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  • Writer's pictureDr. Clifford Brown

West Nile in Custer County

1. FDA notification:

On Wednesday, the FDA issued a Safety Alert to advise restaurants and retailers not to serve or sell and consumers not to eat certain cultured mussels from East River Shellfish, Inc. due to a possible salmonella and E. coli contamination.

Caution against online or phone requests of medical history/information

New malware program (dubbed the Infamous Chisel) from the Russian group Sandworm has surfaced. Medical records are at risk, so efforts to protect the US are in effect. Constant attacks are developed in an attempt to compromise our military, but these programs have been used to access medical information of our citizenry that can then be used to blackmail and pressure our citizens into providing a wide variety of information that can then be used to compromise our country's defenses.

Caution is to be exercised by our residents if any queries ask for health information concerning our personal or other's personal medical conditions, medications, etc.

National Preparedness Month (NPM)

NPM is an initiative sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), part of the US Department of Homeland Security.

This year’s theme is: “Preparing for older adults: Take control in 1, 2, 3.” The focus will be on preparing older adults for disasters, specifically older adults from communities that are disproportionately impacted by all-hazard events. Older adults can face greater risks when it comes to the multitude of extreme weather events and emergencies, especially if they are living alone, are low-income, have a disability, or live in rural areas. For more information on this year’s campaign, please visit There are many ways to prepare and reduce risks from contamination, leaks, spills, hazardous materials, and other dangers such as fires, flooding or tornadoes.

World Rabies Day is September 28 World Rabies Day is approaching. Since people, pets, and livestock can get rabies from animal bites (or, rarely, from infected saliva getting into their eyes, nose,mouth or an open wound) it is important for all of us to not only remember, but practice safety measures when we come into contact with any wildlife (dead or alive): 1. Do not feed, touch, or adopt wild animals, and be cautious of stray dogs and cats no matter how "cute and cuddly" they may appear.

Rabid animals do not always appear vicious!

2. Teach children to leave wildlife alone. Be sure your child knows to tell you if an animal bites or scratches them.

3. Have your veterinarian (or local animal shelter) vaccinate your pets and livestock against rabies. Keep their vaccinations up to date.

4. Tightly close garbage cans and feed bins. Open trash and feed bags attract wild or stray animals to your home or yard.

5. Feed your pets indoors; never leave pet food outside as this attracts wildlife.

6. Keep outdoor pets in a fenced yard.

7. Avoid all contact with bats, especially bats found on the ground. If you find a bat on

the ground, don’t touch it. Report the bat and its location to your local health department, the sheriff's office, and call your healthcare provider right away if an animal bites you.

FEMA and FCC Plan Nationwide Emergency Alert Test Oct. 4, 12:20 pm MT Test messages will be sent to all tvs, radios and cell phones. FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)

The purpose of the Oct. 4 test is to ensure that the systems continue to be effective means of warning the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national level. In case the Oct. 4 test is postponed due to widespread severe weather or other significant events, the backup testing date is Oct. 11.

Public Health officials announced Pueblo County’s first human case of West Nile virus. On Wednesday last week Custer County had another confirmed case of WNV. “West Nile virus can be serious,” stated Alicia Solis, program manager at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment. Solis added, “It is very important for every individual to take precautions to avoid mosquitoes that spread West Nile virus illness.” West Nile virus develops in the human body within 5-14 days after a bite from an infected mosquito. West Nile virus can be serious including fever, meningitis, encephalitis, and have potential for causing long-term illness and disability. West Nile virus can affect any age group, but infants and those over 70 years of age are particularly at risk

for the life-threatening disease .

Custer County has sadly been included in the list of counties that has experienced a death

from WNV. Please take this virus and warning seriously.


Respectfully, Clifford Brown, OD, MPH, FAAO(D) CAPT/USPHS (Ret) Director of Public Health Custer County

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