Health Briefs, Oct. 15, 2013

Ultimate birth experience discussed

Two Rivers Birth Services, Colorado Baby and Birth-n-Babies will host a seminar about the birth experience from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Hampton Inn, 205 Main St.

A panel of mothers who have given birth in a variety of ways, including home birth, unmedicated birth in hospital, hypno-birth, and epidural birth, will discuss their experiences. The seminar is designed to empower women to create their ultimate birth experience, whatever that may be. Admission: Suggested donation is $5.

Wintertime increases rodent risks


Cold weather means a higher chance of mice, rats and other rodents seeking refuge in homes. Mesa County health officials said. 

Because rodents can carry disease, it’s important to take precautions:

■ Seal up holes or gaps in your home to prevent rodents from entering.

■ Trap rodents in and around your home using an appropriate snap trap. 

■ Clean up any sources of food or water, and items that might provide shelter for rodents.

The primary strategy for preventing human exposure to rodent diseases is effective rodent control. 

People who find a rodent in or near their homes should not touch it or feed it. If it’s alive, set traps. If it’s dead, spray the rodent with disinfectant and use gloves and a bag to remove and dispose of it, health officials said.

“Prevention is key,” Thomas Orr, epidemiologist with the Mesa County Health Department, said in a news release. 

In Mesa County, rodents pose two main threats: 

■ Plague. Fleas that live on rodents can carry plague. When rodents enter a home with pets, those fleas can jump onto dogs or cats, thus infecting those animals.

■ Hantavirus. Deer mice that carry hantavirus shed the virus in their urine and feces. When humans clean up the waste, they can breathe in the virus.

For major rodent infestations, contact a professional rodent extermination service. Residents who find large numbers of dead rodents should contact the Mesa County Health Department.

Steamboat mental health team honored


Integrated Community Care Team, a Steamboat Springs-based program directed by Tom Gangel, regional director of Mind Springs Health, was recognized Sept. 28 when Gangel accepted the 2013 Golden Light Bulb Award at the annual Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council conference in Breckenridge. 

The Golden Light Bulb is awarded yearly to a community mental health center for an innovative health program that provides superior service to its clients and can be easily replicated.

The award for “Best Practices in the Clinical Arena” acknowledges the advances Mind Springs Health has made with its integrated care program in Routt and Moffat counties. The program demonstrates the strong partnerships between Mind Springs Health, the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, NWC Community Care Center and the primary care physician community, a Mind Springs Health spokesman said.


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