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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Measles Are Back, County Seeks Tick Kit Mini Grant

Issue Date: June 13, 2019

Measles are making a big comeback in the United States, but so far there have been no cases reported in Marinette County, the Marinette County Health and Human Services Board was informed by Public Health Nurse Mary Inglese at its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, June 5. Inglese, who normally works from the Health Office branch in Niagara, was filling in at the meeting for Public Heath Officer Mollie Bonjean, who is on temporary leave.

She said measles had been obliterated in this country since 1992, but now are making a big comeback. There have been 981 confirmed cases in 26 states, but none so far in Wisconsin. She said they are urging people to get vaccinated, because measles will be coming here soon.

Inglese also reported that deer ticks and wood ticks have become an increasing problem in Marinette County and many other parts of Wisconsin. In an effort to help Wisconsin residents to take steps to prevent tick-borne diseases, the the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Vectorborne Program has developed a tick removal kit that includes a waterproof pouch with a clip to go on a backpack or belt loop; a card that describes contents; a tick safety guide that includes images of ticks found in Wisconsin, bite prevention tips and instructions for correctly removing a tick; an insect repellent wipe containing DEET, a high-quality, fine-tipped metal tweezers that make it easier to grip a tick close to the skin; a small plastic bag for storing a tick after it has been removed; an alcohol swab to clean the bite area after a tick has been removed, and a bandage to cover the bite site. It also has an informational card on "The tick App," which is a smartphone app that allows individuals to share information about activities and tick encounters to help the department learn more about ticks and how to prevent their bites.

Inglese said the kits are intended to help spread information about ticks and make the public more aware of the importance of tick checks and tick removal following outdoor activities. She said Lyme disease cases are increasing in Marinette County, making it ever more important to pay attention to ticks and tick bites.

She said last year the Marinette County Health Department made similar kits themselves and gave 250 of then to kids in various groups. "They were highly accepted last year by all groups," she said.

The state will be giving away 2,000 of its kits this year through a micro grant program that allows up to 500 tick removal kits per jurisdiction. The board unanimously approved a request from Inglese that the Marinette County Health office be authorized to apply for one of the micro grants. Board members suggested County parks workers should have the kits in their vehicles at all times, and Inglese agreed that is a good idea.

Health and Human Services Director Robin Elsner gave the board a preview of the annual report he will present at the Marinette County Board meeting on Tuesday, June 25.

Pointing out the multiple responsibilities of the department, Elsner noted 27 percent of their budget is from the local tax levy and the remainder comes from various grants and charges for services.

Some of the highlights of the report include that the Aging and Disability Resource Center has a loan closet from which individuals who need specialized equipment like wheel chairs can get them at no charge, with the only stipulation being that when they no longer need them they are either returned to the loan closet or passed along to someone else who needs them. The equipment is cleaned by juveniles in the Work Restitution program before being re-loaned to other users.

Elsner reported there are six juveniles now at Share Academy in the Town of Peshtigo and the Advocates program there is going well. He hopes to have two other juveniles moved there from current high cost placements before the end of the year. Marinette County has subcontracted at least two spaces at Share Academy to Sheboygan County. Committee members were eager to see the refurbished Share Academy, and tentative plans were made to go there after the Board meeting in August. Elsner said County Facilities Director Marty Keyport and his crew did a good job cleaning up and fixing up the former county "Crossroads" juvenile group home before it reopened a few months ago as Share Academy. "They made it into a really, really nice facility," he said.

He said over the Memorial Day weekend the Oshkosh Mental Health facility had 46 admissions, and four of them were from Marinette County.

Elsner said they are training HHS staff in Trauma Care. Training in the Life Point needle exchange program was completed in April and they are looking at approximately two months of office renovation to be complete before the program can officially begin, the committee was told.

A $1,500 grant for purchase of car seats was received from Tri-City United Way.


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