Important steps to take after handling animals By Anthony Policastro, M.D
There are a lot of unusual diseases that animals can carry. There are a lot of places where exposure to thsoe diseases can take place. That can be at a city zoo. That can be a petting zoo. That can be at the State fair. That can be at livestock exhibits. That can be in pet stores. That can be at pony rides. For example, elephants, giraffes, rhinoceroses and buffaloes can carry tuberculosis. Many different animals can carry Salmonella. These include reptiles, hamsters and pet rodents. Rabbits can carry a cause of diarrhea called Giardia. A chart published in the most recent issue of Pediatrics listed guidelines for prevention of diseases when coming in contact with animals in public settings. The first recommendation of washing hands immediately after contact with animals is the most important one. Immediately means exactly what it says. You need to wash your hands before you touch your mouth. You need to wash your hands before you touch your nose. You need to wash your hands before you touch something else to keep the germs alive. Like anything else that we do, we can prevent infections from animals. We just need to be careful about it. Some other guidleines in the chart include:
- Supervise hand-washing for children younger than 5 y
- Wash hands after handling animal-derived pet treats
- Never bring wild animals home, and never adopt wild animals as pets
- Teach children never to handle unfamiliar, wild, or domestic animals even if the animals appear friendly
- Avoid rough play with animals to prevent scratches or bites
- Children should not be allowed to kiss pets or put their hands or other objects into their mouths after handling animals
- Do not permit nontraditional pets to roam or fly freely in the house or allow nontraditional or domestic pets to have contact with wild animals
- Do not permit animals in areas where food or drink are prepared or consumed
- Administer rabies vaccine to mammals as appropriate
- People at increased risk of infection or serious complications of salmonellosis (eg, children younger than 5 y, older adults, and immunocompromised hosts) should avoid contact with animal-derived pet treats
- Keep animals clean and free of intestinal parasites, fleas, ticks, mites, and lice
- Animals visiting schools and child-care facilities
- Designate specific areas for animal contact
- Display animals in enclosed cages or under appropriate restraint
- Do not allow food in animal-contact areas
- Always supervise children, especially those younger than 5 y, during interaction with animals
- Obtain a certificate of veterinary inspection for visiting animals and/or proof of rabies immunization according to local or state requirements
- Properly clean and disinfect all areas where animals have been present
- Consult with parents or guardians to determine special considerations needed for children who are immunocompromised or who have allergies or asthma
- Ensure that people who provide animals for educational purposes are knowledgeable regarding animal handling and zoonotic disease issues
Nemours Conference will share ideas to improve health of kids
The 2008 Nemours Conference on Child Health Promotion is Thursday, Oct. 23 and Friday, Oct. 24 at the Hotel duPont in Wilmington. Why should we care? Consider these facts. The percentage of overweight children ages 6 to 11 has more than doubled over the past 20 years, from 7% in 1980 to 19% in 2004. Among teens, obesity has more than tripled over the past 20 years, from 5% to 17%.
If you work with, care for, or care about children perhaps as a child care provider, school nurse, teacher, healthcare professional, community, business, or government leader the Nemours Conference on Child Health Promotion offers valuable information and ideas from Delaware and national experts. Some of the country's foremost leaders in child health policy, health promotion, and obesity prevention will share knowledge and tools for improving the health of children in our communities. The conference features more than 40 speakers and 17 workshops over one and a half days, all dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children. Speakers of note include Dan Heath, author of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die; Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO of the Harlem Children's Zone; and Sally Squires, an award-winning medical and health writer. Nemours Health & Prevention Services (NHPS), a division of Nemours, and host of the conference, invites everyone to join the "Campaign to Make Delaware's Kids the Healthiest in the Nation." It's up to all of us to transform the way we live so that it is easy for children to make healthy choices. With approximately 36% of our children and youth either overweight or obese,Êthis epidemic has a significant impact on the state's economy, currently costing Delaware at least $207 million in medical expenditures every year. That's just one more reason to care. To find out more about the conference, visit www.GrowUpHealthy.org.
- The health consequences of obesity are profound. Obesity can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, asthma, cancers, fatty liver disease, sleep apnea, anxiety, and depression. Obesity affects virtually every aspect of one's health.
- As a result of the health risks associated with childhood obesity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predict that our current generation of children may be on course to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.
Breathing support group held A support group for those suffering with breathing problems will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 28 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Medical Staff Conference Room. If you or loved ones suffer from breathing difficulties, attend this support group and learn how to breathe, get tips on exercises and share experiences in a group setting. To access the Medical Staff Conference Room, attendees should use the Cardiac Rehab/Wound Care entrance, located in the rear of the hospital. For more information, call Angie Howard, RRT, or Julie Turner, RRT at 302-629-6611, ext. 3815.
Look-In Glass Shoppe holds sale Shop early for the holidays at the Look-In Glass Gift Shoppe's "In Design" sale featuring the latest in fashion jewelry and handbags on Thursday, Oct. 16, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday, Oct. 17 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital. All jewelry items are $6 each and other select items range from $12 to $48. Proceeds from The Look-In Glass Gift Shoppe benefit Nanticoke Health Services.
Nursing seminar at Delaware Tech Nurses and others in the health care field can participate in a new educational seminar on Thursday, Oct. 16 from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at Delaware Technical & Community College, Owens Campus, in the theatre of the Arts & Science Center. "It's a Bug's World" is a day-long seminar designed to improve a professional's knowledge of infection control. Topics of discussion will include methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), mumps, avian flu and tuberculosis. Co-sponsored by Delaware Tech's Nursing Department and Corporate and Community Programs, the event includes a job fair. Guest speakers are Beverly Giles, RN, Sussex County Health Unit, Georgetown; Dr. Scott Lowell, pediatrician, Milford; Craig Koska, trainer/educator, Division of Public Health, Smyrna; and Dr. Scott Olewiler, chief of infectious diseases and chair of infection control, Beebe Medical Center. For more information or to register, call Delaware Tech's Corporate and Community Programs at 302-854-6966.
The Arc names officers The Arc of Delaware recently elected its 2008-2009 officers and board of directors at its annual business meeting in Dover. Terry Reilly, former director of Corporate Real Estate at MBNA Bank, will serve as president for a one-year term. Cheryl Coffin of Sussex County will serve as executive vice president. Also elected were Vice President Bill Seufert, special advocate with CASA; Secretary Beth Mineo, PhD, director of the University of Delaware's Center for Disabilities Studies; and Treasurer John Wheeler, co-founder and managing partner of Wheeler, Wolfenden and Dwares, PA. New members named to the board of directors are Ruth Lavelle, Laurie Nicoli, Stan Trier and Gladys Watkins. The Arc of Delaware is a statewide, non-profit organization devoted to improving the quality of life for Delawareans with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. For more information, visit www.thearcofdelaware.org.
Nanticoke offers safe sitter classes Safe Sitter classes for girls and boys ages 11 to 13 will be offered at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital. The two-day course will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 13 and Saturday, Oct. 18. The Safe Sitter program is a medically-accurate instructional series that teaches kids how to handle emergencies when caring for younger children. The cost is $50. Participants are to bring a bag lunch. To register, call 629-6611 ext. 2540. All medical information will be taught by a certified professional. During the course, students get hands-on practice in basic life-saving techniques so they are prepared to act in a crisis. Instructors also provide tips to make sitters more confident caregivers. They teach safety and security precautions, such as what to do if a stranger comes to the door and when and how to call for help. They give information on child development and suggest age-appropriate activities. Participants will also learn about the business aspects of babysitting. For more information, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital at 629-6611, ext. 2540.
Nanticoke offers flu shots Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Occupational Health will offer flu shots to the public at Nanticoke Mears Health Campus (across from Seaford Post Office) on the following dates: Wednesday, Oct. 29 and Wednesday, Nov. 5 - 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; 4 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31 and Friday, Nov. 7 - 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6 - 4 to 7:30 p.m. The cost is $20. Medicare billing is available with proof of Medicare insurance. Pre-registration is required. The vaccine is not recommended for anyone under the age of 18; it is recommended for elderly and high-risk individuals. Large outbreaks of influenza usually do not occur before December and reach a peak between late December and early March, and many continue into the spring. The duration of protection conferred by the influenza vaccine generally begins one to two weeks after injection and may last six months or longer. To schedule an appointment, call Nanticoke Occupational Health at 629-6611, ext. 8682.
Cancer Center celebrates five years On Sept. 30, 2003, Nanticoke's Cancer Care Center treated its first cancer patient. In honor of the Center's five-year anniversary, the community is invited to attend a celebration on Monday, Oct. 13 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Nanticoke's Cancer Care Center, located next to the hospital. The event includes tours and refreshments. Located within a tranquil setting, Nanticoke's Cancer Care Center is designed to help you feel comfortable during every phase of treatment. Chemotherapy suites have a view of the Nanticoke River. For more information, call 628-6344 or visit www.nanticoke.org.
Women's Expo planned The Women's Wellness Expo, "Powerful Women: Shaping Our Lives, as We Shape Ourselves," is Friday, Oct. 24 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Dover Downs Hotel. The cost is $30 which pays for lunch, screenings, speakers, educational sessions and handout materials. For more information or to register, call the Expo at 302-744-4700.
Annual Redden Ride/Walk planned Southern Delaware Therapeutic & Recreational Horseback Riding, Inc. is hosting their 6th Annual Fall Redden Ride/Walk on Sunday, Oct. 19 at Redden State Forrest Park in Georgetown. Join us for a beautiful trail horse ride or walk. Rain date is Sunday, Oct. 26. This event benefits Southern Delaware Therapeutic & Recreational Horseback Riding, a non-profit organization that has been providing equine-assisted therapy to children and adults with disabilities in Sussex County for almost 20 years. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and lunch is provided by Jimmy's Grille. There will be raffles, trivia games and a Finders Keepers Trail. The registration fee is $30 for riders ages 14 and up, $20 for riders ages 13 and under and $20 for walkers. Lunch is included. For more information, call 302-644-1920 or visit www.sdtrhr.com. If you are unable to participate but would like to make a donation, you may do so online or through the mail at SDTRHR, P.O. BOX 219, Nassau, DE 19969.
Conference on stalking Beebe Medical Center will present a one-day free conference entitled "A Study in Stalking - An American Epidemic," October 24 at the University of Delaware Virden Center in Lewes. The conference, geared for those who assist victims of stalking such as police and other law enforcement, medical staff and social advocates, has received tremendous response. Featured speaker is Michael R. Napier, Vice President of The Academy Group, Inc., an organization of consultants that work with law enforcement and the private sector in situations of violent crime such as, kidnapping, homicide, workplace violence, crisis/hostage negotiations and terrorism. Mr. Napier is a violent crime consultant and former special agent and supervisory special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation with 28 years of experience. His experience includes assignments with the FBI's Critical Incident Response Group, and the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime. Also taking part in the event are ContactLifeline, the Sexual Assault Network of Delaware and the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, a state agency created in 1993 to improve Delaware's response to domestic violence. Subjects to be covered at the conference include Internet stalking, the stalking of children and trait-specific interviewing of stalkers. A follow-up conference will take place November 7 at the Dover Police Department.
Program to help manage disease Many adults face the challenge of managing one - and often several - chronic medical conditions, all of which can be costly and debilitating. The Chronic Disease Self Management Program (CDSMP), developed at Stanford University, has proven effective at enabling people to take more control of their own health. This program can give adults a sense of control over their lives, improve their day-to-day functioning and help save on medical bills. CHEER begins this program at the New CHEER Greenwood Activity Center. The program consists of six, two and a half hour workshops. The first class begins Monday, Nov. 3 at 1:30 p.m. and runs through Monday, Dec. 8. This class is free but registration is required. For more information and to register, call Cindy Mitchell at 302-856-5187.
Passionately Pink for the cure On Oct. 10, employees of RE/MAX Eastern Shore will be going Passionately Pink for the Cure to raise funds for the fight against breast cancer. It's passionate, because the need to end breast cancer is so urgent. It's pink, because that's the color we'll wear to accomplish our goal. Participating is simple. Just wear pink (item of clothing) on Oct. 10 and make a donation of $5 or more to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the leader of the global beast cancer movement. Donations can be sent to 8956 Middleford Road, Seaford, DE 19973, or bring them by on Oct. 10 between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and enjoy a bite to eat in pink. For more information, call Tambra L. Reagan, broker, at 628-7653.
A Pink Ribbon Tea On Oct. 17, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., the community is invited to join Nanticoke's Cancer Care Center, the Delaware Breast Coalition, and The Wellness Community for "A Pink Ribbon Tea - From Surviving to Thriving" event. If you are a breast cancer survivor and wonder how to continue your journey toward wellness, we invite you to attend this special pink ribbon event. Our panel of experts will answer your nutrition, exercise and health questions. Light refreshments will be served. Seating is limited. During the month of October, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Campus and Mears Health Campus will be "turning pink." Several activities will be planned to provide cancer awareness. For more information and to register, call 302-645-9150.