The Stickney Public Health District would like to remind residents to stay safe when bats are near. Rabies is perhaps the most well known disease associated with bats, however several highly fatal diseases have been linked to them. An exposure to rabies most commonly occurs when a person is bitten by a rabid animal. It can also be transmitted when the saliva from a rabid animal comes in contact with a person’s mouth, eyes, nose, or a fresh wound. Even if you don’t think you were bitten, but find a bat in your home, this can be considered an exposure.
Take these precautions to help minimize the risk of exposure to bats and their diseases:
When a person is exposed to rabies, timely administration of a vaccine called post-exposure prophylaxis can prevent infection. If you are bitten by a bat immediately wash the bite site with plenty of soap and lots of running water for a minimum of 10 minutes and seek medical attention immediately. If you were exposed to, or bitten by a bat, contact your doctor.
Always remember do not handle bats. If you find one living in your home, if you find one dead on your property, or in the instance of a bat bite notify: Stickney Township Animal Control (708) 424-9200 Ext. 2187. To get more information about rabid bats please visit www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/rabies/ or www.batcon.org/rabies.
“We recommend people get a flu shot by the end of October, if possible. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for the body’s immune response to fully respond and for you to be protected,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. “Protection from the flu vaccine typically lasts a year for most people, so if you get a flu shot now, it will still be effective for the duration of the flu season, which can last as late as May.” The flu season typically begins in October and peaks between December and March. The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that can cause mild to severe illness. Serious cases of flu can result in hospitalization or death.
Getting a flu shot can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. The more people who get vaccinated, the more people will be protected from flu, especially those who may not be able to be vaccinated, such as babies under six months. Anyone can get the flu, even healthy people. Getting a flu shot is the first and most important step in protecting you and those around you against flu viruses.
Flu symptoms can include fever or feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headache, tiredness, and some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults. Flu is typically spread by droplets when someone with the flu talks, coughs, or sneezes. People can also get the flu by touching something, like a door handle, that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, eyes, or nose.
On average, it’s about two days after being exposed to the flu before symptoms begin. However, you can pass the flu to someone roughly a day before you start experiencing those symptom, and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. In addition to getting a flu shot, IDPH recommends following the 3 C’s: clean, cover, and contain.
Influenza antiviral drugs can be a second line of defense for treatment of some who get sick with the flu. Many observational studies have found that in addition to lessening the duration and severity of symptoms, antiviral drugs can prevent flu complications. Because it is important to start antiviral medication quickly, high-risk patients should contact a health care professional at the first signs of influenza symptoms, which include sudden onset of fever, aches, chills, and tiredness.
To find a location to get a flu shot in your community, check with your health care provider or local health department.
Rabies is a virus that affects the nervous system in humans and other mammals. A person may contract rabies through a bite, scratch, or saliva from an infected animal. A bat bite or scratch may not be seen or even felt by the injured person due to the small size of its teeth and claws. A potential rabies exposure should never be taken lightly. If untreated, rabies is fatal.
“If you find yourself in close proximity to a bat, dead or alive, do not touch, hit or destroy it and do not try and remove it from your home,” said CCDPH Chief Operating Officer Terry Mason, MD, FACS. “Call your local animal control office to collect the bat and call your healthcare provider or local public health department immediately to report the exposure and determine if preventive treatment is needed. If the bat is available for testing and test results are negative, preventive treatment is not needed.”
Animals do not have to be aggressive or behaving erratically to have rabies. Changes in any animal’s normal behavior can be early signs of rabies. Bats that are on the ground, unable to fly, or active during the day are more likely than others to be rabid. Such bats are often easily approached but should never be handled.
Recommendations to help prevent the spread of rabies:
Keep vaccinations up-to-date for all dogs, cats, ferrets and other animals you own. To find low cost Cook County Animal Control clinics, visit: https://www.cookcountyil.gov/agency/animal-and-rabies-control-0
For more information about rabies, visit: http://www.idph.state.il.us/public/hb/hbrabies.htm.
Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI). 50% of men and 80% of women infected with Chlamydia may have no symptoms. Even when Chlamydia causes no symptoms, it can damage your reproductive system. If you do have symptoms, they may not appear until several weeks after you have sex with an infected partner. The only way to know for sure if you have an STI is to get yourself tested. A simple urine test is an accurate way to determine if an STI is present.
Chlamydia can be cured with the right treatment. It is important that you take all of the medication your doctor prescribes to cure your infection. When taken properly it will stop the infection and could decrease your chances of having complications later on. Medication for Chlamydia should not be shared with anyone. You should not have sex again until you and your sex partner(s) have completed treatment. If your doctor prescribes a single dose of medication, you should wait seven days after taking the medicine before having sex. If your doctor prescribes a medicine for you to take for seven days, you should wait until you have taken all of the doses before having sex.
It is very important for individuals diagnosed with Chlamydia or any STI to inform their sex partners of their potential exposure. Re-infection will reoccur if sex partners are not treated for the infection. Since informing partners can be difficult, the Health Department has specially trained staff members who can help notify partners anonymously. Repeat infection with Chlamydia is common. You should be tested again about three months after you are treated, even if your sex partner(s) was treated.
To decrease the risk of Chlamydia or other sexually transmitted infections:
Individuals wanting Chlamydia or other sexually transmitted infection information or screening, may contact their primary care provider. The Stickney Public Health Department also offers information on testing sites. If you need further information, please contact Stickney Public Health District at 708-424-9200 and ask to speak with the Public Health Nursing Department.
To learn more about Chlamydia and the risk behaviors for the infection, visit CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/std
The Little Company of Mary Health Education Center offers Wake Up Call Screenings one Saturday each month from 7:30 am-noon. This one hour comprehensive screening for stroke and heart attack could save your life! Includes CBC, chemistry panel, cholesterol panel, thyroid level, liver enzymes and more. Ultrasound of the abdominal aorta and carotid arteries, peripheral vascular screening, heart rhythm screening for atrial fibrillation. NEW this year!!! Screening for metabolic syndrome. Includes personalized visit with the wellness nurse educator. Fee $155 (value $4,000). By appointment only. Payment required at time of registration. First appointment at 7:30 am. To register and for more information call 708 423-5774.
Since 1946, the Stickney Public Health District has provided community-based public health services to the residents of Stickney Township. Our service area includes the City of Burbank, the Villages of Stickney and Forest View, unincorporated areas of Central Stickney and Nottingham Park, and parts of the Village of Bridgeview (east of Harlem Avenue). We are focused on making Stickney Township a healthy place to live and work.
Aligned with our mission, the Stickney Public Health District has goals to promote physical activity and healthy eating; reduce obesity; and decrease the level of untreated high blood pressure in our community. We work together with many partners --- community-based organizations, schools, senior homes to name a few – to develop and implement programs and initiatives that make healthy living easier for our residents.Visit the Cook County Public Health website for more information concerning the Healthy Hotspot program.
The Cook County Department of Public Health is asking suburban Cook County adults, ages 18 years and older, for information about conditions in our communities that support health. Conditions that support health include: affordable housing, health services, job opportunities, good schools, public transportation, recreation, community safety, and more.
Answering a few questions can help the health department and our partners improve your community's health. The survey takes about 15 minutes and is available in English and Spanish.