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June 19, 2015: Tips to Avoid Tularemia

RabbitsTularemia is caused by the bacteria Francisella tularensis. Tularemia is usually a disease that occurs in wildlife such as rabbits and rodents, and it can be present in the environment in soil and water for weeks to months. Since 2014, Colorado has had 21 human tularemia cases. Most people with tularemia got it from soil and vegetation exposures, such as during gardening and landscaping activities. The disease can also be transmitted by contact with an infected animal or from an insect that fed on an infected animal. The bacteria may cause pneumonia when it is inhaled, for example from mowing over an infected carcass. Ticks, biting flies, and mosquitoes have been shown to transmit tularemia between animals and humans. Tularemia is not known to be spread from person to person.
According to Broomfield Public Health and Environment Division, there have been no cases of tularemia in Broomfield and five reported human cases in Colorado so far this year. All five of these cases were exposed to the bacterium through landscaping and gardening activities. Last year, Broomfield had one human tularemia case who was exposed to the bacterium in soil and vegetation in a back yard. Tularemia is a rare disease and can be difficult to diagnose. For this reason, it is important to share with your health care provider any likely exposures, such as gardening and landscaping activities, contact with sick or dead wildlife such as rodents and rabbits, or tick and deer fly bites. 

Symptoms of tularemia usually appear 3 to 5 days after exposure to the bacteria, but can take as long as 14 days. Symptoms include fever, skin ulcers, swollen and painful lymph glands, inflamed eyes, sore throat, mouth sores, diarrhea, or pneumonia. Symptoms can also include chills, headache, muscle aches, joint pain, dry cough, difficulty breathing, coughing up blood, and respiratory failure. Tularemia is treatable with antibiotics such as doxycycline. See your healthcare provider if you are ill with these symptoms and have any of the exposures listed above. 

Steps to prevent tularemia include:
  • Consider wearing gloves and/or a dust mask during gardening and landscaping activities.
  • Never touch sick or dead animals with your bare hands.
  • If the animal must be moved, wear gloves, place it in a garbage bag using a longhandled shovel, and place the bag in an outdoor garbage can.
  • Avoid areas where wild rodents live.
  • Avoid mowing over dead animals.
  • See a health care provider if you become ill with a high fever and/or swollen lymph nodes.
  • Use insect repellents containing 20% to 30% DEET, picaridin or IR3535.
  • Contact a veterinarian if you see any change in the behavior of your pets (especially rodents, rabbits, and hares) or livestock. 

To report an animal die-off (e.g. three or more animals found in one area) in Broomfield County, call 720.887.2237.

June 11, 2015: With Warmer Weather, Protect Yourself from West Nile Virus

Map spraying insect repellent West Nile Virus (WNV) is transmitted to people and animals by bites from infected mosquitoes. Only certain mosquitoes carry WNV and very few mosquitoes actually are infected. In Colorado, WNV is transmitted to people by a species called Culextarsalis. This is a medium-sized mosquito that feeds in the few hours around dawn and dusk. During the day they rest in shady, secluded areas, such as under porches, roof overhangs, tall grass, shrubs, and storm sewers. They breed in almost any source of standing water. 

As of today, there are no reports of WNV in Broomfield, according to Broomfield Public Health and Environment Division. Last year, Broomfield reported one human case of WNV and there were 118 cases in Colorado. 

WNV concern typically occurs in June and July when it's the days are longer and warmer. Broomfield Public Health and Environment says that when dealing with WNV, prevention is your best bet and to follow the Four D's:

  1. Drain standing water around the house weekly since that's where mosquitoes lay eggs. Be sure to empty old tires, cans, flowerpots, clogged rain gutters, rain barrels and toys where puddles can occur.
  2. Dusk and dawn are when mosquitoes that carry the virus are most active, so limit outdoor activities or take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.
  3. DEET is an effective ingredient to look for in insect repellents. Always follow label instructions carefully.
  4. Dress in long sleeves and pants during dawn and dusk or in areas where mosquitoes are active.

Most people who are infected with WNV do not become ill and have no symptoms. For persons who do become ill, the time between the mosquito bite and the onset of symptoms ranges from 5-15 days.

Broomfield's Environmental Services Division contracts their mosquito control program to Colorado Mosquito Control, Inc (CMC). CMC regularly monitors mosquito populations and WNV activity to determine if, when, and where interventions are needed. The treatment provided by CMC lowers the mosquito population numbers, which reduces the risk of human disease.  CMC provides a mosquito hotline at 303.428.5908 for residents to report nuisance mosquitoes. 

For more information about WNV, visit www.cdc.gov/westnile and Fight the Bite or call Broomfield Public Health and Environment at 720.887.2237.

June 4, 2015: One small change! Keep healthy with 150 minutes of physical activity a week.
The warmer weather is here and kids are on summer break! Take advantage of this great opportunity to get outdoors and be active. Make one small change by adding activity to your everyday life, like walking or cycling instead of using the car. Find more fun activities and ways to be active this summer by:

   How long should I be active every day?
                            one small change. play everyday. ad	     
  • Adults need 150 minutes of heart-pumping activity per week. Even short, 10-minutes bouts of physical activity will keep you fit. 

  • Children need at least 60 minutes of moderate to hard physical activity every day. Moderate physical activity is when your heart beats faster than normal and you are breathing harder.
Whatever your age, being physically active can help you lead a healthier and even happier life. The more you do the better! For tips on building physical activity into your day, read Get Active.


June 3: E-cigarette use triples among middle and high school students in just one year
Current e-cigarette use among middle and high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014, according to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Tobacco Products.

For the first time since the National Youth Tobacco Survey started collecting e-cigarette data, e-cigarette use has surpassed the current use of every other tobacco product overall, including conventional cigarettes. 


Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, are battery- operated products designed to deliver nicotine, flavor, and other chemicals to the user in an aerosol. E-cigarette aerosol is not harmless water vapor, it can contain nicotine and other toxins. Most e-cigarettes look like conventional cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Some look like everyday items such as pens and USB memory sticks. In Colorado, it is illegal to sell an e-cigarette or any other tobacco product to anyone under the age of 18. 

Products come in over 7,000 flavors, including food and candy flavors, like chocolate, strawberry, mint, and piña colada. To learn more about the data and e-cigarettes, go to the CDC

To get a head start on prevention, visit BeTobaccoFree.gov or the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's new site, TobaccoIsNasty.com.

April 21, 2015: Blue Bell Creameries Voluntarily Expands Recall to Include All of its Products Due to Possible Health Risk

Blue Bell Ice Cream of Brenham, Texas, is voluntarily recalling all of its products currently on the market made at all of its facilities including ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen snacks because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal nfections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

For detailed information pertaining to this Recalls, please visit the FDA Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts message.

April 10, 2015: Take precautions to avoid hantavirus

Mark Salley, Communications Director | 303-692-2013 |

State health officials today warned Coloradans to avoid hantavirus exposure while cleaning cabins or other buildings that were closed up for winter. Hantavirus is a serious and potentially fatal respiratory disease carried by deer mice. When cleaning out rodent-infested structures, people can breathe in dirt and dust contaminated with deer mouse urine and feces and become infected. There have been two confirmed cases of hantavirus in the state this year, both were fatalities.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has documented more than 90 cases of hantavirus since it began tracking the disease in 1993. Approximately 40 percent of individuals with the disease have died from it. Most Colorado hantavirus cases happen when people are exposed to deer mouse urine and feces in and around their residences. Unlike house mice, deer mice have large ears and eyes and white undersides of their body and tail.

“Be particularly careful where there is evidence that mice have been in and around buildings or wood or junk piles,” said Dr. Jennifer House, state public health veterinarian at the department. “An increase in the number of mice around a home often precedes a person getting the disease.
Ample vegetation for rodents to eat can attract deer mice and other rodent populations. An increase in rodents can result in increased exposure to diseases rodents carry. Early spring and summer are when most human cases occur but some people have been infected at other times of the year. People need to take precautions to prevent exposure to hantavirus before they begin cleaning structures that have evidence of rodent activity.

Dr. House advised Coloradans to ventilate structures before cleaning and spray any accumulation of dust, dirt and mouse droppings with a mixture of bleach and water.
“Never vacuum or sweep an area where a rodent infestation has been,” she emphasized. “If you have deer mice around your home, assume there is some risk of exposure to this virus. The more mice, the greater the risk. Some people have been infected by handling a single mouse.”
  • Rodent-proof buildings by plugging holes or other mouse entryways. Conduct year-round rodent control, or hire a professional exterminator.
  • Keep indoor areas clean, especially kitchens. Dispose of garbage in sealed containers.
  • Store food in rodent-proof containers, including food for pets, livestock and birds.
  • Remove rodent hiding places near your home, such as wood, junk and brush piles. Store firewood at least 100 feet from your house. Keep vegetation around the house well-trimmed.
Hantavirus symptoms
Hantavirus normally begins with fever, body aches, headache and vomiting. The symptoms begin from one to six weeks after exposure.

At first there are no respiratory symptoms. However, the illness can progress quickly to respiratory distress within one to five days. People may have a dry cough and difficulty breathing caused by their lungs filling with fluid.

Because no effective treatment exists for the disease, Dr. House emphasized prevention as the key.

“When hantavirus infection is suspected, early admission to a hospital for careful monitoring is critical. Treatment of symptoms and supportive therapy can be provided in the hospital,” Dr. House said. “If you become ill with these symptoms, it is important to tell your physician about possible exposures to deer mice or rodent-infested environments.”

 Office of Communications Logo

April 8, 2015: National Public Health Week
April 6-12 is National Public Health Week. National Public Health Week is a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our community.

To celebrate National Public Health Week and kick off the B-Healthy Broomfield summer of events, the Public Health and Environment Division is hosting the B-Healthy Broomfield Wellness Walk. This walk promotes the Broomfield Public Health Improvement Plan priority of obesity prevention and encourages all residents to engage in physical activity.


Join City Council 
for the B-Healthy Broomfield Wellness Walk


Wednesday, April 8, at 4 p.m. 


"Find Your Fit" and enter to win a FREE Fitbit

Starting Location:

Community Pond, north of the library 


Show your support for public health and join the movement to
make Broomfield the healthiest county in Colorado!

2015 National Public Health Week Logo


March 2, 2015: Kids Across America Will 'Kick Butts' Today
Kick Butts Day logo  Kids across America will take center stage to stand up against tobacco today to celebrate the 20th Kick Butts Day! This is an annual celebration of youth leadership and activism in standing up against tobacco use. In support of Kick Butts Day, youth will encourage their peers to stay tobacco-free and educate their communities about the dangers of tobacco and the tobacco industry's harmful marketing practices.

Check out a new site - TobaccoIsNasty.com - that launched today for middle school students and young teens to get the real story about the dangers of tobacco.

Watch this short video to learn more! 

See what other activities are happening on Kick Butts Day, in Colorado and across the nation, on the Kick Butts Day site.

March 13, 2015: March is National Nutrition Month® Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle
Creating healthy habits can be hard but choosing a small goal to start with can help you stay motivated. 
Try one of these:
  • Focus on eating fewer calories by choosing smaller portions
  • Plan ahead and stick to your list when grocery shopping
  • Choose fruits and vegetables for a mid-afternoon snack
  • Make smart food choices by reading nutrition labels

Any of these goals can help you maintain good health and quality of life! Strive for healthy eating habits and "Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle" during National Nutrition Month® 2015!
 National Nutrition Month Logo
What's on your plate?
During National Nutrition Month®, use MyPlate as a reminder to make smart food choices by building a healthier plate at meal times. Before you eat, think about what is going on your plate or in your bowl:
  • Use a smaller plate or bowl to help with portion control
  • Fill half of your plate with colorful fruits and vegetables
  • Add lean protein like chicken, beans, or lean beef and pork
  • Include a whole grain for more fiber, vitamins, and minerals
  • Eat without distractions and savor your food
These tips are a starting point and can help you ease into healthy habits. For more ideas and information, visit the MyPlate website.
 ChooseMyPlate.gov logo
Your Recipe for Success
A registered dietitian nutritionist can provide sound, easy-to-follow personalized nutrition advice to meet your lifestyle, preferences, and health-related needs. Find your nutrition expert!
National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

March 2, 2015: Commit to be Fit
Regular physical activity helps improve your overall health and fitness, and reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, or diabetes. Fitting regular exercise into your schedule may seem difficult at first, but it's much easier than you think! There are numerous ways to reach your physical activity goals through different types and amounts of activities each week.

Children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day and adults should be active for a total of 2 hours and 30 minutes each week. You don't have to do it all at once, 10 minutes at a time is fine.

Does this sound like a lot? Don't worry! Active play counts too!

Try setting a positive example by leading an active lifestyle as a parent or by playing active games together as a family. Children are naturally active. During recess and free play, children do basic aerobic and bone-strengthening activities, such as running, hopping, skipping, and jumping. Remember, help your children be active and play, 60 minutes, everyday!

There are many ways to stay active within the community. Check out the FREE Eggstravaganza Easter party April 4 at 11:15 a.m. or explore your parks. We hope to see you there!

Family building a snowman in the park

Balsamic and Grape Quinoa
Kid Friendly and Quick. Serves 4 (serving size: about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 2/3 cups water
  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 20 seedless red grapes, halved
Bring 1 2/3 cups water and quinoa to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 12 minutes or until quinoa is tender; drain. Place quinoa in a bowl. Add parsley, vinegar, olive oil, kosher salt, and grapes, stirring to combine.

Nutritional Information - Amount per serving:
Calories: 201, Fat: 4.8g, Saturated fat: 0.3g, Sodium: 133mg

Note: MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a collection of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.

February 4, 2015: 5 Ideas for Maintaining New Year's Resolutions
The New Year can be a great time to refocus and set healthy resolutions. Two of the most popular New Year's resolutions include losing weight and staying fit and healthy.

Child giving parent a high-five at the park

Here are 5 ideas to help you fulfill your resolution:
  • Pick a week out of the month to try a new vegetable or fruit. Try a new food in new recipes for dinner or take it as a side item for lunch.
  • Set specific activity goals. Take a walk in your neighborhood each Wednesday afternoon (or whichever evening is best for your schedule).
  • Eat dinner as a family as often as possible, but at least 3-4 times a week.Eating together allows you to talk about your day, creates good eating habits, and makes for quality family time.
  • Schedule monthly game days. Spend 30-60 minutes playing games outside like "Red light, green light", basketball, or football on Saturday morning.
  • Make it a goal to hydrate. Purchase a reusable bottle and keep it filled in the fridge for easy access.
Creating healthier routines for life will improve the way you eat and increase your physical activity. Whichever healthy routine you want to choose, keep it simple; make it realistic and obvious; and keep believing you can do it. Be a happier, healthier you in 2015!

Grilled Figs with Thyme and Honey

  • 2 cups figs, stems removed and halved
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Preheat the grill to medium-low heat. When the grill is heated, place the figs on a grill pan in 1 single layer. Grill for 1-2 minutes, or until slightly soft. Flip and grill another 1-2 minutes more on the other side.

Transfer the grilled figs to a serving platter. Carefully place a few fresh thyme leaves on each fig, drizzle with honey, and enjoy!         

Meatless Monday from Domestic Divas.


January 6, 2015: Success in 2015 - Quit smoking to start the year off right
Quitting tobacco is the most important resolution you will make. More than half of smokers have already quit, and you can, too!
Each year 40-45 percent of U.S. adults make one or more resolutions, and quitting smoking is one of the most popular. We all have good thoughts when making resolutions. Keeping your resolution is the hard part. Take these steps to help you quit for good:
  • Make a Plan: pick a day to quit and find a way that works for you.
  • Review the Benefits: what you can gain once you quit.
  • Quit with a Buddy: use the buddy system to improve your chances for success.
  • Know your Resources: look for free ways to help you quit, like the Colorado QuitLine and COQuitMobile.
  • Commit to Stay Quit: this is a life change and you can get through the cravings by switching up your routine.

Tiffany, a former smoker, found many benefits of quitting, such as better tasting food and more energy. Watch her short video on "Surprising Things About Quitting." 

Start 2015 as a better you by making 
the choice to quit smoking today!

December 22, 2014: Holiday Fitness Traditions
Broomfield holiday singers
Tis the season to be merry and start new traditions! This year, start a holiday fitness tradition. Take a brisk walk after a meal, play tag football with the family, or walk the dog. All these activities count as physical activity and burn calories. Try to fit in 30 minutes of physical activity most days. Remember that you do not have to do this all at once, so break up your activities and have fun! 

Here are some other ideas that will help make the holidays active, fun, and enjoyable:
  • Sign up for a race.
  • Visit the Paul Derda Recreation Center and its climbing wall, play areas, and indoor aquatic park with slides and a "Lazy River."
  • Stand and chat at parties rather than sit.
  • Find a new workout video.
  • Sing along with the carols, tap your foot, snap your fingers, and sway with the music.
  • Choose the farthest parking space from the store when shopping for gifts and groceries.

There are many more ideas, so brainstorm a few with your family. The bottom line is enjoy and make this holiday season one that is merry and light(er)!  
Happy Holidays, Broomfield!

November 25, 2014: Maintain, Don't Gain During the Holidays
On average, Americans gain about one to two pounds during the holiday season. One to two pounds doesn't seem like much but the total weight gain is usually not the problem. The problem is the weight tends to stay with us and continues to add up each year. 
You don't need to skip the dessert to keep the pounds off. Instead, follow these dietitian-approved tips so you won't feel as guilty about that delicious slice of pie:
  • Do not skip meals throughout the day - we tend to overeat later if we "save up" for the one big meal.
  • Eat breakfast - those who eat in the morning tend to consume fewer calories during the day.
  • Use a smaller plate - this encourages appropriate portion sizes.
  • Fill your plate with vegetables and salad first - eating a salad before your meal can help you eat fewer calories overall.
  • Eat slowly and savor every bite - wait 10 minutes to see if you really are still hungry.
  • Try some new holiday recipes this year like the Slow Cooked Cranberry Sauce below - homemade usually means less sugar and salt.
Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce
    Cranberry  Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce
    • 12 ounce bag fresh cranberries - rinsed
    • 1/2 cup orange juice
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 2 tablespoons sugar (or more to taste)
    • 1 teaspoon orange zest
    • 1 teaspoon ginger
    Place all ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on low heat for 3 hours. Gently mash the cranberries until desired consistency is reached.  

    Nutrition Facts: 1/4  cup = 35 calories, 0.1 g fat, 6 g sugar, 1 mg sodium, 1.6 g fiber.  
    SourceThe Lemon Bowl

    November 20, 2014: Great American Smokeout
     GASO logo
    Today, as we celebrate the Great American Smokeout, Broomfield Public Health and Environment encourages all Broomfield residents to quit tobacco use altogether, or for the day.
    Quitting smoking is one of the most impactful things you can do to improve your health. If you smoke, chances are you have thought about quitting. In fact, roughly 70 percent of smokers say they want to quit.
    You've probably thought about why you want to quit: for your health, your finances, or your family and friends. Getting started is easy. Just visit TobaccoFreeCO.org. You will find free resources that you can use such as, the Quit and $ave app, Colorado QuitLine, and Colorado Quit Mobile.

    Celebrate the Great American Smokeout by setting your quit date, or try to quit for the day. The benefits begin the day you quit and continue for the rest of your life.
    Make this year's Great American Smokeout be the day YOU quit.

     QuitLine logo

    October 23, 2014: Broomfield Public Health Announces Ebola Readiness

    Media reports over the last month have raised concerns about the spread of the Ebola virus in the U.S. The Broomfield Public Health and Environment Division (PHE), within the Health and Human Services Department, would like to reassure all residents in Broomfield that there are no confirmed cases of Ebola here in Broomfield County or in the state. Although the risk of Ebola virus spreading in the U.S and in Broomfield remains low, the division can swiftly respond should a case of Ebola occur here.
    "We do not anticipate a case of Ebola to occur here, however if a suspected case of Ebola should occur, our division is prepared to swiftly respond," said Jason Vahling, MPH, City and County of Broomfield Public Health Director. "Public Health has expertise in planning for, training on, and responding to emergencies, especially communicable disease outbreaks. Every day, in partnership with Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and health care partners, our disease control program monitors diseases in Broomfield and uses well-established techniques to prevent, find, and stop disease outbreaks."
    As part of PHE's readiness, the division has taken the proactive steps of providing information about Ebola, its diagnosis, and the management of suspected cases to health partners throughout the county. CDPHE has also been actively preparing for a possible case of Ebola by advising healthcare professionals to "Ask, Isolate, Call" which identifies, isolates, and cares for anyone who may have been exposed to Ebola. This situation is constantly evolving and therefore national, state, and local agencies are in on-going conversations. PHE will continue to work closely with authorities to assure that the many health partners throughout our region are current and coordinated in their efforts to protect the public from all types of infectious diseases.
    There are many questions about Ebola and numerous resources are available to answers Ebola questions. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has various resources that are updated daily at www.cdc.gov/ebola. PHE's webpage, www.broomfieldhealth.org, has national and state factsheets and CDPHE's Ebola webpage, www.colorado.gov/ebola, has additional information. CDPHE also has the CO HELP hotline at 303.389.1687 or 1.877.462.2911.

    October 10, 2014: Enterovirus D68
    The Denver metropolitan area and other cities across the country are experiencing an increase in patients with severe respiratory illness and increased asthma symptoms. Some patients have required hospitalization, with a few requiring admission to the pediatric intensive care unit. Initial testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention laboratories have indicated that the cause of these infections is Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68).
    EV-D68 is an uncommon respiratory virus that is most severe in children and adults with underlying health conditions such as asthma. Investigation into this outbreak is ongoing and there are currently no vaccines available to prevent EV-D68. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is working with Colorado hospitals, local public health agencies, including Broomfield Public Health and Environment, and the CDC to better understand this virus and its impact on the community's health.
    As of last week, the CDC has confirmed that 19 of 25 specimens in Colorado tested positive for EV-D68. While there have been no confirmed cases in Broomfield, residents can still watch for symptoms of the virus and take precautionary measures to prevent the spread of respiratory infections. 
    Signs and Symptoms of EV-D68:
    EV-D68 is an illness characterized by difficulty breathing, difficulty getting oxygen, and wheezing in some patients. A minority of patients have a fever. Parents of children with asthma are asked to be vigilant in ensuring their children take prescribed asthma control medication and contact their healthcare provider if symptoms do not improve or worsen. Prompt medical care can greatly reduce the seriousness of this infection. 
    Everyone can help protect themselves from EV-D68 and other respiratory infections by following these guidelines:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups and eating utensils with people who are ill.
    • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces in the environment, such as toys, phones and doorknobs.
    • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve, not with your hands.
    • Ensure all vaccinations, including the influenza vaccination, are up to date.

    For more information, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov or contact Broomfield Public Health and Environment at 720.887.2220.

    October 2, 2014: Colorado students invited to enter 2015 National Radon Poster Contests
    DENVER - Colorado students have until Oct. 31 to put their creativity to work promoting awareness of indoor radon risks by participating in the 2015 National Radon Poster Contest.
    The contest, designed to raise awareness for radon testing and inform people of the danger of radon in their homes, is coordinated by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Radon Program in partnership with Kansas State University and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
    Children ages 9-14 enrolled in a public, private, territorial, tribal, Department of Defense or home school are eligible to submit entries. Members of a sponsoring club, such as a scouting organization or an art, computer, science or 4-H club, also are eligible. There is no entry fee. Only one entry per student is allowed. The entry deadline is Oct. 31, 2014. Poster contest submission forms, topics, rules and prizes are at www.coloradoradon.info.
    The department's Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division will judge entries from Colorado students on content accuracy, visual communication of the topic, reproducibility and originality. Winners will be awarded $300 for first place, $200 for second and $100 for third. Teachers of those students will each receive $100. The top three Colorado posters will be entered in the national contest, where national winners may receive up to $1,000. The winning posters will be reproduced and distributed nationally to promote radon awareness.
    More information about radon, discount test kits and radon contractors is available at www.coloradoradon.info or by calling Colorado's Radon Hotline at 1-800-846-3986. For additional contest information, please visit the website or contact Chrystine Kelley at .

    July 31, 2014: Broomfield Launches Public Health Improvement Plan to Address Obesity

    This past May, the Public Health and Environment Division, within Broomfield's Health and Human Services Department, officially launched its five-year strategic plan to reduce obesity and provide every Broomfield resident opportunities to eat healthy and be physical active where they live, work, and play. 

    "Reducing obesity and improving the health of Broomfield residents is a good public investment because it strengthens our economy and promotes student achievement," Broomfield's Public Health and Environment Director Jason Vahling said. "We look forward to working with our partners and the community members to make Broomfield the healthiest county in Colorado."

    While Broomfield's percentage of adults who are obese is lower than the United States average (18% vs. 36%), the overweight percentage is higher than the national average (46% vs. 33%).

    The plan - Broomfield Public Health Improvement Plan - promotes and increases opportunities for physical  activity and healthy eating to prevent and to reduce overweight and obesity across the age span. This plan was created in partnership with the community and provides concrete actionable steps to create sustainable change and to foster a healthier Broomfield.  


     Broomfield resident's walking  

    The plan's action steps to reverse the trend of obesity and improve the overall health of residents are:

    • Increasing community outreach and public awareness related to obesity prevention;
    • Improving nutrition and physical activity among Broomfield residents; Enhancing the City and County of Broomfield's Employee Wellness Program; and
    • Enhancing Health and Human Services clients' knowledge and awareness of wellness.

    Public Health and Environment focuses on creating good health and improving the well-being of the whole community. Together, public health programs and services will help accelerate efforts to improve Broomfield's health. To learn more, follow public health online at  www.broomfieldhealth.org. 


    July 28, 2014: Back to School Immunization Event 

    Kids coloring

    Get ready for school!  FREE immunizations August 8 and 19. Broomfield Public Health and Environment is hosting their annual Back to School Immunization event to help keep kids healthy. Free vaccines will be given on Friday, Aug. 8, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Tuesday, Aug. 19, from 2 to 6 p.m. Everyone 18 and younger is welcome to attend the clinic at Health and Human Services, 6 Garden Center. Pre-registration is required.

    Call 720.887.2220 to pre-register.

    A parent/guardian must be present to give consent for vaccinations. Please bring each child's immunization records which will be reviewed by a Registered Nurse. If you are unable to attend this event, immunizations are provided in our clinic by appointment. For more information, visit www.broomfieldhealth.org or call 720.887.2220.

    July 16, 2014: Broomfield Resident Tests Positive for Tularemia 

    Boulder and Broomfield Counties, CO – A resident of the Pony Estates neighborhood, bordering the cities of Boulder and Broomfield, has tested positive for tularemia. Tularemia is a disease of animals and humans caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. The resident likely came into contact with the bacteria while in the yard of their home where multiple dead rabbits had previously been found. Although tularemia is a potentially serious disease, it is treatable if detected early. The Broomfield resident has been treated with antibiotics after being evaluated by a healthcare provider.

    Broomfield and Boulder County Public Health Officials are working together to notify the community. Officials will be posting warning signs in the Pony Estates neighborhood to alert residents of the risks of tularemia.

    “People should never touch sick, dead, or wild animals because they may carry diseases,” said Jason Vahling, Broomfield County Public Health Director. “Although tularemia is rare, it is still a risk, especially considering the number of wild rabbits in our communities,” said Vahling.

    Symptoms include skin ulcers, swollen and painful lymph glands, inflamed eyes, sore throat, mouth sores, diarrhea, or pneumonia. Symptoms can also include abrupt onset of fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, joint pain, dry cough, difficulty breathing, bloody sputum, and respiratory failure.

    Tularemia is not known to be spread from person to person. People become infected with tularemia through the bite of infected insects, most commonly ticks and deer flies, or through skin contact with infected animal tissue. The bacteria can also be inhaled when infected animal tissue is broken up into small particles and spread in the air, such as when an infected carcass is mowed over.

    Public health officials recommend the following precautions to reduce the risk of exposure to tularemia:
    • Avoid ticks. The best protection for pets, especially cats, is to keep them indoors. If outdoors with pets, keep them out of heavily wooded areas, which are ideal habitats for ticks.
    • Stay out of areas inhabited by wild rodents. If you must enter areas frequented by wild rodents, always wear insect repellent containing DEET.
    • Prevent your pets from hunting or eating wild rodents, especially rabbits.
    • Avoid all contact with wild rodents, including squirrels and rabbits; do not feed or handle them.
    • Never touch sick or dead animals with your bare hands. If the animal must be moved, place it in a garbage bag using a long-handled shovel, and place the bag in an outdoor garbage can.
    • Avoid drinking unpurified water from streams or lakes; keep your pets from doing the same.
    • Don’t mow over animals carcasses, and consider using a dust mask when doing landscape work.
    • See a health care provider if you become ill with a high fever and/or swollen lymph nodes.
    • Contact a veterinarian if you see any change in the behavior of your pets (especially rodents, rabbits, and hares) or livestock.

    In the United States, human cases of tularemia have been reported from every state except Hawaii, with the majority occurring in south-central and western states.

    According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, this is the second reported human case of tularemia in Colorado this year; no human cases were reported in 2013. Only one animal in the state has tested positive for the disease this year; four animals tested positive in 2013.

    For more information about tularemia, visit www.cdc.gov/tularemia. To report an animal die-off (e.g. three or more animals found in one area) in Broomfield County, call 720.887.2237 or in Boulder County, call 303.441.1564.

    June 25, 2014: Protect yourself from West Nile virus with the Four D's

     The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus in Adams, Boulder, Delta, Mesa and Weld counties. As of today, there are no reports of West Nile virus in Broomfield, according to Broomfield Public Health and Environment Division and the Environmental Services Division. Last year, Broomfield reported six human cases of West Nile virus. Broomfield's Environmental Services Division contracts the mosquito control program to Colorado Mosquito Control, Inc. (CMC). CMC regularly monitors vector mosquito populations and West Nile virus activity to determine if, when, and where interventions are needed. The treatment provided by CMC lowers the mosquito population numbers, which reduces the risk of human disease. CMC provides a mosquito hotline at 303.428.5908 for residents to report nuisance mosquitoes.

    Broomfield Public Health and Environment advises residents to take precautions by wearing insect repellent and using other methods to avoid mosquito bites when outdoors. To help prevent West Nile virus infection, follow the Four D's and Fight the Bite:
    1. Drain standing water around the house weekly since that's where mosquitoes lay eggs. Be sure to empty old tires, cans, flowerpots, clogged rain gutters, rain barrels and toys where puddles can occur.
    2. Dusk and dawn are when mosquitoes that carry the virus are most active, so limit outdoor activities or take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.
    3. DEET is an effective ingredient to look for in insect repellents. Always follow label instructions carefully.
    4. Dress in long sleeves and pants during dawn and dusk or in areas where mosquitoes are active.

    April 24, 2014: Colorado Get Movin' Challenge, May 1-30

     Get moving challenge
    Sign up, be active and win! 

    Sign up free, get 30 minutes of daily activity in May, and make Colorado the most active state in the nation. 
    1. Visit  GetMovinChallenge.org to access our online activity tracker with MapMyFitness.
    2. Create or log in to your MapMyFitness account, then join the challenge.
    3. Enter your 30 minutes of activity each day to earn prizes.*

    New! Compete as part of your city or town. Help make yours the most active in the state.

    Join the conversationwith #COgetmovin
    *For full program Terms and Conditions, visit getmovinchallenge.org.

    April 8, 2014: 4th Annual Public Health Wellness Walk
     National Public Health Week 2014 Logo Public Health and Environment invites you to celebrate National Public Health Week. National Public Health Week is a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our community. Use this week to raise awareness about public health and prevention!

    Join us for the 4th Annual Public Health Wellness Walk 
    at the 
    Community Pond, north of the library, on Wednesday, April 9 at 1 p.m. 

    This scenic 2-mile walk is open to employees, spouses, residents, everyone! 

    Public Health Nurses will also be at various City and County buildings throughout the week checking blood pressures. Stop by for a free blood pressure check and learn more about your numbers. 
    Wednesday, April 9
    10 a.m. - noon
    George Di Ciero City and County Building
    Wednesday, April 9
     2 - 4 p.m.
    Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library
    Thursday, April 10
    10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Health and Human Services Thursday, April 10 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
    Paul Derda Recreation Center Friday, April 11 10 a.m. - noon

    January 9, 2014: Flu Season Is Here - Vaccinate Today!
    Center for Disease Control and Prevention is urging all those who have still not gotten their flu vaccine to get vaccinated! A flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated against the flu each year. The flu vaccine
    • Is safe
    • Does not cause the flu
    • Protects the ones you love

    Broomfield Public Health Nurses are taking appointments to protect the health of residents and visitors by getting their flu shot. Call 720.887.2220 to make a flu shot appointment.

    September 19, 2013: Blue-green algae bloom warning at Brunner Reservoir
    The Brunner Reservoir has been experiencing a blue-green algae bloom over the past several weeks. Blue-green algae under the right conditions can produce a chemical toxin called Microcystin. It is recommended that all contact with the water in the reservoir be avoided until warning signs have been removed.

    April 2, 2013: Colorado teen birth rate and repeat birth rates decline
    The Colorado Initiative to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy, a consortium of public and private health partners, has addressed this issue by providing free or low-cost IUDs and implants to low-income women throughout Colorado. 

    March 18, 2013: Broomfield Ranks 8th in Overall Health Outcomes
    The fourth annual County Health Rankings were released March 20 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute, and Broomfield County ranks eighth in Colorado for overall health outcomes. The County Health Rankings ranks the overall health of nearly every county in all 50 states, using a standard method to measure how healthy people are and how long they live. The County Health Rankings are based on two sets of measures: health outcomes (length and quality of life); and health factors (health behaviors, access to and quality of clinical care, social and economic factors, and the physical environment). According to the County Health Rankings, areas to explore for Broomfield County includes 61 percent of our restaurants are fast food restaurants, 22 percent of Broomfield adults are obese, and 14 percent of Broomfield adults smoke. This information helps our community leaders identify where we are doing well and where improvement is needed to ensure that Broomfield is a healthy place to live, learn, work and play.

    September 19: Blue-green algae bloom warning at Brunner Reservoir
    The Brunner Reservoir has been experiencing a blue-green algae bloom over the past several weeks. Blue-green algae under the right conditions can produce a chemical toxin called Microcystin. It is recommended that all contact with the water in the reservoir be avoided until warning signs have been removed. 

    July 16, 2014: Broomfield Resident Tests Positive for Tularemia