Local Public Health Alert: COVID-19 infection rates remain high in Mesa County.  Click here to learn more.

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PREVENTING THE SPREAD OF “STOMACH FLU”

  • Multiple Western Slope schools were affected by viral gastroenteritis, more commonly known as the “stomach flu” last week.
  • Preventive measures can limit the spread of this illness, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, headache, low-grade fever and abdominal cramps.
    • Stay home if you’re sick and keep your kids home from child care or summer camps if they are sick.
    • Wash your hands after using the restroom, after changing diapers and always before eating, preparing or handling food.
    • Wash fruits and vegetables and cook seafood thoroughly.
    • Do not prepare food or care for others if you are sick.
    • Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces with a chlorine bleach solution of one cup of household bleach per gallon of water.
    • Wash laundry thoroughly and immediately after it has been contaminated with vomit or feces.
      • Handle soiled items carefully without agitating them.
      • Wear rubber or disposable gloves while handling soiled items and wash your hands after.
      • Wash the items with detergent at the maximum available cycle length, then machine dry them.
  • There is no specific treatment for viral gastroenteritis, but it’s important to administer fluids to prevent dehydration.

 

STAY HEALTHY AND SAFE WHILE SWIMMING THIS SUMMER

  • Many families will soon open their pools for the summer season or make their way to lakes and rivers to enjoy the holiday weekend.
  • It’s important to test your water and talk to your pool-users about healthy habits to avoid getting sick and to talk to your family members about safe and healthy swimming.
  • Help reduce the spread of recreational water illnesses:
    • Shower before you get into the water.
    • Don’t swallow the water.
    • Stay out of the water for at least two weeks after having diarrhea.
    • Take kids on bathroom breaks and do not change diapers poolside.
  • Safety tips for private and public pool/spa owners:
    • Test pool and spa water regularly for bacteria, which can cause rashes and swimmers ear.
      • Mesa County Public Health offers pool testing through our Regional Lab.
    • Ensure pools and spas have drain covers that comply with safety standards.
    • Keep pool and spa covers in good working order.
    • Even small inflatable and plastic pools can carry bacteria.
    • Be sure to drain or empty your small pools, clean them and dry them and leave them in the sun for at least four hours.
    • Medium and larger-sized inflatable and plastic pools that cannot be emptied daily should have filters and disinfection systems that meet the same codes and requirements as full-sized swimming pools.
    • Unconventional items, such as stock tanks or truck beds, should not be used as pools.
  • Keep your family safe while swimming:
    • Make sure everyone knows how to swim and use life jackets appropriately.
    • Pay attention to swimmers, and limit cell phone usage.
    • Prevent access to water when pools aren’t in use by installing barriers, such as four-sided fencing or weight-bearing pool covers.
  • Don’t forget to wear sunscreen and reapply it often throughout the day and to stay hydrated.