quit smoking medications can help reduce withdrawal symptoms, but they are most effective when used as part of a plan that addresses the multiple aspects of quitting tobacco.

Quitting isn't easy, but you can do it!

For more information, please visit Broomfield.org/Quit.

 

  August 17, 2016: 

First human case of West Nile virus in Broomfield County

Broomfield County, Colorado - The City and County of Broomfield Public Health and Environment Division has received notice of its first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) for 2016. After showing symptoms, the Broomfield resident was tested for the virus but was not hospitalized.

 

West Nile virus is primarily a disease of birds, spread by infected mosquitoes to people; it is not transferred from person to person. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. However, those that do develop symptoms will typically have fever, headache, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, and/or muscle and joint pain. Symptoms begin between 2 to 14 days after being bitten. People with milder symptoms typically recover on their own, although some symptoms may last for several weeks. A small number of people (less than 1%) may develop serious neurologic illnesses. People over 60 years of age and with certain medical conditions are at greater risk for serious illness. For more information on symptoms and those at higher risk, visit broomfield.org/westnile.

As of August 12, 2016, there are 17 reported human cases of WNV in Colorado, which include the surrounding counties of Adams, Boulder, and Weld counties. Last year, Broomfield had one human case of WNV and there were a total of 108 cases in Colorado. West Nile virus infections typically occur from June through September. "Residents are encouraged to take appropriate precautions from mosquito bites, especially those who are at higher risk" said Broomfield Public Health Director, Jason Vahling.

Public Health officials recommend following the Four D's to prevent mosquito bites:

  1. Drain standing water around the house since that's where mosquitoes breed. Be sure to empty old tires, cans, flowerpots, clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, and toys where puddles can occur.
  2. Dusk and dawn are when mosquitoes that carry the virus are most active, so limit outdoor activities or take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.
  3. DEET is an effective ingredient to look for in insect repellents. Always follow label instructions carefully.
  4. Dress in long sleeves and pants to keep mosquitos from biting.

For more information about WNV, visit broomfield.org/westnile or call Broomfield Public Health and Environment at 720-887-2220.


June 27, 2016: 

Broomfield resident tests positive for tularemia

A Broomfield resident has tested positive for tularemia. Tularemia is a disease of animals and humans caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. Although tularemia is a potentially serious disease, it is treatable with common antibiotics. The Broomfield resident has been treated after being evaluated by a healthcare provider and is recovering. 

Tularemia is not known to be spread from person to person. People become infected with tularemia by: breathing in the bacteria; contact with contaminated soil; handling infected animal carcasses; being bitten by an infected tick, deerfly, or other insects; or by eating or drinking contaminated food or water. 

"In recent years, there has been a significant increase in cases believed to be the result of exposure to bacteria contaminated soil," said Jason Vahling, Broomfield County public health director. "People should take precautions when gardening or landscaping because when a person mows, blows leaves, or turns up the soil, the bacteria can be aerosolized and inhaled," said Vahling. 

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, this is the third reported human case of tularemia in Colorado this year, and a fourth is under investigation. In 2015, 52 cases of human tularemia were reported in Colorado, more than 10 times the typical number of 0-4 cases reported annually from 1954-2013.

Depending on the exposure, symptoms may include: abrupt onset of fever, skin ulcers, swollen and painful lymph glands, inflamed eyes, sore throat, mouth sores, diarrhea, or pneumonia. Patients can also have chills, headache, muscle aches, cough, or difficulty breathing. Symptoms usually appear 3 to 5 days after exposure to the bactera, but can take as long as 14 days. 

Public health officials recommend the following precautions to reduce the risk of exposure to tularemia:

  • Wear shoes and gloves when working outside. Always wash hands after outdoor activities.
  • Avoid mowing over animal carcasses, and consider using a dust mask when mowing for doing landscape work if you have seen rabbits or rodents in your yard. 
  • Never touch sick or dead animals with your bare hands. If the animal must be moved, place it in a garbage bag using a long handled shovel, and place the bag in an outdoor trashcan. 
  • Avoid all contact with wild animals such as squirrels and rabbits; do not feed or handle them. Prevent your pets from eating wildlife. 
  • Wear an insect repellent effective against ticks, biting flies, and mosquitoes. Please visit Broomfield Public Health's tularemia web page for more information. 
  • See a healthcare provider if you become ill with a high fever and/or swollen lymph nodes. Contact a veterinarian if your pet becomes ill. 
  • For more information about Tularemia, visit www.cdc.gov/tularemia

May 16, 2016: 

Precautions to prevent rabies

Skunk 
Rabies has been found in skunks in neighboring counties, including Arvada and Aurora. In Broomfield, there have been no cases of rabies in animals; however, nine animals (eight skunks and one raccoon) have been confirmed to have rabies in Colorado. Of the animals tested in 2015, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported more than 90% were in wild animals, mostly bats, skunks, and raccoons.

"With rabies in the area, this is an excellent time to take steps that can help prevent and control exposure and review precautions on how to avoid wildlife that typically transmit rabies: skunks, bats, raccoons, coyotes, and foxes," said Jason Vahling, public health director.

Rabies is caused by a virus that affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals, and is nearly always fatal. Wildlife suffering from rabies will often be out during the day, act aggressively, and violently approach people or pets. Rabid wildlife might also stumble or have trouble walking. People or animals can get rabies from the bite of a rabid animal or from a rabid animal's saliva if it comes in contact with their eyes, nose, mouth or open wounds. Immediate medical treatment is required after exposure to an infected animal.

"Residents are encouraged to vaccinate domestic pets, horses, and livestock against rabies and to be sure all vaccinations are kept up-to-date," said Vahling.

Whether you are a pet-owner, a parent, an outdoor adventurer or a backyard explorer, there are steps you can take to keep yourself and your family free from rabies throughout the year.

  • Visit your veterinarian with your pet on a regular basis and keep rabies vaccinations up-to-date for all cats, ferrets, dogs, horses, and livestock.
  • Avoid contact with any wild animals, especially any that act unusually. A healthy wild animal will generally avoid human contact.
  • Maintain control of your pets by keeping cats and ferrets indoors and keeping dogs under direct supervision.
  • Observe wild animals from a distance. Never feed or handle unfamiliar animals or wildlife even if they appear friendly.
  • Avoid leaving food or garbage outside as it often attracts stray dogs, cats, and wildlife to your yard.
  • Contact your veterinarian if your dog or cat is bitten or scratched by a wild animal.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you are bitten by an animal. Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Report any wild animal acting strangely to animal control at 303-438-6400.

Call Broomfield Animal Control, 303-438-6400, to remove all stray animals from your neighborhood since these animals may be unvaccinated or ill. For more information about rabies, please visit http://goo.gl/lKaq45.

May 2, 2016:  

Take precautions to avoid hantavirus

State health officials warned Coloradans to avoid hantavirus exposure. There have been two confirmed cases of hantavirus in the state this year, one of which resulted in death.

Hantavirus is a serious and potentially fatal respiratory disease carried by deer mice. People become infected by breathing in dirt and dust contaminated with deer mouse urine and feces. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has documented more than 90 cases of hantavirus across the state since it began tracking the disease in 1993. Approximately 40 percent of people who were infected died.

Coloradans are most likely to get hantavirus when they are exposed to deer mouse urine and feces in and around their homes. Unlike house mice, deer mice have large ears and eyes and white undersides. More people contract hantavirus in the early spring and summer, often when they are cleaning up yards and outbuildings.

"Be particularly careful where there is evidence mice have been in and around buildings or wood or junk piles," said Dr. Jennifer House, state public health veterinarian. "If you have deer mice around your home,weset assume there is some risk of exposure to this virus. The more mice there are, the greater the risk." House advises:

  • Remove wood, junk and brush piles near your home. Store firewood at least 100 feet from your house. Keep vegetation around the house well-trimmed.
  • Open windows and doors for at least 30 minutes before cleaning sheds and outbuildings.
  • Spray accumulated dust, dirt and rodent droppings with a mixture of bleach and water (1½ cups of household bleach to one gallon of water).
  • Wear rubber, latex or vinyl gloves when cleaning.
  • Never vacuum or sweep areas where there is evidence of rodent infestation.
  • Initial hantavirus symptoms include fever, body aches, headache and vomiting. The symptoms begin from one to six weeks after exposure and can progress quickly to respiratory distress within one to five days. Infected people may have a dry cough and difficulty breathing.

"If you become ill with these symptoms, tell your physician about possible exposures to rodent-infested environments," House said. "If hantavirus is suspected, early admission to a hospital for careful monitoring is critical."

Because there is no effective treatment for the disease, House emphasized prevention as the key. She advised year-round rodent control, both in and outside the home.

Learn more at www.colorado.gov/cdphe/cdphenews.


April 21, 2016:

B Healthy Broomfield Wellness Walk

B Healthy Broomfield Wellness Walk

 

April 4, 2016

Like us on B Healthy Broomfield Facebook!

 

Today is the start of

National Public Health Week, April 4-10!

The goal is to create the healthiest generation by 2030.

 

As part of National Public Health Week,

we encourage Broomfield to make one small change

to a healthier you by liking our new

B Healthy Broomfield Facebook page!

B Healthy Broomfield Facebook

March 17, 2016:

 Broomfield Named 2nd Healthiest County in Colorado

Broomfield, CO - The 2016 County Health Rankings released this week, show that Broomfield ranks second among the counties in Colorado when it comes to overall health outcomes. According to the report, Broomfield also ranks third for health behaviors, such as smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity. The data comes from the seventh annual County Health Rankings, published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The report ranks both health outcomes and 30 health factors to highlight the wide array of issues that influence health in local communities.

One Small Change Every Day
"This is great news for Broomfield," said Jason Vahling, Public Health Director, "as each year we continue to be one of the healthiest counties in Colorado. We have extraordinary community wide efforts aimed at improving health in Broomfield."

Broomfield continues to be a leader in bringing together all sectors of the community, including government, business, community and faith-based groups, and schools, to improve the health of Broomfield residents.

"We are excited to continue our progress to reach our goal in becoming the state's healthiest county," said Vahling. Broomfield has already taken strides to reach this goal by focusing efforts on promoting healthy eating and active living through the B Healthy Broomfield initiative. This initiative supports the public health improvement plan that addresses obesity prevention.

Visit Broomfield.org/BHealthy for a variety of community events and programs for everyone to

B Healthy.


May 2, 2016: 

Take precautions to avoid hantavirus

State health officials warned Coloradans to avoid hantavirus exposure. There have been two confirmed cases of hantavirus in the state this year, one of which resulted in death.

Hantavirus is a serious and potentially fatal respiratory disease carried by deer mice. People become infected by breathing in dirt and dust contaminated with deer mouse urine and feces. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has documented more than 90 cases of hantavirus across the state since it began tracking the disease in 1993. Approximately 40 percent of people who were infected died.

Coloradans are most likely to get hantavirus when they are exposed to deer mouse urine and feces in and around their homes. Unlike house mice, deer mice have large ears and eyes and white undersides. More people contract hantavirus in the early spring and summer, often when they are cleaning up yards and outbuildings.

"Be particularly careful where there is evidence mice have been in and around buildings or wood or junk piles," said Dr. Jennifer House, state public health veterinarian. "If you have deer mice around your home, assume there is some risk of exposure to this virus. The more mice there are, the greater the risk." House advises:

  • Remove wood, junk and brush piles near your home. Store firewood at least 100 feet from your house. Keep vegetation around the house well-trimmed.
  • Open windows and doors for at least 30 minutes before cleaning sheds and outbuildings.
  • Spray accumulated dust, dirt and rodent droppings with a mixture of bleach and water (1½ cups of household bleach to one gallon of water).
  • Wear rubber, latex or vinyl gloves when cleaning.
  • Never vacuum or sweep areas where there is evidence of rodent infestation.
  • Initial hantavirus symptoms include fever, body aches, headache, and vomiting. The symptoms begin from one to six weeks after exposure and can progress quickly to respiratory distress within one to five days. Infected people may have a dry cough and difficulty breathing.

 

"If you become ill with these symptoms, tell your physician about possible exposures to rodent-infested environments," House said. "If hantavirus is suspected, early admission to a hospital for careful monitoring is critical."

Because there is no effective treatment for the disease, House emphasized prevention as the key. She advised year-round rodent control, both in and outside the home.

Read more by visiting the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment at colorado.gov/cdphe/cdphenews.

February 12, 2016: 

 Cancer Support Group


Cancer Support Group Flyer

January 11, 2016:

Make 2016 your year to quit smoking.

Every January, people all over the world make New Year's resolutions. If you're one of the nearly 7 in 10 smokers who want to quit, why not make a resolution to set a quit date?

 

Quitting now can cut your risk for diseases caused by smoking and leave you feeling stronger and healthier. You can start 2016 as a healthier you by making a quit plan, using free resources, and finding a quit smoking medication that's right for you.

 

Call 800-784-8669 or visit broomfield.org/quit to get FREE help with quitting.

The Day I Quit, I’ll Do More