Monday, May 23, 2016

May is Month of the Young Child

In honor of Month of the Young Child, Clinton County Health Department would like to recognize all those who work with families of young children.

Do you have questions or concerns about a young child in your life? All children develop differently, but a great resource for typical expectations of development comes from the CDC. There you can find milestones for many different ages, as well as videos and more information about development.

CCHD Developmental Services holds monthly, free developmental screenings to find out if children 0-3 years of age are on the right developmental path. Staff members work with parents and caregivers to work through a standardized screening tool. Children who may be at risk for a developmental delay are then referred to the Early Intervention program.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Learning About Zika

Late last winter I was reading The Washington Post about a virus in Brazil that was linked to unprecedented cases of microcephaly. Microcephaly is a condition in which the brain does not develop properly leading to children born with small heads. The virus had a short name, Zika.

I hadn’t heard of the virus before so I asked about it at my place of work, the Clinton County Health Department. As a Public Health Educator, I like to investigate new problems that may affect public health. Soon after, the name Zika was all over the media and the situation became a worldwide concern.

Unfortunately, the quick spread of the virus had some people spreading misinformation about the virus. It is hard to wait for scientific proof of an emerging health threat. Some of the things we do know are:
·         Zika is not spread person to person but by a specific species of mosquito.
·         There are no documented cases of Zika being spread by mosquitos in the US; however, there are 426 current travel related cases.
·         The greatest known risk of Zika is to the fetus of a pregnant woman who contracts the virus.
·         Zika can be spread sexually.
·         Pregnant women and women of childbearing age with sex partners that have been in areas of Zika transmission should use condoms correctly during all vaginal, anal, or oral sex or abstain.
·         Zika can be passed to a fetus during pregnancy and around the time of birth.
·         Zika is a cause of microcephaly; small heads in infants and other fetal brain defects.
·         The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is investigating the link between Zika and Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). GBS is a disorder in which a person’s immune system damages nerve cells and can cause muscle weakness and paralysis.
·         There is no vaccine for Zika.
·         Zika is spread by the aedes aegypti mosquito but the aedes albopictus, found in NYS, has the potential to spread the disease as well.
The best way to prevent the disease is to protect yourself and family from the bite of mosquitos. To accomplish this:
·         Wear light colored long sleeve shirts and pants.
·         Make sure windows and doors have screens in good repair.
·         Use EPA registered repellant for exposed skin and permethrin for clothing.
·         Eliminate breeding sites. Empty all water from outdoor containers, and clean up gutters.
·         In some cases of standing water, chemical dunks may be useful.
Trusted sources of information: