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Tis (still) the Season for carbon monoxide risks


Tue, Dec 29th, 2009
Posted in Health & Wellness

Wintertime weather can bring about more than just snow emergencies in Minnesota. Accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisonings also peak during winter months, according to a new report on CO exposures released by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).

The report, entitled Minnesota Environmental Public Health Tracking: Carbon Monoxide Data and Measures 2000-2007, presents trends in unintentional CO exposures and poisonings throughout the state. Its findings include the numbers and rates of Minnesotans who are sickened by exposure to this odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas. The report was prepared by the Minnesota Environmental Public Health Tracking program (MN EPHT), which tracks environmental hazards and health in Minnesota. MN EPHT is now part of a larger network of CDC-funded states collecting data on CO poisonings, making this the nation's first consistent approach to tracking CO poisonings.

The report notes that while CO poisonings occur year-round, they occur most often during fall and winter. These colder months are when faulty furnaces and improperly maintained or operated fuel-burning devices such as non-electric space heaters and power generators are likely to be used. Hospitalizations, visits to the emergency department (ED), and deaths due to unintentional, non-fire related CO poisonings are also more common among outstate residents compared with metro region residents.

In just a five-year period (2003-2007), unintentional CO poisonings were responsible for 61 deaths, 175 hospitalizations, and 1,261 ED visits among Minnesotans. These numbers, which refer only to incidents that are not fire-related, are even higher when incidents involving accidental fires (such as residential fires) are included. The statistics paint a grim picture, especially since most of these unintentional CO poisonings are completely preventable.

Fortunately, legislation is in place in hopes of curbing the numbers of unintentional CO poisonings in Minnesota. A new Minnesota state law requiring CO alarms in all single-family homes and multifamily apartments became fully effective on August 1, 2009. In conjunction with this legislation, MDH is collecting telephone survey data on how many homes have CO alarms. This survey data, along with future CO reports, may be helpful in measuring the effectiveness of the new CO alarm legislation.

To prevent CO poisoning, MDH recommends the following:

Install and maintain a CO alarm wit .....
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Fillmore County reschedules seasonal flu vaccination clinics

Thu, Dec 24th, 2009
Posted in Health & Wellness

Fillmore County Public Health (FCPH) will be offering a seasonal influenza immunization clinic on December 30, 2009, from 10 AM to 1 PM at Hillside Apartments located at 409 South Hudson in Spring Valley. This seasonal flu vaccination clinic is open ..... 
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Mindfulness through the holidays

Thu, Dec 24th, 2009
Posted in Health & Wellness

Researchers, parents, and helping professionals are constantly on the lookout for ways to reduce the incidence of child abuse and domestic violence. Wouldn't it be great if there was a method for improving family relationships that was inexpensive, ..... 
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Red Cross celebrates National Blood Donor Month

Thu, Dec 24th, 2009
Posted in Health & Wellness

January is National Blood Donor Month. Throughout the month of January, the American Red Cross is celebrating the contributions of millions of blood donors who give patients hope. If you haven't donated blood through the Red Cross, add another resol ..... 
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Harmony blood drive collects 43 units

Thu, Dec 24th, 2009
Posted in Health & Wellness

The blood drive held in Harmony on December 15 succeeded in collecting 43 units of blood despite the bitter cold weather. There were 46 donors that presented with five first-time participants. Congratulations to five donors who reached the following ..... 
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Highland Store is rooted in tradition and healthful foods

Thu, Dec 24th, 2009
Posted in Health & Wellness

The clichéd "spot in the road" is the location of the Highland Store. One could readily whiz up County Road #10 and not notice it at all. Don't miss it though. It is well worth squealing the brakes to stop for breakfast or lunch.

The bu ..... 
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H1N1 vaccination appointments for small children

Fri, Dec 4th, 2009
Posted in Health & Wellness

Fillmore County Public Health, located at 902 Houston Street NW in Preston, is offering H1N1 vaccination appointments at their main floor office for children aged 6 months to 4 years of age on:

• December 8, 2009, from 9 to 11 AM

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Influenza activity downgraded to local; deaths continue to be confirmed

Fri, Dec 4th, 2009
Posted in Health & Wellness

The Minnesota Department of Health today announced that influenza activity in the state has been downgraded to "local," as reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The reclassification reflects the fact that influen ..... 
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Fillmore County to offer large H1N1 vaccination clinic

Fri, Dec 4th, 2009
Posted in Health & Wellness

Fillmore County Public Health will be offering a mass H1N1 vaccination clinic for the priority groups listed below at Harmony Community Center located at 225 3rd Avenue SW in Harmony, MN, on Wednesday, December 16, 2009, from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
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