Denver Public Health | News
Influenza (Flu) Vaccine
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs. Unlike many other viral respiratory infections, like the common cold, the flu can cause severe and even life-threatening complications in many people. The influenza vaccine is the single most essential step people can take to protect themselves and others against infection.
Denver Public Health Receives National Award, Named 2013 Local Health Department of the Year
Denver Public Health is honored to be named a 2013 Local Health Department of the Year by the National Association of County and City Health Officials, whose membership consists of 2,800 local government health departments across the United States.
This award recognizes and honors outstanding accomplishments of local health departments across the country for their innovation, creativity, and impact on communities.
Denver Public Health was selected as the winner for public health departments serving a population of 500,000 and above for its use of innovative, technology-based approaches that promote the health and well-being of Denver residents.
Protect Yourself against West Nile Virus
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported the state's first human case of West Nile virus in 2013 just before the July 4th holiday weekend, when many residents will be enjoying the outdoors. West Nile Virus is a potentially serious disease carried by mosquitoes. There is no West Nile Virus vaccine, but you can prevent it by avoiding mosquito bites.
- Use insect repellent containing DEET (less than 35% DEET for adults and less than 15% DEET for children).
- Wear long-sleeve shirts and pants when mosquitoes may be present.
Be extra careful outside during peak mosquito hours from dusk to dawn. Wear long sleeves, insect repellent and avoid going outside during these hours if possible.
You can learn more about West Nile Virus by visiting FightTheBiteColorado.com.
Pertussis in Denver
Pertussis (whooping cough) is still up in Denver and Colorado. Denver Public Health tracks updated statistics on pertussis. In 2012, there were 219 cases of pertussis and there have been more than twice as many cases in 2013 as in an average year. Most cases are seen in infants and young children who often experience the most severe illness.
For more information, watch Bill Burman, director of Denver Public Health, discuss pertussis on 9News, or read more about what you can do to protect yourself, including getting the Pertussis vaccination.
Colorado Confirms 12 Suspected Hepatitis A Cases Associated with Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend Frozen Berries
Denver Public Health, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and federal agencies are investigating an outbreak of Hepatitis A associated with Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berries purchased from Costco. This blend includes cherries, blueberries, pomegranate seeds, raspberries and strawberries.
Everyone is advised to throw these berries in the trash if you have them. Do not eat the berries.
If you have eaten the berries in the last 14 days, Denver Public Health encourages you to see your doctor or health department for a vaccine. If you do not have a doctor, vaccines are available through our Immunization Clinic.
Have questions? Read our information sheet on Hepatitis A (also available in Spanish). Additional information for providers regarding this investigation is available through the Denver Center for Public Health Preparedness.
Hepatitis C: Denver's Hidden Epidemic
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 3.2 million Americans are infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), most of whom don't know they have been infected. Baby boomers (individuals born between 1945 and 1965) are disproportionately affected by hepatitis C, possibly due to exposure through blood products or the occasional use of injection drugs. The CDC recommends that all baby boomers be tested for hepatitis C at least once.
Who should get tested for Hepatitis C? Anyone who:
- Was born between 1945 and 1965.
- Has ever injected drugs, even once.
- Has had unprotected sexual contact with someone with hepatitis C.
- Received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992.
- Received a tattoo or piercing in a questionable setting or from an unlicensed body artist.
FREE testing is always available at Denver Public Health's Denver Metro Health Clinic and at Hep C Connection.
Want to learn more about who's affected by Hepatitis C and how it's treated? Read the May issue of Denver Vital Signs for information specific to Denver residents.
Focusing on Alcohol Exposure during Pregnancy
The March 2013 Issue (English Version / Spanish Version) of Denver Vital Signs (Spanish Version) focuses on a key public health problem during the reproductive years: alcohol-exposured pregnancy. Alcohol use by women and girls negatively impacts their health, and alcohol is the leading preventable cause of neurocognitive defects in children. About half of all pregnancies in Colorado are unintended, and many women do not know they are pregnant during the critical first weeks of pregnancy when drinking alcohol damages the development of the baby’s brain.
Dr. Bob Belknap Becomes Director of the Denver Metro Tuberculosis (TB) Clinic
Dr. Bob Belknap has been appointed director of the Denver Metro TB Clinic at Denver Public Health. He succeeds Dr. Randall Reves who retired in February after leading the TB control program for more than 20 years and helping it become one of the best programs of its kind in the United States.
Dr. Belknap is one of the premier TB clinicians in the country, as well as a leading TB researcher, overseeing our participation in the CDC-sponsored TB Trials Consortium and the TB Epidemiologic Studies Consortium. He is well known among patients in Denver as a kind, knowledgeable and caring physician. Visit the TB Clinic website to learn more about the TB control services provided at Denver Public Health.
Council District Level Health Reports
Denver Public Health and Denver Environmental Health recently released reports on the health of Denver’s residents within each City Council district. These reports document substantial disparities in a variety of health outcomes, such as premature death, teen birth, availability of health insurance, and use of tobacco. We hope these district-level reports help policy-makers and citizens work toward eliminating health disparities within Denver.
Denver Public Schools and Denver Public Health announced the initial results of the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey for Denver at a meeting at Del Pueblo School on Thursday, August 9th. Denver Public Schools surveyed nearly 17,000 middle- and high-school students. This survey will provide invaluable baseline data on attitudes about school, relationships with key adults, and health behaviors.
Denver Public Health received a "Model Practice Award" at the 2012 Annual conference of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).
Patients of Cherry Creek and Highland's Ranch oral surgeon advised to get tested for HIV and hepatitis due to unsafe injection practices.
Denver International Airport moves to becoming smoke free.