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April is STD Awareness Month – Get Yourself Tested

April is STD Awareness Month and this year the Douglas County Health Department’s (DCHD) efforts have the theme “Get Yourself Tested.”

The number of diagnosed and reported STD’s nationally is higher than ever and Douglas County is no exception. In 2018 the DCHD tested about 2,000 individuals at more than 500 outreach testing locations and more than 5,000 people in our clinic. Still, Douglas County experienced excessively high rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea (676 and 297 per 100,000 residents).  It is essential for providers and patients to work together to lower those rates.

To help “Get Yourself Tested,” DCHD will be providing testing at community centers, libraries, barber shops, health fairs, on college campuses and even at Kohll’s Pharmacy in the Miracle Hills area. There is no excuse for not getting tested if you are sexually active.

STD’s are a major public health issue that impacts people of all races, ages, sexual identities and orientations. Regular testing, preventive services and healthy decision making are how we will stop the current trends and improve the sexual health of our community. Men and women of all ages have access to comprehensive sexual health information, particularly information regarding the most common STDs through DCHD’s outreach.

STD Awareness Month provides an opportunity for health care providers to make sure they have the tools they need properly detect and treat infections. Many of those tools, including the most recent CDC STD Treatment Guidelines, are on the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/ .

Free STD screening locations are scheduled throughout Douglas County during April. Look below for a list of free testing times and locations.

April 17, 2-4 pm                                 South Library, 2808 Q Street

April 17, 6-8pm                                  Sorenson Community Center, 4808 Cass Street

April 18, 10am-12pm                       MCC, Elkhorn Campus, 829 N 204th Street

April 18, 2-4pm                                  Florence Library, 2920 Bondesson Street

April 18, 2-4pm                                  UNO Health/Kinesiology Bldg

April 19, 12-2pm                               Well Grounded Coffee, 707 S 24th Street

April 20, 9-11am                                South Library, 2808 Q Street

April 20, 3-5pm                                  Benson Library, 6015 Binney Avenue

April 22, 2-4pm                                  Dale Clark Library, 215 S. 15th Street

April 23, 10am-12pm                       MCC, South Campus, 2902 Edward Babe Gomez Ave.

April 23, 2-4pm                                  Washington Library, 2868 Ames Avenue

April 24, 12-2pm                               MCC, Main Campus Bldg 23, 5300 N 30th Street

April 24, 5-7pm                                  Columbus Park Community Center, 1515 S. 24th Street

April 25, 10am-12pm                       MCC, Elkhorn Campus, 829 N 204th Street

April 25, 2-4pm                                  UNO Health/Kinesiology Bldg

April 25, 3-5pm                                  Swanson Library, 9101 West Dodge Road

April 26, 7:30-10pm                         Girl’s Inc. STD Awareness Conference

April 27, 11-1pm                               Millard Library, 13214 Westwood Lane

April 27, 3-5pm                                  Milton Abrahams Library, 5111 N. 90th Street


DCHD Confirms County’s Second AFM Case

          A second case of Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) in a Douglas County resident has been confirmed. The individual is less than 18 years of age and has been released from the hospital.

          The previous case was confirmed in December by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  An earlier suspect case could not be confirmed as the CDC reported the patient met some but not all of the criteria for being a confirmed AFM Case.

          “This was the final case from Nebraska that had been under review with the CDC,” Health Director Dr. Adi Pour said. “It is important to remember AFM remains extremely rare.”

          Much remains to be learned about AFM. The Health Department suggests staying current on vaccinations, practicing proper hand washing techniques, and recommends anyone who is sick should stay home from school, work or other activities as your best prevention methods.

         About 90 percent of AFM patients had a mild respiratory illness or fever consistent with a viral illness before developing the condition. Common symptoms are the sudden onset of limb weakness and a loss of muscle tone and reflexes. Droopy eyelids, problems moving the eyes, and a facial droop may be evident. Problems swallowing or slurred speech also may occur. .

          If you see these symptoms in anyone, especially a young person who may have had a viral illness within the past week, immediately contact your health care provider. The average AFM patient in the U.S. is four years old and 90 percent of cases involve people less than 18 years of age. AFM remains extremely rare, occurring in about one or two children in a million according to the CDC and there are fewer than 500 confirmed cases in the five years it has been monitored.

        The number of AFM cases has spiked nationally in even-numbered years since it first drew national attention in 2014. AFM has been linked to several viruses but no single infectious cause has been identified. It has generally appeared in the fall of the year.

       Cases have been limited to the fall months. The Douglas County Health Department will work with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and the medical community to monitor possible future cases.


Douglas County Reports on Flu Season

              The Douglas County Health Department has suffered one pediatric death in the current flu season. Pediatric deaths are defined as those in which the deceased is less than 18 years old. It is not known if the child was vaccinated.

              Douglas County has experienced 16 adult flu deaths, all of them involving people at least 50 years old. Most of those cases involved individuals with other underlying medical conditions.

             The CDC recommends everyone six months and older get the vaccine, especially pregnant women, and anyone over 65 years of age or who has a chronic disease. In cases where the vaccine does not prevent influenza, it generally reduces the severity of the illness. Remember, the vaccine takes two weeks before it provides protection.

             The flu season runs from October through April.

             An annual flu vaccination is the best way to reduce the risk of catching influenza and suffering its potentially serious complications.

            Other ways to protect yourself from the flu include washing your hands and covering your cough. Anyone who becomes ill should stay home for 24 hours after they have recovered from the illness and are free of a fever.

            Douglas County has 3,849 confirmed flu cases in the most recent DCHD report on the flu season that was released on April 15.


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