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Flooding can contaminate wells; private well owners encouraged to check their drinking water

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 13, 2016


Hurley, Wis.  -- Heavy rains such as those that swept through northern Wisconsin in the past several days can create conditions that affect private wells and drinking water.

"If you live in an area that was recently or is currently flooded, your private well may be in danger of contamination from pollutants carried in floodwaters," said Marty Nessman, DNR private water field supervisor with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Well owners who observe flooding or changes in their water should assume their wells are contaminated and take the following steps:

  • Stop drinking the water and find an alternate source of safe water to drink.
  • Make sure your well is properly disinfected.
  • Before resuming consumption of the water, sample the well after pumping and disinfection to assure the water is safe.

Flood waters and runoff contain bacteria and other contaminants that can affect water supplies and cause water-borne illness. Wells located in pits, basements and low-lying areas are especially susceptible to contamination.

Even without obvious signs of flooding, a well can become contaminated. More recommendations for private well ownerswhose wells have been inundated are available on the DNR website.

"Disinfection and sampling are best done by a licensed well driller or pump installer," Nessman said. “Any water supply system that has been submerged by flood waters should be pumped out once the floodwater recedes, then thoroughly disinfected and tested to determine that the water is safe.”

Private well owners are encouraged to test their wells annually for bacteria and nitrates, to check for problems and ensure the water is safe to drink. More information on bacteriological contamination of drinking water wells, along with lists of licensed well drillers, pump installer and labs certified to analyze water samples are available by searching the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for the keyword “wells.”

For individuals who receive their drinking water from a public water supply, these systems are designed and operated to keep out contaminants. If you have concerns about the safety of your community's drinking water, contact your public water supplier.

Additional information for those affected by the flooding can be found on DNR’s website by searching “Coping with Flooding.” The Wisconsin Department of Health Services also provides information and links to resources on its Flood Hazards and Recovery page: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/flood/index.htm .

CONTACTS: Marty Nessman, DNR private water field supervisor, 608-267-2449;  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ;  Jake Sedivy, DNR private water supply specialist, 715-635-4027,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; Jennifer Sereno, DNR communications, 608-770-8084,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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HOME OWNERS AFFECTED BY THE RECENT FLOOD

Free Well Water Test Kits

Available to those home owners affected by the recent flood at the

Saxon Post Office

Saxon Pub

Frontier Bar

Please send water sample on a Monday or Tuesday to assure the lab receives the sample within 24 hours.

Disinfection instructions included. You may consider disinfecting your well first then sampling after.

Call the Iron County Health Department at 715-561-2191 if you have any questions.


Zona Wick

Health Officer

 

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July 15, 2016

Press Release

From:  Iron County Emergency Management/Health Department

Re:   Reporting Damage

 

Due to recent storms and flooding in Iron County, property owners may have experienced damage to their home, well or septic system.  Please call the Iron County Health Department at 715-561-2191 to report these damages.  Pictures are important also.  If your insurance doesn’t cover your costs we MAY receive emergency funds to cover some cost, but we need to hear from you.  Documentation will be important.

 

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CLEAN-UP KITS

Clean- up kits are available to Saxon and Gurney area residents who were effected by the recent floods at no charge to them. You can pick up a kit at:

Saxon Post Office

Saxon Pub

Frontier Bar & Campground in Gurney

Also there is free drinking water for those people that their water is unsafe to drink.

After the Flood: Use Caution During Clean-Up

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HEAT- RELIEF SHELTER

Media Release

July 19, 2016

Due to the Extreme Heat this week

A message from Iron County Health Department, Iron County Aging Unit and Emergency Management

The Iron County Senior Citizens Center on 3rd Street in Hurley will be open Wednesday through Friday this week from 12 noon to 6:00 pm daily  as a heat-relief shelter.

If you have any questions call Mark Marczak at 715-561-2108 or Zona Wick at 715-561-2191

· Older adults (65 years and older), infants and children and people with chronic medical conditions are more prone to heat stress.

· Air-conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death. During conditions of extreme heat, spend time in locations with air-conditioning such as shopping malls, public libraries, or public health sponsored heat-relief shelters in your area.

· Get informed. Listen to local news and weather channels or contact your local public health department during extreme heat conditions for health and safety updates

· Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages and increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level.

Heat-related deaths and illness are preventable yet annually many people succumb to extreme heat. Extreme heat caused 7,415 heat-related deaths in the United States from 1999 to 2010. Extreme heat kills more people than hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and lightning combined, according to the National Weather Service. In 2001, 300 deaths were caused by excessive heat exposure.

People suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to compensate and properly cool themselves. The body normally cools itself by sweating. But under some conditions, sweating just isn't enough. In such cases, a person's body temperature rises rapidly. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs.

Several factors affect the body's ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather. When the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly. Other conditions related to risk include age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use.

Because heat-related deaths are preventable, people need to be aware of who is at greatest risk and what actions can be taken to prevent a heat-related illness or death. The elderly, the very young, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at highest risk. However, even young and healthy individuals can succumb to heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather. Air-conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death. If a home is not air-conditioned, people can reduce their risk for heat-related illness by spending time in public facilities that are air-conditioned.

Summertime activity, whether on the playing field or the construction site, must be balanced with measures that aid the body's cooling mechanisms and prevent heat-related illness. This pamphlet tells how you can prevent, recognize, and cope with heat-related health problems.

What Is Extreme Heat?

Conditions of extreme heat are defined as summertime temperatures that are substantially hotter and/or more humid than average for location at that time of year. Humid or muggy conditions, which add to the discomfort of high temperatures, occur when a "dome" of high atmospheric pressure traps hazy, damp air near the ground. Extremely dry and hot conditions can provoke dust storms and low visibility. Droughts occur when a long period passes without substantial rainfall. A heat wave combined with a drought is a very dangerous situation.

During Hot Weather

To protect your health when temperatures are extremely high, remember to keep cool and use common sense. The following tips are important:

Drink Plenty of Fluids

During hot weather you will need to increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink. During heavy exercise in a hot environment, drink two to four glasses (16-32 ounces) of cool fluids each hour.

Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot.

Don't drink liquids that contain alcohol, or large amounts of sugar—these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.

Replace Salt and Minerals

Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body. These are necessary for your body and must be replaced. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. However, if you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage or taking salt tablets.

Wear Appropriate Clothing and Sunscreen

Wear as little clothing as possible when you are at home. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Sunburn affects your body's ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. It also causes pain and damages the skin. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) along with sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say "broad spectrum" or "UVA/UVB protection" on their labels) 30 minutes prior to going out. Continue to reapply it according to the package directions.

Schedule Outdoor Activities Carefully

If you must be outdoors, try to limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. Try to rest often in shady areas so that your body's thermostat will have a chance to recover.

Pace Yourself

If you are not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP all activity. Get into a cool area or at least into the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint.

Stay Cool Indoors

Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library—even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area. Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off. Use your stove and oven less to maintain a cooler temperature in your home.

Use a Buddy System

When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you. Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness. If you are 65 years of age or older, have a friend or relative call to check on you twice a day during a heat wave. If you know someone in this age group, check on them at least twice a day.

Monitor Those at High Risk

Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others.

· Infants and young children are sensitive to the effects of high temperatures and rely on others to regulate their environments and provide adequate liquids.

· People 65 years of age or older may not compensate for heat stress efficiently and are less likely to sense and respond to change in temperature.

· People who are overweight may be prone to heat sickness because of their tendency to retain more body heat.

· People who overexert during work or exercise may become dehydrated and susceptible to heat sickness.

· People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation, may be affected by extreme heat.

Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.

Adjust to the Environment

Be aware that any sudden change in temperature, such as an early summer heat wave, will be stressful to your body. You will have a greater tolerance for heat if you limit your physical activity until you become accustomed to the heat. If you travel to a hotter climate, allow several days to become acclimated before attempting any vigorous exercise, and work up to it gradually.

Do Not Leave Children in Cars

Even in cool temperatures, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly. Even with the windows cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes. Anyone left inside is at risk for serious heat-related illnesses or even death. Children who are left unattended in parked cars are at greatest risk for heat stroke, and possibly death. When traveling with children, remember to do the following:

· Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.

· To remind yourself that a child is in the car, keep a stuffed animal in the car seat. When the child is buckled in, place the stuffed animal in the front with the driver.

· When leaving your car, check to be sure everyone is out of the car. Do not overlook any children who have fallen asleep in the car.

Use Common Sense

Remember to keep cool and use common sense:

· Avoid hot foods and heavy meals—they add heat to your body.

· Drink plenty of fluids and replace salts and minerals in your body. Do not take salt tablets unless under medical supervision.

· Dress infants and children in cool, loose clothing and shade their heads and faces with hats or an umbrella.

· Limit sun exposure during mid-day hours and in places of potential severe exposure such as beaches.

· Do not leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car.

· Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets, and leave the water in a shady area.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature. The body's temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.

Recognizing Heat Stroke

Warning signs of heat stroke vary but may include the following:

· An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F, orally)

· Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)

· Rapid, strong pulse

· Throbbing headache

· Dizziness

· Nausea

· Confusion

· Unconsciousness

What to Do

If you see any of these signs, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency. Have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the victim. Do the following:

· Get the victim to a shady area.

· Cool the victim rapidly using whatever methods you can. For example, immerse the victim in a tub of cool water; place the person in a cool shower; spray the victim with cool water from a garden hose; sponge the person with cool water; or if the humidity is low, wrap the victim in a cool, wet sheet and fan him or her vigorously.

· Monitor body temperature, and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101-102°F.

· If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.

· Do not give the victim fluids to drink.

· Get medical assistance as soon as possible.

Sometimes a victim's muscles will begin to twitch uncontrollably as a result of heat stroke. If this happens, keep the victim from injuring himself, but do not place any object in the mouth and do not give fluids. If there is vomiting, make sure the airway remains open by turning the victim on his or her side.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. It is the body's response to an excessive loss of the water and salt contained in sweat. Those most prone to heat exhaustion are elderly people, people with high blood pressure, and people working or exercising in a hot environment.

Recognizing Heat Exhaustion

Warning signs of heat exhaustion include the following:

· Heavy sweating

· Paleness

· Muscle cramps

· Tiredness

· Weakness

· Dizziness

· Headache

· Nausea or vomiting

· Fainting

The skin may be cool and moist. The victim's pulse rate will be fast and weak, and breathing will be fast and shallow. If heat exhaustion is untreated, it may progress to heat stroke. Seek medical attention immediately if any of the following occurs:

· Symptoms are severe

· The victim has heart problems or high blood pressure

Otherwise, help the victim to cool off, and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or last longer than 1 hour.

What to Do

Cooling measures that may be effective include the following:

· Cool, nonalcoholic beverages

· Rest

· Cool shower, bath, or sponge bath

· An air-conditioned environment

· Lightweight clothing

Heat Cramps

Heat cramps usually affect people who sweat a lot during strenuous activity. This sweating depletes the body's salt and moisture. The low salt level in the muscles may be the cause of heat cramps. Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion.

Recognizing Heat Cramps

Heat cramps are muscle pains or spasms—usually in the abdomen, arms, or legs—that may occur in association with strenuous activity. If you have heart problems or are on a low-sodium diet, get medical attention for heat cramps.

What to Do

If medical attention is not necessary, take these steps:

· Stop all activity, and sit quietly in a cool place.

· Drink clear juice or a sports beverage.

· Do not return to strenuous activity for a few hours after the cramps subside, because further exertion may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

· Seek medical attention for heat cramps if they do not subside in 1 hour.

Sunburn

Sunburn should be avoided because it damages the skin. Although the discomfort is usually minor and healing often occurs in about a week, a more severe sunburn may require medical attention.

Recognizing Sunburn

Symptoms of sunburn are well known: the skin becomes red, painful, and abnormally warm after sun exposure.

What to Do

Consult a doctor if the sunburn affects an infant younger than 1 year of age or if these symptoms are present:

· Fever

· Fluid-filled blisters

· Severe pain

Also, remember these tips when treating sunburn:

· Avoid repeated sun exposure.

· Apply cold compresses or immerse the sunburned area in cool water.

· Apply moisturizing lotion to affected areas. Do not use salve, butter, or ointment.

· Do not break blisters.

Heat Rash

Heat rash is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather. It can occur at any age but is most common in young children.

Recognizing Heat Rash

Heat rash looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters. It is more likely to occur on the neck and upper chest, in the groin, under the breasts, and in elbow creases.

What to Do

The best treatment for heat rash is to provide a cooler, less humid environment. Keep the affected area dry. Dusting powder may be used to increase comfort.

Treating heat rash is simple and usually does not require medical assistance. Other heat-related problems can be much more severe.

The Iron County Senior Citizens Center on 3rd Street in Hurley will be open Wednesday through Friday this week from 12 noon to 6:00 pm as a cooling shelter.

If you have any questions call Mark Marczak at 715-561-2108 or Zona Wick at 715-561-2191

 

 

Ask a Nurse”

 

“ Ask a Nurse” presentation at the Iron county Farmers Market.

Wednesday July 27th 3-6 pm.

 

FREE BP screens and diabetes screens

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Zika Virus Disease

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created resources and tools for health care providers about the Zika virus disease, including symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention methods.

Click on the NTC’s syndicated Zika virus website below to access these resources

ZIKA Virus - What you need to know:

http://fpntc.org/training-and-resources/zika-virus-what-you-need-to-know

 

DHS. WISCONSIN.GOV

FACT SHEET ON OUR NEW WEBSITE

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has upgraded our website to better serve Wisconsin citizens. Our agency meets many different needs-but as a whole we are here to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of Wisconsin. A modern, well‐designed, and more responsive website will help us to achieve that.

We are using a web development tool called Drupal that has been adopted widely across both business and government. Drupal is an open source web content management system with an active development community. In other words, it is a free tool for building websites that has caught on as a practical and innovative solution worldwide.

The user experience is extremely important to us, and this upgrade has allowed us to greatly improve it.

**We studied how people navigate and why they come to   the website-and applied what we learned. Overall, visitors to our website should find it less complicated to browse, search, and find what they want.

**We are also using best practices for design. The new look is uncluttered and easier on the user's eyes.

**Our website is now optimized for mobile, which means you can view our site on any device with ease.

**We continue our ongoing agency commitment to accessibility and compliance with federal regulation, sec

 

Our Mission

The Iron County Wisconsin Health Department is here to serve the residents of Iron County Wisconsin by promoting health, protecting the enviroment, and preventing disease and injury.

 

 

 

 

Office Information

Department Head: Zona Wick
Address:
502 Copper Street
Suite 2
Hurley, WI 54534
Phone: 715-561-2191
Toll Free: 888-561-2191
Fax: 715-561-2836
Office Hours: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
   

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