Measles exposure possible at Tiger Mountain Community High School

January 30, 2013

NEW — 4 p.m. Jan. 30, 2013

Officials said a staff member with contagious measles could have exposed Tiger Mountain Community High School employees, students, visitors and volunteers to the disease.

Public Health – Seattle & King County alerted the school community Wednesday to the possible exposure. The agency said people at the Issaquah campus from Jan. 23-25 could have been exposed to measles.

Measles is easily spread and highly contagious, although most people are immune to the disease due to vaccinations.

Officials said people exposed to the disease and not immune is likely to become ill between Jan. 30 and Feb. 4, or as late as Feb. 15.

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King County gun-buyback event collects 716 firearms

January 29, 2013

NEW — 10 a.m. Jan. 29, 2012

King County and partner agencies collected 716 firearms and distributed $68,000 in gift cards during a gun-buyback event Jan. 26.

The operation, held in downtown Seattle near Seattle Police Department headquarters, collected 348 pistols and 364 rifles — including three “street sweepers,” or shotguns with a high-capacity magazine capable of holding a dozen 12-gauge shotgun shells.

Though private buyers set up near the event site, officials said the public overwhelmingly chose to participate in the gun-buyback program. State law permits private gun sales between Washington residents without a background check, even though a background check is mandated for retail gun sales.

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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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Bartell Drugs, public health agency offer flu vaccine

January 22, 2013

Bartell Drugs, 5700 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway S.E., offers in-store flu vaccinations during pharmacy hours for $29.99. Pharmacists can vaccinate anybody 5 and older. Patients ages 5-17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

In addition to regular flu vaccines, Bartell’s provides customers with other options, including the Flu Mist nasal spray and, for seniors 65 and old, Fluzone High-Dose vaccines and Fluzone Intradermal — the latest flu vaccination technology with a 90 percent reduction in needle length.

Public Health – Seattle & King County is offering free flu vaccination clinics at the Eastgate Public Health Center, 14350 S.E. Eastgate Way, Bellevue, on Wednesdays through January from 3-7 p.m.

The vaccination is available to people without insurance or who cannot afford to pay for vaccination otherwise.

Coalition is meant to strengthen health care amid disasters

January 8, 2013

NEW — 4 p.m. Jan. 8, 2013

The harrowing patient evacuations during Hurricane Sandy last year demonstrated the challenges hospitals face in disasters.

In the Puget Sound region, hospitals, public health agencies, and other health care providers in King and Pierce counties joined forces as the Northwest Healthcare Response Network to prepare for calamities. The coalition launched in January after a merger between the King County Healthcare Coalition and the Pierce County Coalition for Healthcare in Emergencies.

Northwest Healthcare Response Network formed to help coordinate the efforts and resources of hospitals, long-term care, pediatric and other providers in planning, training, and responding to emergencies.

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King County retailers busted for selling tobacco to minors

December 26, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 26, 2012

Throughout 2012, authorities busted King County retailers for selling tobacco to teenagers 92 times.

The illegal sales rate topped 8 percent, a drop from the 12 percent rate last year, but up from the 6 percent average between 2006-10. Statewide, tobacco sales to minors reached a 10-year high at 16 percent.

“Underage access to tobacco fuels addiction and early death for King County’s children,” Dr. David Fleming, director and health officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County, said in a statement.

In Washington, selling tobacco to a minor is prohibited by law, with a $100 fine and tobacco education for the retailer and a $50 fine for the clerk making the sale. Repeat offenders within two years receive fines up to $1,500 and may have tobacco sales licenses revoked.

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Macky’s Dim Sum is shut down again for health violations

December 18, 2012

King County health officials shut down Issaquah restaurant Macky’s Dim Sum for health violations again Dec. 10 after a health-related shutdown in October.

Public Health – Seattle & King County cited the restaurant for similar reasons in both instances, including food stored at unsafe temperatures.

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Maywood Middle School whooping cough case reported

December 11, 2012

Maywood Middle School reported a case of pertussis, or whooping cough, Dec. 10.

Whooping cough is a bacterial illness that may begin with symptoms similar to the common cold (runny nose or scratchy throat) or simply a dry cough. The cough usually becomes worse over one to two weeks. Fever is minimal or absent. Most recover without any complications, but for infants, whooping cough can be life-threatening.

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Macky’s Dim Sum is shut down again for health violations

December 11, 2012

NEW — 3 p.m. Dec. 11, 2012

Public Health – Seattle & King County closed Issaquah restaurant Macky’s Dim Sum for health violations again Monday after a similar shutdown in October.

Health officials cited the restaurant for keeping potentially hazardous foods at unsafe temperatures, improper cooling of potentially hazardous food, inadequate facilities to control temperatures for potentially hazardous food, and failure to correct repeated violations.

The agency shut down the restaurant at 3:40 p.m. Monday, and the eatery remains closed.

Public Health – Seattle & King inspectors often issue warnings to restaurant owners before a closure is ordered.

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King County tuberculosis rates reach 30-year low

December 4, 2012

The tuberculosis rate in King County has reached a 30-year low due to local efforts to fight the disease, public health officials announced Oct. 25.

The county still faces a higher risk for cases in the United States, due to the county’s status as a global crossroads.

The latest TB report from Public Health – Seattle & King County details the findings, as well as information about the agency’s efforts to fight the disease.

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