Pandemic Flu Clinics

Flu season is here again and I am preparing for drive thru clinics on September 16, 2020 and October 7, 2020 at Wing School on Water Street (Rte. 130).  The hours are 9A-1P by appointment only.  You will need to fill out the insurance forms we use each year.  There are several ways to do this.  1) You can fill out the form online and print it and bring it to the flu clinic.  The form is available on the Town website, Public Health Nursing, flu clinic section.  2) You can also pick up a form at Town Hall, Town Hall Annex, or the Council on Aging, fill it out and bring it to the drive-thru.  3) You can call Public Health Nursing and the Administrative Assistant will fill it out and give it to you at the Registration stop and the drive-thru or 4) You can fill it out at the drive thru clinic.   Please, no pets in the car and wear short sleeve clothing.  There will be people and signs to direct you to the clinic site.

All of the vaccines this year at the clinic will be high dose.

Please call (508) 833-8020 with any questions.

Important Points about Covid19

  1.  If you feel sick, isolate yourself in your room if possible until you are well.  It would be ideal to have your own bedroom and bathroom and not share towels, dishes, glasses, or utensils with others.  Do Not go to the supermarket or pharmacy.  If you are tested, stay in your home until you receive your results and then follow Sandwich Public Health Nursing and the Board of Health’s information on isolation and quarantine.  Remember, the virus can remain on surfaces for a couple of days so continue to clean frequently with FDA approved cleaners such as Clorox and Lysol.
  2. Call Public Health Nursing with any questions.  (508) 833-8020.  We can connect you with many resources in town.

Wuhan Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

The 2019-nCoV is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.  It is a betacoronavirus with some similarities to the SARS virus of 2003.  The main symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breathe, although there have been cases with diarrhea and nausea, headache, and myalgias.  Human to human spread has now been documented.  Since this is a virus, antibiotics are not usually helpful and supportive care such as respiratory management and fluids, as well as isolation or quarantine, are being used.  Two antiviral medications (Remdesiver and lopinavir-ritonavir) are drugs currently being used as investigational antiviral therapy.

The outbreak began in Wuhan China in November or December and the first reported case was in December.  Although the Chinese government acted quickly to identify the virus and make it’s genetic sequencing available to other countries, many Chinese from Wuhan had already left the country for the Lunar New Year celebration with family.  Currently, there are 12 cases in the U.S. as well as cases in Asia and Europe.

The CDC has a protocol for monitoring patients with fever and respiratory symptoms who have traveled to Wuhan or been contacts of patients in any country who have been diagnosed with 2019 nCoV.

Currently, the CDC is advising people to:  wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; cough into your arm; stay home if you are ill.  (The same advice applies to protecting yourself from the flu).

 

Avoid This Novel Treat

Warning: Avoid these novel treats in shopping malls and restaurants

News briefs


Image: © manustart/Getty Images

If your grandkids urge you to indulge them in a popular new snack at the mall, just say no. The FDA is warning that consuming products with liquid nitrogen added at the last minute can lead to injury. The products are marketed under names such as “Dragon’s Breath” and “Nitro Puff.” They’re cheese puffs or cereal pieces that are frozen in liquid nitrogen and then dipped in a special sauce. When you put them in your mouth, the products release vapor that looks like smoke. Liquid nitrogen is also added to some cocktails to make them look like they’re emitting fog. But the FDA says all of these products can cause severe damage to skin and internal organs and may cause breathing problems. The agency advises you to avoid the products.

West Nile Virus

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has elevated the West Nile virus risk level to moderate statewide. This wide-scale increase was driven by expanding and intensifying positive mosquito findings.

 

For additional information on how to protect yourself from mosquito-borne illness, please visit.

 

http://www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito

 

Avoid Mosquito Bites:

Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535 according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.

 

Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning.

 

Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.

 

Mosquito-Proof Your Home

Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently.

 

Install or Repair Screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

 

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Emergency Survival Kit

What Do You Need In A Survival Kit?
Being prepared means being equipped with the proper supplies you may need in the event of an emergency or disaster. Keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.

At a minimum, you should have the basic supplies listed below:

1. Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)

2. Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)

3. Flashlight [Available on the Red Cross Store]

4. Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible) [Available on the Red Cross Store]

5. Extra batteries

6. First aid kit [Available on the Red Cross Store]

7. Medications (7-day supply) and medical items

8. Multi-purpose tool

9. Sanitation and personal hygiene items

10. Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)

11. Cell phone with chargers

12. Family and emergency contact information

13. Extra cash

14. Emergency blanket [Available on the Red Cross Store]

15. Map(s) of the area

Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit:

  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Games and activities for children
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Two-way radios
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Manual can opener
Additional supplies to keep at home or in your survival kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:

  • Whistle
  • N95 or surgical masks
  • Matches
  • Rain gear
  • Towels
  • Work gloves
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Household liquid bleach
  • Entertainment items
  • Blankets or sleeping bags

Be Red Cross Ready

HPV Vaccine

Imagine if you could protect your child against cancer. Turns out, you can – with the HPV vaccine.  To highlight this, the American Cancer Society recently released a video series of HPV-related cancer survivors sharing their stories. These individuals serve as a powerful reminder of the importance of the HPV vaccine and underscore the need for all parents to talk to their children’s doctors to learn more.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus spread by close skin-to-skin contact. It is so common that nearly all sexually active adults have had at least one type of HPV at some point in their lifetime.  Around 80 million people in the US currently have HPV and 14 million people are newly infected each year. While most cases of HPV clear on their own, some can cause cancer.

A recent report showed that the current number of cancers caused by HPV is rising with an estimated 30,700 each year. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer caused by HPV in women, while in men; it most commonly leads to a type of head and neck cancer. Overall, HPV is thought to cause more than 90% of anal and cervical cancers, about 70% of vaginal and vulvar cancers, and more than 60% of penile cancers.

The HPV vaccine offers the best protection against these cancers when given at the recommended age – which is 2 doses if the patient starts the vaccine series before their 15th birthday and 3 doses if they start on or after their 15th birthday. Younger adolescents have a higher immune response so it’s best to vaccinate early. Young women can get the HPV vaccine through age 26 and young men can receive it through age 21 (age 26 in some cases).

Barnstable County Emergency Shelter System

 

Regional Shelter System

If you can’t leave the area and staying at home is not an option, then you can turn to the regional shelter system. Visit this map for an overview of the shelter system and the location of a shelter near you.

Important things to know about regional shelters

  1. You should look at going to a shelter the same way you would look at going on a trip. If you were planning to go away for a few days you would pack for the trip. The same goes for the shelter. You should arrive with at least three days worth of essentials. You wouldn’t leave your medications at home if you went on a trip, nor should you leave them behind when you go to a shelter.
  2. The stay at a shelter is not a vacation, and a shelter is not a hotel or a pharmacy. It is not a cruise ship but rather a lifeboat. The shelter provides a secure facility, a cot to sleep on, food and water, basic first aid, and functional assistance. Beyond that, it is up to you to pack and bring the essentials of your life including extra clothing, medications, and any medical equipment such as walkers, wheelchairs, and oxygen concentrators.
  3. If you live at home with the assistance of a caretaker, the caretaker must come to the shelter with you. If you have a visiting nurse, make sure you bring your medical supplies and let your nurse know which shelter you will be staying at.
  4. If you are bringing infants, babies, or toddlers to a shelter make sure you bring formula, food, diapers, wipes, changes of clothing, toys, and a “pack ‘n play” or portable crib and bedding.
  5. If you have a pet—a dog or cat, a bird perhaps—the Cape Cod Disaster Animal Response Team (CCDART) component of the shelter system supports the care of your pet(s) while you are in the shelter. Remember, you must check your pet(s) in first with CCDART before checking yourself into the human shelter. Please bring all your pet supplies to the shelter except for crates, which are provided by CCDART. You cannot sleep with your pet(s). Once your pet(s) are in the CCDART shelter, you will be able to see them during visiting hours, typically between 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  6. The reason every town on the Cape doesn’t have its own shelter is because of the expense and lack of volunteer resources to staff 15 separate shelters across the Cape. Volunteers deliver the vast majority of services provided at the six regional shelters. These volunteers work with groups including the American Red Cross (ARC), the Cape Cod Medical Reserve Corps (CCMRC), the Cape Cod Disaster Animal Response Team (CCDART), Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), and AmeriCorps.