Doctors, CDC recommend families get flu shot early

September 24, 2013

Last year’s flu season affected an alarming number of people, and experts predict this year’s flu season could strike as early as October. That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local physicians recommend families protect themselves now with the 2013 influenza vaccine.

Local AFC/Doctors Express and American Family Care facilities are stocking up on flu vaccines and will have them available throughout the flu season. No appointment is required and patients may walk in for a flu shot at their convenience.

Bartell Drugs has launched an extensive seasonal flu vaccination program offering convenient in-store vaccinations for individuals at 61 Bartell Drugs locations, and an off-site flu clinic program serving area businesses and retirement communities. The Issaquah Bartell Drugs is at 6700 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway S.E.

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Cycle the WAVE event joins the fight against domestic violence

August 27, 2013

Join 1,200 women on the starting line at Issaquah High School on Sept. 15 for the 2013 Cycle the WAVE Washington ride.

The event, started in 2008 in a collaboration of the Lakemont Ladies Cycling Club and the Rising Star Guild, creates a space for women of all ages and fitness levels to experience camaraderie, increase awareness of domestic violence and raise money for domestic violence programs.

By Nancy Lamb / Ramblin Lamb Photography Emily Gross (left) and Crissy Kirklin express their spirit during Cycle the WAVE 2012.

By Nancy Lamb / Ramblin Lamb Photography
Emily Gross (left) and Crissy Kirklin express their spirit during Cycle the WAVE 2012.

The five past Cycle the WAVE — Women Against Violence Everywhere — events have raised a total of almost $500,000 to support programs for “legal advocacy, deaf and deaf/blind populations, medical advocacy for the education of medical professionals, and for children and teen populations” across Washington state, according to Washington’s Cycle the WAVE website. Last year’s grant recipients from King, Snohomish, Pierce, Chelan and Douglas counties received a total of $120,000.

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Teens, enter digital media contest for hiking safety awareness

July 31, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. July 31, 2013

Safe Kids Snohomish County, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Service and the Washington Trails Association have created “Teens on Trail,” a contest to promote hiking safety.

Teens from throughout the state have the chance to win a backpack filled with the 10 hiking essentials, including a map, compass and thorough first aid kit. The entry for the contest can be a photo, video, sound clip or animation about teenagers and hiking safety.

According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 200,000 young people are treated in emergency departments for outdoor recreational injuries. Of those, 51.5 percent are between the ages of 10 and 14.

The submission deadline for “Teens on Trail” is Sept. 30. Entrants must be between ages 10 and 18. Learn more here.

Learn more about the “Ten Essentials” of hiking here.

Flu epidemic spares Issaquah community — so far

January 22, 2013

Beth Whitaker (left), a staff nurse at Eastgate Public Health Center, gives a flu vaccine to Patrick Gill, of Bellevue, as his wife Candice Gill looks on in sympathy after receiving her own shot Jan. 19 during the free flu clinic. By Greg Farrar

Beth Whitaker (left), a staff nurse at Eastgate Public Health Center, gives a flu vaccine to Patrick Gill, of Bellevue, as his wife Candice Gill looks on in sympathy Jan. 19 during a free flu clinic. By Greg Farrar

Health officials urge vaccinations

Flu remains widespread in Washington and throughout the United States, and local health care providers and school administrators said although the epidemic is raging elsewhere, Issaquah is OK — so far.

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How to tell cold, flu symptoms apart is difficult

January 22, 2013

How to tell the flu from a cold is difficult, because the illnesses share many symptoms, including fatigue, fever, headache, muscle aches and runny nose.

Cold

Cold symptoms tend to develop gradually and include:

  • Runny, stuffy nose
  • Scratchy throat
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Mild fever of less than 102 degrees

Flu

Flu symptoms can appear suddenly and include:

  • Nausea
  • Cough without phlegm
  • Chills and body aches
  • Sweating
  • Fever of more than 102 degrees (not everybody with the flu develops a fever)
  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting (more common in children)
  • Diarrhea (more common in children)

Sources: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, everydayHealth, University of Arizona

Recall includes nut butters at Costco, Trader Joe’s

October 9, 2012

Costco, Target and Trader Joe’s recalled nut butters in recent days due to potential salmonella contamination in the products.

Between June 11 and Sept. 2, health officials reported 35 people sickened by salmonella to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The people sickened due to suspected contamination include a Spokane boy and a Thurston County boy.

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Trader Joe’s recalls peanut butter linked to 30 salmonella cases

September 26, 2012

NEW — 11 a.m. Sept. 26, 2012

Trader Joe’s recalled nut butters due to potential salmonella contamination in the products.

Between June 11 and Sept. 2, health officials reported 29 people sickened by salmonella to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The people sickened due to suspected contamination include a Spokane boy and Thurston County boy.

Officials reported similar illnesses in 17 other states connected to the products.

Trader Joe’s and product manufacturer Sunland, Inc. initiated the voluntary recall on Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter, Valencia Peanut Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds and Almond Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds manufactured between May 1 and Sept. 24.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges West Nile precautions

September 11, 2012

With the West Nile Virus outbreak continually growing, the nation’s emergency physicians urge the public to take precautions now to protect from being infected.

The West Nile Virus, a disease spread by mosquitos, causes only mild, flu-like symptoms in 20 percent of cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About four out of five people who are infected show no symptoms at all.

But in rare cases, some will develop severe symptoms that can include high fever, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions and vision loss. It can also cause permanent neurological damage and even death.

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Officials revive Washington State Tobacco Quitline

August 21, 2012

The state revived the Washington State Tobacco Quitline on Aug. 1, due to infusions of funding from state legislators and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Through the hotline, state Department of Health officials can offer adults help to stop using tobacco. Funding cuts last year eliminated the Washington State Tobacco Quitline, affecting many people without health insurance.

The toll-free hotline is available at 1-800-QUIT-NOW, or 1-877-2NO-FUME in Spanish. The hotline provides free counseling, a personal quit plan, a quit kit and referrals to local resources. Eligible callers can also receive a supply of nicotine patches or gum.

Quitting lowers the risk of lung cancer, heart attack, stroke, chronic lung disease and other cancers.

Officials said more than 170,000 people have received help since the hotline started operations in 2000.

Statewide whooping cough epidemic passes 3,000 cases

July 31, 2012

State health officials said vaccination protection from whooping cough does not last as long as initially believed, but added that vaccination remains the best defense.

The number of pertussis, or whooping cough, cases statewide surpassed 3,000 in recent days. The state documented the most cases in vaccinated school-aged children.

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently published a report about the Washington epidemic. The report highlights more reported cases among 13-14 year olds — a changing trend across the United States. The prevalence of pertussis in the age group indicates a shorter duration for vaccine protection against whooping cough.

“Even so, vaccinated people who get whooping cough have milder symptoms, shorter illnesses and are less likely to spread the disease to others,” state Secretary of Health Mary Selecky said in a statement. “Our biggest concern is keeping babies from getting sick — and vaccination is still the best protection.”

Pertussis is highly contagious and spreads easily from person to person through coughing and sneezing. The disease is most serious for infants, especially children too young to receive the vaccination. Pertussis causes cold-like systems followed by a long, severe cough.

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