Public Health

To contact Gunnison County Public Health, call (970) 641-0209.

The Colorado Health Emergency Line for Public Information (COHELP) is a public support service sponsored by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to keep you informed on current public health or bioterrorism issues. Call the COHELP line at(1-877-462-2911) to speak to an individual regarding questions or concerns.

Purpose
The purpose of the Public Health Program is to provide child, family and community health services including family planning programs to the residents of Gunnison County so they can be healthy and safe.

The responsibilities of Public Health are identified as the essential services listed below:
  • Monitor health status to identify and solve community health problems.
  • Investigate and diagnose health problems and health hazards in the community.
  • Inform, educate and empower individuals about health issues.
  • Mobilize public and private collaboration and action to identify and solve health problems.
  • Develop policies, plans, and programs that support individual and community health efforts.
  • Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and promote safety.
  • Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care including children with special needs.
  • Encourage a competent public health workforce including emergency response activities.
  • Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility and quality of personal and population-based health services.
  • Provide vital records (birth and death recordings).
Services
Public Health provides a broad range of services that are primarily funded through grants and private donations. Some services have specific qualifications such as income while other services do not have income criteria.  Some services have a low fee while others do not. Due to the fluctuation in funding, it is advised to contact our office for the most current status of each offering at 970-641-0209.
  • Immunizations
  • Birth and Death Certificates
  • Family Planning and Reproductive Health
  • Emergency Contraception
  • Women’s Wellness Connection
  • Nurse Family Partnership
  • Senior Resources
  • Multicultural Services
  • Access to Health Care (Light Program)
  • Tobacco Prevention
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Nurturing Parenting Program
  • Early Childhood Council
  • Childcare Health Consultation
  • WIC
  • Worksite Wellness
  • Health Care Program for Children with Special Needs (HCP)
  • Disease Surveillance and Investigations of Reportable Communicable Conditions
  • TB screening and follow up
  • Restaurant Inspections and consumer protection consultation
  • Information and Referral to other community services

Hantavirus - Be Careful When You Clean!


The first case of Hantavirus in Colorado has been confirmed.  While the case was not in Gunnison County, it was fatal and so we are reminding the public to take precautions when doing spring cleaning.  Last year there were a total of six cases in Colorado with 4 fatalities.

Hantavirus is a serious and potentially fatal respiratory disease carried by deer mice, who live in a variety of habitats, especially in rural areas, and can include one’s primary residents.  When cleaning out rodent-infested structures, people can breathe in dirt and dust contaminated with deer mouse urine and feces and become infected.  

 

Special Cleaning Precautions:

  1.  Open windows and air out space for 30 min. or more before cleaning.
  2. Wear gloves, mask and use bleach solution (1 cup bleach per gallon of water).
  3. Spray area and soak for 5-10 min.  before cleaning up with mop.
  4. DO NOT VACCUM OR SWEEP AREA.

There is no treatment for this disease, only supportive care.  Therefore prevention of exposure is the most important thing to do.  Symptoms can occur up to 6 weeks after exposure starting with flu like symptoms, then can progress very rapidly to serious illness.
For more information on Hantavirus:  www.cdc.gov/hantavirus
For clean-up guidance:  www.cdc.gov/rodents
 
Have a safe Spring!

Preventing Mosquito Bites

West Nile Virus is transmitted by mosquito bites to humans and can cause anything from mild flu-like illness to serious illness including meningitis or paralysis. Avoiding getting bitten by mosquitoes will prevent exposure to this disease.

Avoid mosquito bites by practicing the 4 D’s:

D-DAWN & DUSK: Don’t be out at these peak mosquito activity times.

• D-DRESS: Dress in long sleeves & pants during dawn & dusk or where there is mosquito activity (can use mosquito netting or thin fabric over baby stroller).

• D-DRAIN:  Drain standing water (drill drainage hole in tire swings, change wading pool water weekly, empty plant saucers).

• D-DEET and Repellants:  DEET is the most effective repellent available. It is very important to follow the specific DEET product directions. See below to determine amount of repellant time for specific products.

DEET Concentration refers to how long the protect lasts and does not mean more effective protection:

•  23.8% DEET lasts 5 hours

•  20% DEET lasts 4 hours

•  6.65% DEET lasts 2 hours

•  4.75% DEET lasts 90 minutes

Use the minimum concentration needed for amount of time to be outside. DEET is considered safe when used as directed. Cases of serious reactions have been related to not following directions such as swallowing DEET, using over broken skin or using for multiple days without washing skin in between uses.

How to Apply DEET

Adults should apply DEET products to children by putting it on adults’ hands & then rub onto child. Be sure no DEET is on child’s hands that could go in child’s mouth or rub eyes. Authorities such as CDC and American Pediatric Association differ on their recommendations for the minimum age for DEET application. The maximum DEET concentration for children should not exceed 30%. Application to outer clothing can be effective. Do not apply under clothing. Do not apply to broken skin such as cuts or rashes. Do not spray face but apply to hands and rub face avoiding eyes and mouth.

For more information:

• American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP); Phone: 800-433-9016 Web: www.aap.org/en-us/Pages/Default.aspx

• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Phone: 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) Web: www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html

• Colorado West Nile Virus Hotline; Phone: 877-462-2911 (7am until 11 pm) Web: www.fightthebitecolorado.com

• Gunnison County Public Health; Phone: 970-641-0209 Web: www.gunnisoncounty.org/152/Public-Health

• National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC); Phone: 800-858-7378 Web: www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/npic.htm

• US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Web: www.epa.gov/

Repellants

PRODUCT NAME ACTIVE INGREDIENT REPEL TIME

OFF! Deep Woods

23.8% DEET

301.5 minutes (approx. 5 hours)

Sawyer Controlled Release

20% DEET

234.4 minutes (approx. 4 hours)

OFF! Skintastic

6.65% DEET

112.4 minutes (approx. 2 hours)

Bite Blocker for Kids

2% Soybean Oil

94.6 minutes (approx. 1.5 hours)

OFF! Skintastic for Kids

4.75% DEET

88.4 minutes (approx. 1.5 hours)

Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Plus

7.5% IR3535

22.8 minutes

Natrapel

10% Citronella

19.7 minutes

Herbal Armox

12% Citronella, 2.5% peppermint oil; <2% other ingredients

18.9 minutes

Green Ban for People

10% Citronella

14.0 minutes

Buzz Away

5% Citronella

13.5 minutes

Skin-So-Soft Bath Oil

Uncertain

9.6 minutes

Skin-So-Soft Moisturizing Suncare

0.05% Citronella

2.8 minutes

Gone Original Wristband

9.5% DEET

0.3 minutes

Repello Wristband

9.5% DEET

0.2 minutes

Gone Plus Repelling Wristband

25% Citronella

0.2 minutes