Thursday, May 23, 2013
Health officials are monitoring mosquitoes at 12 sites throughout Will County, and ask for the public's help by reporting dead birds.
Will County Environmental Health began its 2013 mosquito monitoring on Thursday. According to the health department, Environmental Health personnel will conduct weekly monitoring at more than a dozen locations throughout the county. The first mosquito samples were collected Thursday, despite wet conditions at some trap locations that made collection difficult. Weekly mosquito monitoring has been a capstone of Will County's West Nile Virus (WNV) surveillance and prevention programs since 2002, when Illinois led the nation with 884 human cases and 64 fatalities. WNV is a mosquito-borne disease capable of producing encephalitis and meningitis, potentially fatal inflammations of the brain and spinal chord. Will County began dead bird …
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Last year, there were eight cases of the mosquito-borne disease in Will County. The CDC said 2012 brought the "largest outbreak ever" of WNV.
The Will County Health Department is asking residents to help minimize the public's risk of West Nile Virus (WNV) by reporting dead bird sightings. Reported sightings can help health officials identify the potential for human infections. Residents can call the county's WNV information line 24/7 to report sightings at 815-740-7631. WNV is a mosquito-borne disease capable of producing encephalitis and meningitis, potentially fatal inflammations of the brain and spinal chord. "WNV poses potential health risks for everyone," said Will County Environmental Health Director Elizabeth Bilotta. "We are interested in the location of dead birds because that information is one way we are able to assess the potential for local virus activity. Dead …
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Flooding can happen for any reason, not just torrential rain.
We've probably all been there. It's been raining outside for hours and you go into your basement to find a soggy, wet mess. Or, you can't get into the basement without putting on special clothes and boots to wade through the water. Maybe it wasn't even a storm outside, but a burst water heater or another house specific mini-disaster. No matter what caused the flooding, the ways to clean up and stay safe are the same. We consulted the web and called Vic Riato, Media Services Manager at the Will County Health Department. Water can find its way into the basement in any number of ways. So that means that it can come in through a window or a garage or it could have come up through a drain or backed up from the sewer. "The more important issue (…
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Site welcomes casual browsers, serious public health students.
- LOCAL CONNECTIONS
Thursday, March 7
A new look awaits visitors to www.willcountyhealth.org, the official website of the Will County Health Department. After more than nine months of development in consort with Naperville-based Sprocket Websites, Inc., the health department recently debuted its newest community resource. According to health department Executive Director John Cicero, the new site provides visitors with a wealth of topical information and numerous means of access. "We are the community's public health resource," Cicero said. "In addition to the programs and services we offer, there is a storehouse of general information on our site covering all aspects of public health. Visitors now have the opportunity to access whatever they need with just minimal effort." …
Thursday, February 7, 2013
During February, which is heart health month, the Will County Health Department wants us all to reduce our heart disease risk.
Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of US deaths and disability. The Will County Health Department believes the month of February is a good time to consider our heart health. "Fortunately, virtually everyone can dramatically reduce their personal heart disease risk through a healthy lifestyle and excellent control of important cardiovascular risk factors," Vic Riato, Media Services Manager said in a written release. The path to heart disease often begins early. Obesity and high blood pressure have become epidemic among children and young adults. By exercising regularly, watching your diet and avoiding tobacco, children can develop heart-healthy habits that can protect them from heart attacks and stroke. In addition to …
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Condoms and other safe sex practices are more important than ever, local experts say.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teenage pregnancy remains a problem, but has been steadily declining for the past 10 years. The prevalence of STDs however, is on the rise. “We always state in our public presentations that abstinence is the true and only way to prevent getting an STD. However we do have to talk about the reality of it,” said Lyyti Dudczyk, program manager of STD/HIV Services at the Will County Health Department. Since February is National Condom Month, it seems like a good time to address the problem. Teens and young adults between the ages of 14 and 25 are the fastest growing group of people contracting STDs. In 2011, 15- to 24-year-olds accounted for 73 percent of all gonorrhea cases and 75 …
Saturday, December 1, 2012
The disease is no longer a death sentence, but the county health department says the need to be tested is especially important for 15- to 24-year-olds.
- LOCAL CONNECTIONS
- Dawn Aulet
Saturday, December 1, 2012
Vic Riato has worked at the Will County Health Department since 1981. He remembers when the AIDS epidemic exploded in the mid-'80s. "I can recall during that timeframe, if you were diagnosed with AIDS, you were dead; that was a death sentence," he said. The statistics for today show that is no longer the case. As of June 30, 2012, there are 309 Will County residents living with HIV. "These are people who have been diagnosed with HIV and they are living with HIV," said Riato, health department media services manager. And they are living with AIDs, too -- 352 in Will County -- thanks to treatments for both the early and more advanced version of the disease. "I think it illustrates how far we have come that you have that many people living …
Monday, November 12, 2012
Avoid making your Thanksgiving guests ill by following these precautions recommended by the Will County Health Department.
Unless you have some ulterior motive, in which case you may end up in Patch's police news, the goal when cooking a Thanksgiving feast is for your guests to enjoy the meal rather than be sickened by it. Nearly 8,000 Americans died from foodborne illnesses in 2011 and many thousands more were hospitalized, according to the Will County Health Department. To avoid that fate with your guests, the health department offers these precautions to keep your holiday meal safe: 1. Never thaw frozen foods at room temperature, and never thaw anything in the sink or on the counter unless you want to create an environment for bacterial growth. Instead, the safest method is in a refrigerator set at 41 degrees or below. 2. When thawing a frozen turkeys, …
Thursday, October 25, 2012
The 12th case was discovered in Elwood and confirmed by the state this week, county health officials said.
Will County's rabid bats certainly get around -- the record-setting 12th infected one for 2012 was found in Elwood. Of the previous 11 rabid animal cases documented by the Will County Health Department this year, four were in Joliet, three in Plainfield, two in Manhattan and one each in Romeoville and Naperville. The county's high water marked for confirmed rabies cases was 11 in 2007, a health department news release said. The Elwood bat was trapped beneath a light pole ourside a residence and confirmed as being rabid Tuesday. No humans were exposed to the disease, and the two cats that live at the home are current on their rabies vaccinations, the release said. Rabies is a vaccine-preventable viral disease that is almost fatal if post-…
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Breast cancer isn't age specific. Here's how to cope with treatments and augmentations if you are diagnosed earlier in life.
- BREAST CANCER AWARENESS
- Erin Sauder
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Generally speaking, a woman in Illinois has a one in 124 chance of getting breast cancer, according to this breast cancer statistics chart from komen.org. An American woman in her 30s has a one in 232 chance of getting the disease, and a woman 20 years her senior has a one in 42 probability, according to the website. “Although we aren’t certain, the cause of breast cancer in younger women is likely caused by a genetic predisposition,” says Ann H. Partridge, M.D., M.P.H., the medical oncologist director of the Adult Survivorship Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. While breast cancer treatment in young women is often effective, the chance of recovery tends to be worse in women under 40. Breast tissue is…