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Health Department confirms cause of death in seven-year-old child


Fri, Aug 27th, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness



The Minnesota Department of Health today confirmed the cause of death of a seven-year-old child as primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a very rare form of meningitis caused by an amoeba associated with warm freshwater.

The organism, identified with assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is known as Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba commonly found in warm freshwater and soil. It causes a very rare but severe brain infection and is nearly always fatal. The organism infects people by entering the body through the nose. Generally, this occurs when people use warm freshwater for activities such as swimming or diving.

Infections are very rare, even though Naegleria is commonly found in freshwater all over the world. While it can occur anywhere, infection with Naegleria usually occurs in warm southern states in the U.S. It has caused infections in 15 southern tier states. In the 10 years ending in 2007, 33 infections were reported in the U.S.

By comparison, deaths due to drowning occur 1,200 times more often with over 36,000 drownings occurring in a similar 10 year period.

Health officials acknowledged that the child had gone swimming at several different locations over the several weeks preceding her infection.

"Since this organism is known to be associated with warmer water, it is understandable that this infection occurred in a year that has been unseasonably warm for freshwater in the state," said Dr. Richard Danila, an epidemiologist with MDH.

Danila said the occurrence of the case does not signal any increased risk to the public from any particular body of freshwater. The organism could occur anywhere, but is more likely to be found in shallower, warmer, stagnant bodies of water.

"Swimming is a very healthy, summertime activity and we do not want to discourage people from swimming," he said.

Information on healthy swimming and recreational water use can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/.

Information on Naegleria is available on the MDH website at http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/naegleria/index.html.

Affordable Care Act Offers Prescription Drug Cost Relief to 11,169 Medicare Beneficiaries in Minnesota

Wed, Aug 11th, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness



Today, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that the third round of one-time, tax-free $250 rebate checks have been mailed to eligible Medicare beneficiaries whose drug costs are so high they have ..... 
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New law protecting youth from tobacco products takes effect August 1

Wed, Jul 28th, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness



A new state law protecting Minnesota youth from the harmful effects of tobacco products takes effect Aug. 1. The Tobacco Modernization and Compliance Act was passed by the 2010 Legislature and signed into law by Governor Pawlenty.

The ..... 
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Staying in shape -- at 88!

Fri, Jul 23rd, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

Hidden in Fountain is an inspiring story that reminds us that we are never too old to start a new, healthy habit. It is there, at Fillmore Fitness, that 88-year-old Winnie Klockeman works out three times a week.

Klockeman has always been ac ..... 
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Harmony blood drive collects 56 units

Mon, Jul 19th, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

The blood drive held in Harmony on July 6th succeeded in collecting 56 units of blood. There were 58 donors that presented and three first-time participants. Congratulations to these four donors who reached the following milestones:

•Ch ..... 
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Health Organization Expands to Focus on the #1 Killer of People with Diabetes

Tue, Jul 6th, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

The Minnesota Diabetes and Heart Health Collaborative (MN-DC) is urging the nearly 230,000 people with diabetes in the state to take steps to prevent heart disease and stroke-the leading killers of people with diabetes.

The MN-DC hopes that pe ..... 
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American Red Cross - Southeast Minnesota Chapter Summer 2010 Lay Responder First Aid/CPR/AED Instructor Course

Tue, Jul 6th, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

The Southeast Minnesota Chapter will be offering the First Aid/CPR/AED Instructor

course. Students who complete the course will be able to teach American Red Cross

classes in First Aid, CPR and Automated External Defibrillation (AED). T ..... 
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Community-based health care

Fri, Jul 2nd, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

Health care needs occur in the lives of everyone. In the previous article, we explored the community efforts to keep health care close to home. The advent of Medicare and Medicaid encouraged the development of hospitals and nursing homes in small co ..... 
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Beat the Dog Days of Summer and donate blood through the American Red Cross

Fri, Jul 2nd, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

While the temperature outside is rising, and according to the American Red Cross, the blood supply often drops due to donors being on vacation or busy with summer activities.

"Summer is a fun, but busy season for a lot of people," said Geoff ..... 
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