The Public Health Dept. offers the following services:

• Home and Community Based Services
• Regional and County Disaster Preparedness
• HCP for Children With Special Needs
• Nursing Services - Immunization and Vaccination Fees
• Prevention Services
• Communicable Disease Investigation and Information
• Public Health Educational Programs

Public Health Home

Chief Medical Officer to Expand Availability of Overdose Antidote

 

DENVER— In keeping with Senate Bill 15-053, Dr. Larry Wolk, chief medical officer and executive director at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, will expand the availability of naloxone, which is used to counter the effects of opioid overdoses. Opioids include prescription painkillers and illegal drugs such as heroin.

Colorado’s new law allows the state’s chief medical officer to issue standing orders for naloxone prescriptions that can be filled by pharmacists and used by:

  • A family member, friend or other person in a position to assist a person at risk of overdose.
  • An employee or volunteer of a harm reduction organization.
  • A first responder.
  • An individual at risk of overdose.

The law protects these individuals from civil or criminal liability if they provide naloxone in good faith to an individual experiencing an opioid-related drug overdose.

“This legislation will save lives,” said Dr. Wolk. “While our first aim is prevent the abuse of both illegal and prescription opioids, we now can make a life-saving antidote more readily available to people who can help someone at risk.”

Lisa Raville, executive director of Colorado’s Harm Reduction Action Center, said, “We are so thankful to the Legislature for unanimously passing this law to expand access to naloxone across the state. And a special thank you to Dr. Wolk for allowing pharmacists and harm reduction organizations – that don't have a medical provider – to work under his license as they are often better placed than doctors to reach those in need of naloxone such as opiate users, mothers and law enforcement members.”

From 2011 to 2013, an average of 7,600 Coloradans visited emergency departments each year because of drug overdoses. Annual deaths from painkillers such as morphine, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone and fentaynl more than tripled from 2000 to 2013 in Colorado.

At a news conference in February, Gov. John Hickenlooper announced a new statewide education campaign, Take Meds Seriously, to raise awareness about the problem of prescription drug abuse in Colorado. The campaign focuses on safe use, storage and disposal of prescription pain medications.

CDPHE Recall: Ohanyan’s Bastirma & Soujouk, Co. Recalls Sausage Products

Ohanyan’s Bastirma & Soujouk, Co. recalls sausage products

Due to an undeclared allergen.

Company name:  Ohanyan’s Bastirma & Soujouk Co., of Fresno, CA

Product name: 159,291 pounds of sausage products 

  • 1-pound cryovac packages of SOUJOUK Dried Beef Sausage Hot & Spicy with plant EST. 5867-A.
  • 1-pound cryovac packages of SOUJOUK Dried Beef Sausage Mild with plant EST. 5867-A.

These items were produced on various dates from April 30, 2014, through April 30, 2015. The products bear the establishment number “EST. 5867-A” inside the USDA mark of inspection

Reason for recall: Undeclared allergen ingredient, soy lecithin

Distribution: These items were shipped to distributors, retailers, and consumers nationwide.

Link to more information

CDPHE News: Golden Krust Patties Recalls Beef and Chicken Products Due to Undeclared Allergens

Golden Krust Patties recalls beef and chicken products

due to undeclared allergens

Company name:  Golden Krust Patties, Bronx, New York

Product name: 9,073,384 pounds of beef and chicken products produced on various dates from Jan. 24, 2014, through Feb. 26, 2015; establishment number “EST. 18781 and P-18781” inside USDA mark of inspection. See USDA release for full product list.

Reason for recall: Undeclared allergen: eggs

Distribution: Shipped to distributors, retailers and consumers nationwide

Link to more information

Feds Recommend Lower Level of Fluoride to Prevent Tooth Decay

DENVER – Yesterday the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommended communities begin fluoridating their drinking water supply to an optimal level of 0.7 milligrams per liter of water instead of the previously recommended range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligram per liter. Almost 72 percent of Coloradans served by a public water system have access to optimally fluoridated water.

“For Colorado communities that have not been fluoridating their water, this would be a great time to begin the discussion about adding fluoride,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer at Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “Community water fluoridation is a safe and effective way to prevent tooth decay.”

People now have access to more sources of fluoride, such as toothpaste and mouthwash, than they did when the old standard was issued in 1962. Current research indicates there are no additional oral health benefits resulting from consuming fluoride in drinking water at levels above 0.7 milligrams per liter. Evidence shows that 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water will continue to provide essential oral health benefits while lowering the potential of dental fluorosis, a cosmetic discoloration of the teeth that can occur in some individuals who consume higher amounts of fluoride.

A water system can provide this benefit to individuals for a lifetime for less than the cost of a single filling. More than 70 years of research proves that community water fluoridation is safe and effective at reducing tooth decay. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls community water fluoridation one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.

Visit CDC’s My Water's Fluoride to learn more about the benefits of fluoride and to find out if your community has fluoridated water.

CDPHE Recall: Kayem Foods Recalls Sausage Due to Possible Foreign Matter Contamination

Kayem Foods recalls sausage due to possible foreigh matter contamination

Company name:  Kayem Foods of Chelsea, Massachusetts

Product name: 59,203 pounds of fully cooked chicken sausage products with USDA establishment mark P7839:

  • Trader Joe’s brand “Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage,” 12-ounce packages, case code 9605, use by/freeze by dates 4 22 15 and 4 29 15
  • Al Fresco brand “Apple Maple Fully Cooked Breakfast Chicken Sausage,” 8-ounce packages, case code 9709, use by/freeze by dates JUN 13 2015 and JUN 20 2015

Reason for recall: May be contaminated with plasticpieces

Distribution: Retail stores nationwide

Link to more information

 

CDPHE Recall: Whole Foods Market Recalls Raw Macadamia Nuts Due to Salmonella Contamination

Whole Foods Market recalls raw macadamia nuts due to Salmonella contamination

Company name:  Whole Foods Market, Austin, Texas

Product name:   Whole Foods Market Raw Macadamia Nuts; 11-ounce plastic tub; “best-by” Feb. 4, 2016; UPC code 7695862059-1

Reason for recall: Possible Salmonella contamination

 

Distribution: Whole Foods Market Stores in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah

Link to more information

CDPHE Recall: Trader Joe’s Sweet Bites Recalled Due to Undeclared Coconut

Trader Joe’s Sweet Bites recalled due to undeclared coconut

Company name:  Prolainat of France

Product name: Trader Joe’s A Dozen Sweet Bites (Chocolate & Coffee “Opéra” Cake, Raspberry “Macaron Aux Framboises” Cake, Caramel & Chocolate Cake); all lots of 9.16-ounce packages; produced Jan. 1, 2011 to Feb. 5, 2015; UPC #00967679

Reason for recall: Undeclared allergen: coconut

 

Distribution: Trader Joe’s stores nationwide

Link to more information

CDPHE Recall: Superior Nut & Candy Co. Recalls Pine Nuts because of Possible Salmonella Contamination

Superior Nut & Candy Co. recalls pine nuts because of possibleSalmonella contamination

Company name:  Superior Nut & Candy Co., Inc. of Chicago

Product name: 4-ounce packages of pine nuts sold in stores’ produce departments with clear package front and tan-colored label on the back listing pine nuts as the only ingredient, UPC 72549320016, “best by” date 10/22/2015 to 12/27/2015 on back label

Reason for recall: May be contaminated with Salmonella

 

Distribution: Retail stores nationwide

Link to more information

Warmer Weather Brings Hantavirus Risk

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                      Linda Smith

March 16, 2015                                                                          Public Information Officer                                                                                                                          719-587-5199

Warmer Weather Brings Hantavirus Risk

SAN LUIS VALLEY— Spring cleaning can increase your risk of exposure hantavirus unless you take proper precautions. Hantavirus causes Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), a relatively rare but very serious disease that results in death for more than one-third of those who become infected.

In the San Luis Valley, hantavirus is carried by deer mice, which can move into barns, sheds, crawlspaces, and attics to keep warm through the winter. The virus can be found in the urine, saliva and droppings of infected mice. People are infected by breathing in the virus when stirring up dust from mouse nests or mouse droppings in areas with poor ventilation, or when handling mice.

To protect yourself and your family, do not sweep or vacuum mice droppings or nesting materials, because breathing dust containing infected droppings or urine is the most common way to be exposed to the virus.  Before entering or cleaning enclosed buildings and other enclosed areas where mice may have been present, open them up to air out for 30 minutes.  Wear gloves and consider wearing an N-100 rated respiratory mask (available at most hardware stores) when cleaning rodent-infested indoor areas.  Spray mouse droppings and nesting materials with a disinfectant and let them sit for a few minutes before disposing of them in a plastic bag.  Take steps to keep rodents away from your home. 

Early medical care is crucial for those who do become infected.  First symptoms of HPS appear 1-6 weeks after exposure and are flu-like:  fever, headache, muscle pain, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. A few days later, difficulty breathing develops and progresses very quickly to inability to breathe. Anyone who experiences early symptoms in the weeks following exposure to rodents, their droppings, or their nests, should seek medical care immediately and be sure tell the medical provider about the exposure to rodents. 

Since hantavirus was first identified in the Four Corners area in 1993, Colorado has had more confirmed cases of HPS than any other state except New Mexico. Last year there were two confirmed cases of HPS in the San Luis Valley.

For more information call your local Public Health agency (Alamosa County  589-6639; Conejos County 574-4307; Costilla County 672-3332; Mineral County 658-2416; Rio Grande County 657-3352; Saguache County 655-2533) or go to www.cdc.gov/hantavirus

Hantavirus Infographic May2014