Public Health Emerging Issues – November 14, 2018

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QUIT TOBACCO AND VAPOR PRODUCTS ON NOVEMBER 15 DURING THE GREAT AMERICAN SMOKEOUT

  • One third of Mesa County high school students report using an electronic vapor product in the past 30 days and nearly half report ever having used an electronic vapor product.
    • Fewer Mesa County high school students think these products have a moderate or great risk of harm when compared with the state.
      • Teens that vape are at higher risk for nicotine addiction, which can affect developing brains and lead to cigarette use.
    • Electronic vapor products can look like cigarettes, cigars, tank devices and USB flash drives.
    • Electronic vapor products can contain harmful substances including heavy metals, cancer-causing chemicals and flavoring linked to serious lung disease.
  • One in five Mesa County adults smoke cigarettes and ten percent of Mesa County ninth graders said they had smoked a cigarette on one or more of the past 30 days.
    • Tobacco use increases your risk of many health issues including cancer, heart disease and stroke.
    • Secondhand smoke increases the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SUIDS), respiratory infections, ear infections, asthma attacks, heart disease, stroke and cancer.
  • The Great American Smokeout is November 15, which coincides with Vape-Free November in Colorado.
    • By quitting tobacco on November 15, even if for just one day, you’ll be joining thousands of tobacco users across the country in taking an important step toward a healthier life.
    • Quitting tobacco improves health immediately and long term – at any age.
  • The Tobacco Free Team has local and state resources to help you quit tobacco listed at healthymesacounty.org.
    • Resources include coaching, quitlines, reward groups and help with patches and gum.
    • The resource page also includes information on electronic vapor products and risks, as well as ways to talk to kids about the risks associated with vaping.
  • Mesa County Public Health works with multiple agencies in Mesa County to prevent tobacco and electronic vapor product use.

 

MENINGOCOCCAL DISEASE IDENTIFIED IN FRONT RANGE COLLEGE STUDENTS

  • A case of meningococcal disease was reported in a student at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
    • Two cases of meningococcal disease have been reported in Mesa County since 2012 in residents older than sixty.
    • Meningococcal disease is rare in Colorado with just five or six cases reported in the state annually since 2013.
  • Meningococcal disease is a serious and often deadly disease caused by bacteria. The disease spread by sharing saliva – usually it takes close (coughing or kissing) or lengthy contact to spread these bacteria.
    • People do not become infected with meningococcal disease through casual contact or by breathing air where someone with meningococcal disease has been.
    • Those at higher risk of getting sick include people who live with a person sick with meningococcal disease and anyone with direct contact with the person’s saliva – like a significant other.
      • These people should be treated with antibiotics prescribed by a health care provider.
  • Vaccination is key in preventing meningococcal disease.
    • Meningococcal vaccine is recommended for all children between 11 and 12 years, with a booster at 16 years old. Click here for full vaccine schedules for children and adults.
    • Some babies and adults should also receive the vaccine. Click here and talk to your health care provider about vaccination options to learn more.
  • Symptoms of meningococcal disease include fever headache, stiff neck and sometimes nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and confusion.
    • Contact your health care provider immediately if you or a family member has these symptoms.
  • Mesa County Public Health investigates all cases of meningococcal disease.
  • The Mesa County Public Health Clinic offers meningococcal vaccine and accepts all major insurances including Medicaid, Medicare and the Children’s Health Insurance Plan. We serve all patients, regardless of ability to pay.

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