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ADULT IMMUNIZATIONS: 19 YEARS AND OLDER
Many people think that vaccinations are only for children - but that notion is false. The recent measles outbreak associated with travel to Disneyland and mumps outbreak associated with the National Hockey League should be clear evidence of this. Each year about 42,000 adults die from diseases that can be prevented with a vaccine. These diseases include, but are not limited to, influenza, pneumonia, pertussis, hepatitis, shingles and measles.
Some people in our society are not able to fight off infections from the organisms that cause these diseases because their immune systems are too young or have been weakened by illness, treatment or old age. These people depend on others in society to help stop the spread of these diseases by getting immunized. If everyone who is eligible got immunized, these diseases would disappear! So far the only disease that we have completely wiped out is smallpox.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommended schedule of immunizations that is specifically for adults can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/adult.html. The Madison Health Department strongly encourages residents to speak to their doctor and do their part to help prevent sickness, disability and death for themselves and others by confirming and updating their personal vaccination and immunity status.
Stay protected. Get Vaccinated!
Our thanks to Middle-Brook Regional Health Commission and Jan Wolitzky for their input on this message.
“Empowering End of Life Care Decision Making”
Planning ahead with loved ones on how you want to be cared for if you suffer a life threatening illness or as you reach the natural end of life is a difficult but worthwhile conversation. New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd recommends that residents with a life-limiting illness outline their wishes by completing the “Practitioners Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)” form with their health care provider to identify goals of care and preferences for treatment. Advance directives are legal documents of an individual’s wishes at any stage of life. To learn more about these important steps to insure that your wishes are documented and followed, see Commissioner O’Dowd’s letter at : http://www.state.nj.us/health/news/2013/approved/20131125a.html or click on the Palliative and End of Life Care tab on the Department’s Home Page: http://www.state.nj.us/health/
MERS information- Very low risk for most US residents. Learn more about this disease here.
The Sting of Shingles
Vaccine, Treatments Reduce Risks
If you’ve ever had chickenpox, you may be at risk for a painful disease called shingles as you grow older. Shingles is a sometimes-agonizing skin rash and nerve disease that’s caused by a virus. Fortunately, you can take steps to prevent shingles or ease its serious effects.
Shingles usually affects adults after age 50, although it can strike at any age. “In the U.S., the incidence of shingles is actually increasing,” says Dr. Jeffrey Cohen, an infectious disease researcher at NIH. “If you live to be 85 years old, you have a 50% chance of getting shingles.”
Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus—the same virus that causes chickenpox. Once you’ve had chickenpox, the virus stays with you for life, hidden and inactive in your nerve cells. Your immune system helps keep chickenpox from returning. But later in life, the virus can re-emerge and cause shingles (also known as herpes zoster).
You can’t “catch” shingles from someone else. But it is possible for a person with a blistery shingles rash to pass on the varicella-zoster virus to someone who’s never had chickenpox or a chickenpox vaccine. If that happens, the other person would get chickenpox, not shingles.
Shingles may cause skin sensitivity ranging from mild itching to severe pain along with burning, tingling, or numbness. A rash with fluid-filled blisters nearly always appears on just one side of the body or face. The rash usually lasts for 7 to 10 days. Other symptoms may include chills, fever, upset stomach, and headache.
Shingles can lead to some serious problems. If it appears on your face, it can affect your hearing and vision. It may cause lasting eye damage or blindness. After the rash fades, the pain may linger for months or years, especially in older people. This lasting pain, called post-herpetic neuralgia, affects nearly 1 out of every 3 older people with shingles. The pain can be so severe that even the gentlest touch or breeze can feel excruciating.
To help prevent these problems, see your doctor at the first sign of shingles. Early treatment can shorten the length of infection and reduce the risk of serious complications.
To treat shingles, your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs to help fight the varicella-zoster virus. Steroids can lessen pain and shorten the time you’re sick. Other types of medicines can also relieve pain.
Fortunately, a vaccine called Zostavax can help prevent shingles or decrease its severity. It’s been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for people ages 50 and older. “The vaccine can prevent shingles and reduce the risk of post-herpetic neuralgia, which can be very debilitating,” Cohen says.
The shingles vaccine is available by prescription. Unfortunately, the vaccine is expensive, and the costs aren’t always covered by health insurance. If you’re considering the shingles vaccine, be sure to discuss the pros and cons of the vaccine with your doctor, and check with your insurance provider about coverage.
Now that people have been receiving the shingles vaccine for several years, researchers are evaluating whether booster shots might be appropriate. Scientists are also studying post-herpetic neuralgia to find better ways to treat this complication from shingles.
The Madison Health Department has Zostavax vaccine for those with no insurance or with insurance that doesn’t cover the vaccine. Medicare alone still does not cover cost.
Reprinted from NIH, News in Health, April 2014
Rodent Prevention Measures
Rodent activity causes damage to homes and food supplies each year. They can also spread diseases to humans directly, from bites or contaminated food, or indirectly from ticks and fleas. Take precautions and prevent rodent attraction by practicing the following measures:
Identifying Rodent Infestations:
- Notice rodent droppings near food, in drawers, or under the sink
- Find nesting material like shredded paper or plant matter
- Notice gnawing on food packages
- Find holes or entry ways into the home – rat burrows are holes in the soil approximately the size of a baseball
- Make sure all garbage is sealed properly without any spillage or overloading
- Seal openings where entry points for rodents may be located – under porches, for example
- Keep grass short and remove weeds
- Avoid throwing bird food or scraps of crackers, bread, etc. outside
- Keep bird feeders away from the house
- Clean animal feces regularly
- Store food in proper containers with tight lids
- Keep compost bins (for leaves, grass and garden material) away from the house and elevate any woodpiles at least 1 foot above the ground
Underage Drinking Ordinance in Madison
Get more information on the underage persons private property law regarding alcohol use. Private Propery Ordinance Brochure
Learn what you should do if bear visit your neighborhood or yard!
Click here for important safety tips
Mold Awareness Information and Classes
Mold has always been a concern of residents throughout the years and now, post Sandy and Irene, the need to address the issue and educate the public is greater than ever. The New Jersey Department of Health and UMDNJ School of Public Health have worked together to provide classes throughout the State (click for flyer) for interested residents as well as a downloadable guide (click highlighted section).
Go GREEN for Cleaning your home...
Spring and summer bring nicer weather, flowers, and the feeling of renewed energy...Many times it also brings the desire to clean up and clean out. Click to download a Easy, Green Guide to Spring Cleaning and for some basic household Spring Cleaning Tips....
Public Health – Great Return on Investment
Supporting investment in evidence-based public health programs will result in healthier communities and reduced cost in treating diseases. Investing just $10 per person each year in community-based public health activities could save more than $16 billion within five years. Many lives are saved thanks to vaccines and investments in public health systems coincide with improvements in health, especially in children’s health.
Good health doesn’t happen by chance. Good health is shaped and nurtured — it’s connected to the environments in which we live, work and play. Public health has a role in all of our lives. It’s tied to the resources available in our communities; and research shows that it’s undoubtedly linked to a person’s access to health care. These are the intersections where you find public health and prevention.
Click here to go to blog on the value of public health to our communities.
Click here to see a video on Public Health's Return on your Investment.
Immunization Clinics for underinsured or uninsured children:
2nd Tuesday of each month by appointment only. Call 973-593-3079x9
Check out MAASA
The Madison Alliance Addressing Substance Abuse, is a community-based coalition dedicated to preventing and reducing the use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. They have a special focus on children and adolescents and it is our goal to promote a drug and alcohol-free environment for them and to encourage responsible use by adults. The always enjoy public input and participation.
To learn more about MAASA click on their webpage: http://www.maasa.org/.
Follow them on twitter @maasa_online, and/or like them on facebook http://www.facebook.com/#!/MadisonAllianceAddressingSubstanceAbuse?fref=ts
Preparing for Emergencies:
Check out the New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services website for what you can do to prepare your home and family for an emergency situation. Click the link below to learn how to make an emergency plan, get an emergency kit, stay safe from infectious diseases, prepare for severe weather events like hurricanes and extreme heat and much more.
Public Health Alerts
For more current public health updates and information see our "Links Tab" located at the bottom right corner.