Briefs: Local Health November 18, 2008

Officials stress importance of flu shot

• With flu season approaching, area residents may have seen or could soon be seeing a public service announcement about the potential dangers of the flu in young children.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and The Children’s Hospital teamed up to produce a public service announcement about a mother, Julie Moise, who lost her 6-month-old son in 2003 to the influenza virus.
This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all children ages 6 months to 18 years be vaccinated, and Moise is serving as an advocate in Colorado for flu vaccines.
The CDC forecasts an ample supply of flu vaccine will be available in the country this year, and flu shots are available now in Mesa County at physicians’ offices, clinics, the Mesa County Health Department and other health outlets.
Flu season typically peaks in January or February. People vaccinated now will have immunity through the season.
For information about statewide vaccines, visit http://www.immunizecolorado.com or call 1-877-462-2911.

School offers pulmonary disease advice

• Rocky Vista University in Parker is handing out advice for people suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
This is a lung disease in which airways of the lungs and the muscles used to breathe are damaged, conditions made worse by cold weather.
People are reminded to stay hydrated and use a humidifier if necessary during the winter.
Pay attention to wind chill factor and avoid going outdoors in extreme conditions. Wear a mask or scarf around the nose and mouth to prevent cold, dry air from getting into the airways.

Counselors help with Medicare questions

• If you are frustrated or confused about Medicare issues, you may qualify for counseling from Medicare to lower premiums and medication costs.
Mesa County RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) has trained State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) counselors to help Medicare recipients with questions during the Part D Open Enrollment period, which is going on now through Dec. 31.
The purpose of SHIP is to assist people in making informed choices about Medicare.
All counselors are volunteers, and the program is free.
SHIP counselors are available at the RSVP office by appointment only.
Call 243-9839 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for information.

Safeway has free blood glucose monitors

• Colorado Safeway’s pharmacies are giving free Abbott diabetic blood glucose monitors to customers this month in conjunction with National Diabetes Month.
The small hand-held meter, valued at $75, allows patients to test glucose levels daily.
The monitor is available without a prescription, but a prescription is required for the test strips. Safeway offers discounted test strips through Abbott.
According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 300,000 Coloradans are living with diabetes, including Jay Cutler, the Denver Broncos’ quarterback.
This is the first year Safeway has teamed up with Abbott to offer free monitors in the hopes of raising awareness about diabetes.

Recycling benefits hospice organization

• Waste Management, City Market and Hospice & Palliative Care of Western Colorado joined forces in a recycling effort to benefit the community.
Waste Management placed newspaper recycling bins at the City Market locations on First Street and Rood Avenue, the Coronado Plaza in Clifton and on U.S. Highway 50 in Orchard Mesa.
Proceeds from the recycling bins go to Hospice.


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