April 7-13, 2014
Join Prince William Health District in the celebration of National Public Health Week by learning how to keep yourself, your family, and your community safe and healthy. read more
Before and After the Snow Storm – Private Wells and Onsite Sewage Systems Safety is similar to after a Hurricane. For information please visit: http://www.vdh.state.va.us/EnvironmentalHealth/Onsite/hurricane.htm
In the case of an electrical outage, it is important to take careful precautions to ensure food safety. The risk of food poisoning is heightened when refrigerators and ovens are inoperable. Discard any food that has been at room temperature for two hours or more, and any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture. Just remember, “When in doubt, throw it out!”
People can practice safe food handling and prevent food-borne illness by following simple steps:
· Always wash your hands with soap and water that has been boiled and cooled or disinfected. Wash your hands:
For additional food safety information, call the toll-free USDA/FSIS Meat and Poultry Hotline at (888) 674-6854. Food safety specialists (both English and Spanish speaking) are available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EDT on weekdays year-round.
For more information about how to protect yourself and your family before, during and after natural disasters, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov or the Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s Web site at www.vaemergency.com.
Exposure to indoor radon, a colorless, odorless radioactive gas, is thought to be the second leading cause of lung cancer - and the leading cause of lung cancer among people who have never smoked. Exposure to radon may cause as many as 700 cases of lung cancer each year in Virginia. According to the EPA, Virginia has 46 counties and 15 cities that are classified as Zone 1 (high risk), and 24 counties and 8 cities classified as Zone 2 (moderate risk). A map of the Virginia’s Radon Zones can be found here. But remember, this map should only be used only as guidance; it should never be used to predict radon levels or be a substitute for an actual radon test. Testing is the only way to know for sure if an indoor radon problem exists. Indoor radon usually reaches its maximum concentration during the coldest winter months. The lowest livable level of the structure should always be tested because that is where the highest radon levels in the structure are typically found. Test kits may be obtained from many commercial vendors or VDH’s Office of Radiological Health (ORH) can provide a coupon to obtain radon test kits at roughly half the normal retail price. More information on radon, radon mitigation and the Radon Test Kit coupon can be found on ORH’s Radon webpage at www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/radiologicalhealth/radon/index.htm
After determining that a cat found in Woodbridge was infected with rabies, the Prince William Health District would like to remind everyone to avoid contact with bats, feral cats, stray dogs, and other wild animals. Pet owners should also ensure that their dogs, cats, and/or ferrets are appropriately vaccinated against rabies. For additional information about rabies, visit the VDH website at www.vdh.virginia.gov/Epidemiology/DEE/Rabies/ or visit the CDC Rabies page at:http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/
If you encounter an animal that is behaving strangely, contact your local Animal Control Division.
A complete media release can be found at:http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/news/PressReleases/2013/regional.htm
If the only thing keeping you from starting a fitness program is the cost of a gym membership, here's good news. You don't need to join a gym to take physical activity seriously. Plenty of low-cost alternatives can help you get fit without breaking your budget. These tips can help you get started.
Take advantage of everyday opportunities
You don't need a gym or special equipment for an aerobic workout. With a little foresight, activities you may take for granted can become part of your fitness routine.
Step it up. Take a brisk walk every day, whether it's in your neighborhood or a local mall. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or make a full workout of climbing the stairs. Sneak in extra steps whenever you can by parking farther away from your destination.
Make housework a workout. Mow the lawn, weed the garden, rake the leaves or shovel the snow. Even indoor activities such as vacuuming and scrubbing count as a workout if you increase your heart rate.
Play with your kids. If you have children, don't just watch them play. Join them for a game of tag or kickball. Walk them to the park. Dance. Take a family bike ride. Go to a community pool. Even if you don't swim, you can enjoy time in the water or walk in the shallow end. Do your kids play video games? If so, plug in with them and swing a virtual tennis racket or do a little boxing.
Improvise with household items
If you'd rather not spend a penny on exercise equipment, use ordinary household items for various upper and lower body exercises:
Canned goods. Many canned goods can serve double duty as hand weights.
Chair or step stool. Use a chair for support when doing exercises such as leg curls. A low, sturdy step stool can become exercise equipment if you use it for step training — an aerobic exercise resembling stair climbing.
Consider a modest investment
If you're able to spend a little, you can find inexpensive products to add variety to your fitness routine:
Dumbbells. Use these small, hand-held weights to strengthen your upper body. They're available in many sizes.
Exercise DVDs and apps. Create the feel of a health club aerobics class in your own living room — or choose a program that'll help you improve your strength and flexibility.
Fitness ball. A fitness ball looks like a large beach ball. You can do many core exercises, including abdominal crunches, with a fitness ball. You can also use a fitness ball to improve your flexibility and balance.
Jump-ropes. Skipping rope can be a great cardiovascular workout.
Resistance tubing. These stretchy tubes offer weight-like resistance when you pull on them. Use the tubes to build strength in your arms and other muscles. Choose from varying degrees of resistance, depending on your fitness level.
Be a savvy shopper
If you're interested in a specific exercise class or piece of equipment, shop around to find the best deal.
Check out your local recreation department. Many recreation departments offer discounted fitness classes to local residents. If you live near a high school or college with a fitness center, ask if the facility is available to community members.
Buy used equipment. Some sporting goods stores specialize in used equipment — or you can check out listings for exercise equipment in the local newspaper. You may also find great deals on used exercise equipment online. Just make sure the cost of shipping won't put the item out of your budget.
Share costs with a friend. Trade exercise videos or DVDs with a friend so that neither of you gets bored doing the same workout over and over again. Find a personal trainer who'll let you share the cost of a session with a friend or two.
Remember, getting in shape doesn't need to be expensive. Don't get caught up in memberships or purchases you can't afford. Instead, concentrate on your fitness goals — and how to achieve them without breaking your budget.
Influenza (or “the flu”) is a contagious illness caused by a virus and is spread by coughing, sneezing, or nasal discharge. Symptoms include fever, chills, fatigue, muscle aches, sore throat, cough, headache, and runny or stuffy nose. Anyone can get the flu, but those at greatest risk of complications are children, people 65 and older, pregnant women, and those with a weakened immune system.
Stay healthy, and help keep the people closest to you healthy too, by getting a seasonal flu vaccine. Although there are many different flu viruses, the flu vaccine protects against the viruses that are predicted to circulate during the year. CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older.
For more information on Influenza in Virginia, including flu prevention tips and surveillance, please click here.
Infectious diseases remain one of the greatest threats to public health in the United States and across the world. Despite key advances in medicine and science, infectious diseases still rank among the greatest causes for illness, disability, and death. The burden of infectious diseases is both a national and global challenge to population health.
A quote from the committee that developed the Healthy People 2020 measures. This demonstrates how important Prince William Health District’s communicable disease and immunization program is to protect the health of the community.
Drinking water with fluoride helps to prevent tooth decay. If you only drink bottled water, you may not be getting an adequate amount of fluoride to prevent tooth decay.
Information from the American Heart Association
The Potomac Health Foundation approved a grant to Prince William Health District for their grant proposal called "BEAT Cancer,” a Breast Education Awareness & Treatment program for the Eastern end of the Prince William Health District.
BEAT Cancer will focus on breast cancer mortality prevention. The approach will be two pronged: develop a community breast cancer coalition to determine gaps in care, and institute a patient navigator program both pre and post breast cancer diagnosis. Funds will be used to develop culturally sensitive programs to increase breast cancer detection and survival among women in the Potomac Health Foundation service area within the Prince William Health District. PWHD breast cancer mortality data demonstrates health equity issues regarding breast cancer survival, and this grant hopes to address these issues.