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Archive for the ‘New Mexico’ Category

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month; New Mexico Proclaims February is Children’s Oral Health Month

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

Untitled by PublicDomainPictures is licensed under CC0.

red hands

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, raising awareness for parents and children about how to keep their smiles white and their teeth clean. Recognizing the importance of oral health, especially among children who need to create good habits, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez proclaimed February 2017 as Children’s Oral Health Month for the state.

New Mexico’s Office of Oral Health has been working with dental providers throughout the state to be able to ensure treatment for low-income and/or uninsured individuals.

The New Mexico Department of Health does have several recommendations to help keep your teeth clean:

  • Help kids develop good brushing and flossing habits
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Limit consumption of sugary beverages (the American Dental Association recommends only consuming these beverages with meals)
  • Limit snacks
  • Schedule regular dental visits

To read more about New Mexico’s Children’s Oral Health Month, please visit “The Importance of Good Dental Health.”

To read more about National Children’s Dental Health Month, please visit the American Dental Association’s website.

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Observe American Heart Month this February

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

Untitled by Tim Marshall is licensed under CC0.

red hands

A heart means more than just love this February—this month, the United States recognizes American Heart Month, shedding light on heart disease, the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S.; heart disease affects 1 in 4 Americans, and 1 in 3 American women.

The New Mexico Department of Health is just one organization that hopes it can raise awareness for the disease and the risks associated with it. In New Mexico, 4,000 people die annually from heart disease or stroke.

What’s important to know about heart disease is that it can be prevented. Well-known risk factors include high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, low physical activity, a poor diet, and obesity, among others. Additionally, heart disease risk increases with age, specifically if you’re over the age of 45, or if you have a family history of it.

To kick off American Heart Month, you can wear red tomorrow, Feb. 3 in honor National Wear Red Day.

To read more about American Hearth Month, please visit healthfinder.gov.

To read more about New Mexico’s initiatives for American Heart Month, please visit “New Mexicans Encouraged to Listen to Their Heart.”

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New Mexico Sees Four Cases of Whooping Cough

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Untitled by Mindy Olson P is licensed under CC0.

close up of eye

New Mexico is seeing its largest cluster of whooping cough cases in infants since 2013. So far, four infants from Eddy, Curry, Rio Arriba and San Juan have a confirmed case. The cases have all been reported in infants under six months old.

“Whooping cough is very contagious and can cause serious cough illness―especially in infants too young to be fully vaccinated,” said Department of Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher in a New Mexico Department of Health news release. “Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent your child from getting it.”

Whooping cough, scientifically known as pertussis, is highly contagious. It is characterized by uncontrollable, violent coughing, which often makes it hard to breathe, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. After a bout of coughing, the person often has to take large, deep breaths, creating the “whooping” sound. Anyone can get whooping cough, but it is extremely dangerous and can be fatal to those less than a year old.

Whooping cough is spread by coughing or sneezing, and those who are infected can be contagious for up to two weeks after the cough starts.

Whooping cough is best prevented by getting the vaccine. Infected persons can be treated through antibiotics—early diagnosis and treatment is very important.

To read more about whooping cough in New Mexico and how to prevent it, please visit the New Mexico Department of Health’s website.

To read more general information about whooping cough, please visit the CDC’s website.

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Curbing Overdose Deaths is a Priority for New Mexico

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

“Photo” by JeongGuHyeok is licensed under CC0.

Pills

Last year, the opioid epidemic was brought to the forefront of health issues facing Americans. It was announced that in 2014, more people died of drug overdoses than in any other year on record. In 2016, the Surgeon General also released a landmark report regarding addiction in America—it is the first of its kind.

In 2014, New Mexico was ranked 49th worst in the nation for drug overdose death rates. The New Mexico Department of Health recently announced that based on 2015 data released by the Centers for Disease Control, the state has improved to 42nd worst in the nation. New Mexico saw a 7 percent decrease in drug overdoses, while the country as a whole saw an increase of 11 percent.

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez has made curbing drug overdoses a major priority for the state. In 2016, she signed two important pieces of legislation to combat drug misuse and abuse. According to the NMDOH’s news release, they were as follows:

  • “SB 263 requires practitioners to check the Prescription Monitoring Program database when prescribing opioids. The database allows prescribers and pharmacists to check the controlled substance prescription history of their patients.
  • The Governor also signed legislation that increases the availability of naloxone, a medication that reverses opioid overdoses. Medicaid claims for naloxone among outpatient pharmacies in New Mexico increased 83 percent between the first three months (January-March) and the second three months (April-June) of 2016.”

To read more about how New Mexico is combating drug overdoses, please visit “Substantial Improvement in National Ranking for Overdose Deaths.”

For more information regarding the opioid epidemic, please visit the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website.

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New Mexico Sees Two More Cases of Hantavirus

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

“Photo” by My Name is licensed under CC0.

Mouse

New Mexico’s McKinley County recently announced it has confirmed two more cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. They are the seventh and eight cases of hantavirus confirmed in New Mexico this year. The 59-year-old man and 29-year-old woman diagnosed have been hospitalized.

Hantavirus is a disease carried by rodents and can be transmitted to humans through saliva, urine or droppings. People will often inhale the virus when cleaning up rodent droppings and nesting materials. In New Mexico, the primary culprit of hantavirus is the deer mouse, which carries the Sin Nombe virus, the hantavirus strain found in New Mexico.

Symptoms of hantavirus include fever, severe muscle aches and fatigue. Several days after contracting the virus, symptoms will also include headaches, dizziness, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain.

To prevent contracting the virus, keep mice and rats out of your home. Deer mice in particular can get through a hole that is the size of a dime, so check to make sure your home is secure. If you notice mouse or rat droppings, clean them up properly—don’t just sweep them up and risk inhaling them. Please visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Facts About Hantavirus” for specific instructions regarding this.

While it is possible for people with hantavirus to recover, four of the previous six people who contracted hantavirus this year in New Mexico died—it is a serious disease.

For more information about hantavirus in New Mexico, please visit the New Mexico Department of Health.

For more general information regarding hantavirus, please visit the CDC’s website.

 

 

SCR Regional Highlight: Stay Healthy This Holiday Season by Remaining Active at Holiday Outings!

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Photos by NM BioPark Society.

River of Lights - Holiday Light Show

Stay Healthy This Holiday Season by Remaining Active at Holiday Outings!

With the holidays quickly approaching, many of us may be dreaming of family gatherings with big family dinners to follow. And while it’s always nice to indulge every once in a while, you should also remember to remain physically active—even during the holidays!

Remaining active doesn’t have to mean leaving your loved ones to head to the gym though, there are many festive activities that will keep you in the holiday spirit, surrounded by family while still being active.

One event is the River of Lights—Holiday Light Show at the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden in Albuquerque, the largest walk-through holiday production in New Mexico! It is open from 6 to 9:30 p.m. through Dec. 23, and then again from Dec. 26 through Dec. 30. This year is the 20th Annual River of Lights and features new sculptures, and a new light show set to a variety of classic and contemporary holiday music favorites.

Walking daily has many benefits. Just like any aerobic activity, it reduces your risk of early death, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and depression. Additionally, walking an hour per day can lower your risk of some types of cancer! Perhaps even after the holidays you’ll consider a daily walk as part of your exercise routine!

For more tips on how to stay active and healthy during the holiday season, please see 12 Ways to Have a Health Holiday Season from the CDC.

To learn more about the River of Lights, please visit the City of Albuquerque’s website.

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Written by Sara Goodwin, NN/LM SCR

Three New Mexico Counties See Shigellosis

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

“Photo” by geralt is licensed under CC0.

Bacteria

The New Mexico Department of Health just reported Tuesday that counties Lea, Chaves, and Eddy have all seen an outbreak of bacterial disease shigellosis.

Shigellosis is a diarrheal disease that causes about 500,000 cases of diarrhea annually. Other symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting, cramps and toxemia. Oftentimes, diarrhea will contain blood or mucus.

Since May of this year, NMDOH has seen 140 confirmed and probable cases of shigellosis, often among school-aged children, but officials believe the disease may be affecting a wider community.

Shigellosis is extremely contagious and infected persons can have bacteria in their stool for up to a month after the diarrhea has subsided. It can be spread by people not washing their hands well after using the bathroom, caretakers changing an infant’s diaper and not taking care to wash their hands properly, swallowing recreational water (for example from a pool) that has been contaminated, or exposure to feces through sexual contact.

NMDOH is urging anyone who is experiencing symptoms of shigellosis to get tested.

For more information about the shigellosis outbreak in New Mexico, please visit the New Mexico Department of Health’s website.

For more general information about shigellosis, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

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NN/LM SCR Introduces Our Emerging Technologies Coordinator: Brian Leaf

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

brian-leaf

The NN/LM SCR is pleased to welcome Brian Leaf to the RML. Brian will serve as the Emerging Technologies Coordinator and also as the liaison to the States of Louisiana and New Mexico.

Prior to working for the South Central Region, Brian served as the Instructional Design Librarian at The Ohio State University (OSU) for the past five years. While there, he contributed to a variety of instructional projects, facilitated workshops for faculty/staff/students, and served as a consultant on pedagogical issues. In this role, he also worked across departments to enhance teaching and learning, which included anything from revising an instructional grant program to producing educational multimedia works for exhibits. Last but not least, he helped lead and grow the interdisciplinary OSU Digital Storytelling Program through outreach and program development.

Brian completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Washington in Seattle and graduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During his time in Chapel Hill, he worked as a graduate research assistant to Dr. Joanne Marshall and had the opportunity to help with the Value of Library and Information Services in Patient Care study.

In 2013, he was awarded the OSU University Libraries Teaching Excellence Annual Award for his work redesigning credit courses offered through the library. He is also an alumni of the American Library Association’s 2010 Spectrum Leadership Institute as well as the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Career Enhancement Program. Currently, he serves on the Executive Board of the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association.

Brian is very excited to join the NN/LM SCR in enhancing public health and access to health information.

Contact Brian at Brian.Leaf@unthsc.edu or 817-735-2169

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Three New Mexicans Diagnosed with West Nile Virus

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

“Photo” by FotoshopTofs is licensed under CC0.

MosquitoToday we’re talking mosquitoes and diseases again, but this time, not Zika-related. Instead we are focusing on West Nile virus.

Within the last month, three New Mexican men were diagnosed with the virus. All three developed neuroinvasive disease and were hospitalized. The three men were from Bernalillo, Doña Ana, McKinley Counties, and are the third, fourth, and fifth cases of West Nile virus contracted in New Mexico this year.

Only about 44,000 cases of West Nile virus have been reported in the U.S. since 1999, and of those, only 1 in 5 people will develop symptoms. So far in 2016, only two states in the U.S. have not reported any cases of West Nile virus: North Carolina and Maine.

While there is a limited number of cases reported, know that West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes may still be circulating in your state. “West Nile virus may still be circulating in New Mexico until mosquito activity ceases after the first hard frost,” according to the New Mexico Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Designate Lynn Gallagher.

We encourage everyone to take precautions against West Nile virus and mosquitos until the first hard frost in your areas.

Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to protect yourself from mosquitos:

• Use insect repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol
• Wear long sleeves, pants, and socks, weather permitting, to physically protect yourself
• Be aware of peak mosquito biting hours, which are at dawn and dusk

To read more about West Nile virus in New Mexico, please visit “Additional West Nile Virus Cases in New Mexico in 2016.”

To read more about West Nile virus from the CDC, please visit the CDC’s website.

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New Mexico Resource Library: Mid-year Highlights

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

October 31 was the end of our second fiscal quarter. We are now halfway through the 2015-2016 contract year! Our wonderful New Mexico Resource Library, the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Library & Informatics Center has had a productive outreach year thus far. Just a few of UNM’s outreach activities so far this year include:

  • UNM librarians presented the NN/LM SCR funded project and presentation “Good Information for Good Health: A Collaboration to Educate Unaffiliated Community Health Care Practioners about Patient Information Resources through Online Continuing Education,” at MLA ’15 Librarians Without Limits, May 18, 2015, Austin, TX. Patricia V. Bradley, AHIP, Gale G. Hannigan, AHIP, Eliot Knight, and William F. Rayburn.
  • UNM Outreach Contact Patricia Bradley participates in several regularly scheduled meetings including the Tribal Health Connections-Trusted Information for Native Communities conference call, UNM Hospital’s Health Literacy Task Force, and the Health Science Center Native American Alliance for Community Health and Wellness Group whose mission is “Working together with Southwest Native American Communities and the UNM to create policy in the areas of health care, research, and education to improve health while protecting and respecting traditional values and indigenous wisdom.”
  • UNM has a state-wide service mission and HSLIC maintains a Distance Services webpage that describes the services provided to the state of New Mexico.