“We continue to see new cases of individuals experiencing severe bleeding after using synthetic cannabinoids,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. “Like so many other drugs, synthetic cannabinoids are addictive and people are not able to give them up. Alternatively, they think that it won’t happen to them because they know their dealer or trust wherever they purchased the drugs. If you know someone who uses synthetic cannabinoids, tell them these are deadly products and try to help them get treatment.”
Individuals who have been sickened by the synthetic cannabinoids have reported coughing up blood, blood in the urine, severe bloody nose, bleeding gums, and/or internal bleeding. A chemical found in rat poison, brodifacoum, prevents blood from clotting, resulting in severe bleeding. High doses of vitamin K, up to 30 tablets a day for up to six months, can help restore the blood’s ability to clot.
Because of the large amount of vitamin K needed, the long duration of treatment, and costs up to thousands of dollars per patient, IDPH started discussions with key stakeholders to find a solution with no financial burden on patients. IDPH recently received a massive donation of nearly 800,000 tablets of vitamin K from the Bausch Foundation and Valeant Pharmaceuticals. This donation will allow every individual who has experienced severe bleeding to receive lifesaving treatment free of charge.
Synthetic cannabinoids are human-made, mind-altering chemicals that are sprayed on to dried plant material. These chemicals are called cannabinoids because they act on the same brain cell receptors as the main active ingredient in marijuana. The health effects from using synthetic cannabinoids can be unpredictable, harmful, and deadly.
People should not use synthetic cannabinoids, but if they have used these drugs and have severe, unexplained bleeding or bruising, call 911 or take them to the nearest emergency room.
More information is available at the IDPH website.
Information collected to date indicates that romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region could be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 and could make people sick. At this time, no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified. However, the investigation now not only encompasses chopped romaine lettuce, but all romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona region.
One case linked to the outbreak has been identified in Illinois. To date, 53 other cases have been reported in 16 states with 31 hospitalizations and no deaths. The central Illinois resident reported consuming chopped romaine lettuce before illness onset.
Consumers in Illinois who have store-bought romaine lettuce at home, including salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce, should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick.
If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away. Before purchasing romaine lettuce at a grocery store or eating it at a restaurant, consumers should confirm with the store or restaurant that it is not romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. If you cannot confirm the source of the romaine lettuce, do not buy it or eat it.
Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce, from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.
Restaurants and retailers should ask their suppliers about the source of their chopped romaine lettuce.
People usually get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli 2 to 8 days after swallowing the germ. Most people infected with E. coli develop diarrhea (often bloody), severe stomach cramps, and vomiting. Most people recover within one week although some illnesses can be more severe, resulting in a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
Talk to your health care provider if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection and report your illness to your local health department. You can also write down what you ate in the week before you started to get sick and talk to public health investigators if they have questions about your illness.
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.
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.