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Canning Safety

As farmers’ markets fill up with bounties from local fields, and backyard gardens produce more beans and tomatoes than can be eaten, experienced canners and those considering canning are getting out their jars and pressure canners. Canning is a great way to preserve food, but if done incorrectly can lead to serious consequences. In 2009, there were three botulism outbreaks in the United States (events with two or more cases). The three outbreaks were caused by home-canned green beans (associated with three cases in Washington), home-canned asparagus (three cases in Washington and Minnesota), and home-canned tuna (two cases in CA). Botulism is a rare but serious paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin that is most commonly produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The classic symptoms of botulism include double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and muscle weakness. If untreated, these symptoms may progress to cause paralysis of the respiratory muscles, arms, legs, and trunk. A USDA Guide on Canning is available at www.uga.edu/nchfp/publications/publications_usda.html.

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Sleep Disorders Testing in Greenfield at Adair County Memorial Hospital

Adair County area residents can choose a local provider to assess and treat their sleep disorders.  Adair County Memorial Hospital, in conjunction with somniTech, Inc. provides sleep disorders testing services. 

Many people believe sleepiness is way of life; however, most sleep disorders are easily diagnosed and treated.  If you awaken feeling exhausted, or just as tired as when you went to sleep, then you may need to consult your family provider.  There are currently 88 classifications of sleep disorders defined by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).  The most common sleep disorder evaluated in a sleep center is sleep apnea.  Approximately 80 million American suffer from some form of sleep disorder.  Of that 80 million, approximately 30% (26 million) suffer from sleep apnea. 

A sleep study, also known as a polysomnogram, is the only way a person can be diagnosed and treated for sleep apnea.  This requires an overnight stay in a sleep disorder lab such as the one at Adair County Memorial Hospital.  Your stay would be in one of our state of the art patient rooms where you will be monitored throughout your stay. 

If any of these signs describe you; please seek medical advice from your family provider.  It is easy to treat and a better quality of life is a simple study away. 

If you have questions or would like more information about sleep studies at Adair County Memorial Hospital please contact Melani at the Specialty Clinic at 641-743-7263.

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Precautions to Protect Yourself in Extreme Heat

As we move into what are typically the hottest months of the year in Iowa, please remember to take measures to prevent heat stress.
Anyone can suffer from heat stress, including young and healthy individuals if they are very active during hot weather or the heat index is very high; however, the following people are at greatest risk:
• Individuals age 65 or older
• Infants and young children
• Overweight individuals
• People who are performing manual labor or exercising outdoors
• People who are physically ill, especially those with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as those for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation

Remember to keep cool and use common sense when temperatures and humidity are high by:
• Keeping in the shade or air conditioned areas as much as possible
• Increasing fluid intake, regardless of their activity level
• If experiencing a lot of sweating, replacing salt and minerals by eating foods like bananas and salty crackers, or drink rehydrating beverages that contain salts such as sports drinks, and special rehydration fluids
• Choosing lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and wear sunscreen
• Wearing hats that shade their face such as sun hats, visors, etc.
• Working slowly if you are not used to working or exercising in heat and humidity. Stop immediately if you get dizzy, nauseated, or feel weak. Go into an air conditioned space and drink cool liquids
• Using a buddy system. Watch others for heat-induced illness, since some people may not realize that they are suffering heat-related illnesses and can become confused or lose consciousness.

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Seek Trusted Resources for Flood-Related Health Information

The Internet can be fun and informative; however, it’s important to remember that not all information presented on the Web is accurate. Especially when it comes to health information, it’s wise to consult reputable and trusted websites, such as those maintained by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A recent example of inaccurate health advice is in regards to flood preparation and the use of bleach.
Bleach can be effective in cleaning and sanitizing basements and items after flooding occurs, but there is no research to show that leaving open containers or tablets of bleach in basements is effective in preventing mold growth. “Leaving bleach out in the open, especially in large quantities, is a concern because undiluted bleach is corrosive,” said IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. “If it comes into contact with skin, it can cause skin irritation. Bleach mixed with other chemicals, such as ammonia, can cause breathing difficulties, and will cause gastrointestinal damage if accidently ingested by an unsupervised child.”
Mold is naturally-occurring and can be found everywhere in the environment, both indoors and outdoors. Mold will grow in areas where moisture is present. Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. Exposure to mold can cause a variety of health effects, or none at all. The most common health complaints are allergic symptoms (runny nose, and itchy eyes) due to mold allergies. If you have an existing health condition such as asthma, emphysema or COPD, it can make those conditions worse. If you think you are experiencing a serious health problem due to mold, you should consult your health care provider.
The IDPH flood website has a variety of flood-related health resources at www.idph.state.ia.us/EmergencyResponse/Flooding.aspx.You may also visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5508a1.htm.

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Measles in Iowa

Measles Reported in Central Iowa

A confirmed case of measles has occurred in a Dallas County resident. This situation is being treated as a public health emergency because measles spreads easily and can cause serious illness and death.

Local public health officials in Dallas and Polk counties are working with the Iowa Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) to determine who this individual may have exposed to measles and are at risk of becoming ill.

Any individuals who visited the following locations at the listed times should check to make sure they have received two MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccines. Those older than their mid-50s and know that they had measles as a child do not need to be vaccinated. If you have been at these places during these times and have not received two doses of MMR (or are not sure if you have received two MMRs), you should contact your county health department or health care provider to be vaccinated.

May 11

American Airlines Flight AA3965

Departed Chicago O’Hare: 11:55 a.m.

Arrived Des Moines International Airport: 1:05 p.m.

Des Moines International Airport – main terminal and baggage area

1:00 to 3:45 p.m.

May 14

Mercy Central Pediatric Clinic

330 Laurel St, Ste 2100, Des Moines Iowa

10:00 a.m. to close (offices closed at 2:00 p.m.)

Mercy Medical Center – Main Entrance, including waiting room, registration, outpatient testing and blood draw station areas

1111 6th Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa

Noon to 3:00 p.m.

The symptoms of measles include any or all of the following: fever, cough, red/pink eyes, runny nose and a rash. Anyone, regardless of age, who has not had measles or has not adequately responded to two doses of MMR (less than one percent), can get measles if exposed. Measles can cause serious illness, pneumonia, deafness, and brain inflammation. Two to three people out of 1,000 who get measles die from the disease. It is easily spread through the air and there is no treatment for the illness, so prevention is critical.

If you were at the places during the times listed above and have any symptoms consistent with measles, call your health care provider immediately and arrange to be seen safely. Do not go to the doctor’s office, ER, local public health agency, or a walk-in clinic until arrangements are made to be seen by your health care provider in a place and manner that will not potentially expose others to measles. Until arrangements are made, stay home; do not go into any public places.

“All Iowans should check their personal and family immunization records to make sure their measles vaccinations are up-to-date,” said IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. “To be fully vaccinated, an individual should have had two doses of the measles vaccine, or have had measles in the past.”

For Adair County Residents: To recieve the MMR vaccine contact Adair County Home Care and Public Health (117 NW Hayes Greenfield) at 641-743-6173. 

For more information about measles, visit www.idph.state.ia.us/idph_universalhelp/main.aspx?system=IdphEpiManual&context=Measles_factsheet.

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Food Safety Tips For Grilling

Nothing says summer like the smoky flavor of foods cooked out on the grill. However, it is important to follow these simple precautions to reduce the risk of food-borne illness:
• Clean your grill between each use.
• Wash your hands with soap and water before preparing food. Don’t prepare food for others if you have a diarrheal illness.
• Keep foods refrigerated when marinating. Do not use the sauce you used to marinate raw meat or poultry on cooked food.
• Cook meat and poultry thoroughly. Use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature of meat and poultry. Cook beef steaks and roasts to 145ºF, hamburger and pork to 160ºF, and poultry to 165ºF. If a thermometer is not available, cook meat (especially ground meats) until no pink remains and all juices run clear.
• Avoid cross-contamination by washing hands, utensils and cutting boards after they’ve been in contact with raw meat or poultry, and before they touch other food. Put cooked meat on a clean platter, not on the one that held the raw meat.
• Refrigerate or freeze perishables or leftovers promptly. Don’t keep perishable foods on a serving table for longer than two hours (one hour when the outside temperature is above 90ºF). Bacteria grow quickly at room temperature.
• Pack your cooler with 75 percent food and 25 percent ice or cold packs. A cooler that is packed full stays colder longer than one that is half-full.
For more information, including recommended temperatures for other meats and seafood, visit www.foodsafety.gov.

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May is High Blood Pressure Education Month

Many Adair County residents suffer from high blood pressure also known as hypertension.  Hypertension leads heart disease and can lead to a stroke.  It is very important to monitor your blood pressure on a regular basis.

Adair County Health System is offering FREE blood pressure checks at Adair County Home Care (117 NW Hayes Greenfield).  This service is a year round service.  Stop in at Adair County Home Care Monday through Friday from 8AM to 4PM to get your blood pressure checked.  Adair County Health System, we surround you with care.

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The Adair County Health System has a new blog!

Welcome to the new Adair County Health System blog! We strive to provide our visitors with the best possible experience in the clinics and hospital as well as online. If you have any questions about our new site, email Tiffany Johnson at tiffjohnson@adaircountyhealthsystem.org.

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