Health Notes: We’re No. 1 — for tick-borne diseasesNorthland counties are among the top 100 in the country in incidences of tick-borne diseases, a private company’s analysis shows.
By: Compiled by John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
Northland counties are among the top 100 in the country in incidences of tick-borne diseases, a private company’s analysis shows.
Douglas and Carlton counties each are among the top 100, while St. Louis County is among the 100 counties in which tick-borne diseases are fastest-growing, the analysis released this month by Lymeez LLC said.
The company, which manufactures clothing designed to discourage tick bites, had a proprietary interest in knowing where tick-related diseases were prevalent but couldn’t find up-to-date data, it said in a news release. It modeled its analysis from a Yale School of Public Health study on Lyme disease risk that used 2004-05 data, using data from 2011. It also looked at all tick-borne illnesses, not just Lyme disease.
The highest rates continue to be in New England and the Upper Midwest, the company found, with Wisconsin and Minnesota leading the way.
Between studies, Lyme disease grew at a rate of 12 percent in Wisconsin and 6 percent in Minnesota, the news release said. But it’s not all Lyme disease; in Minnesota, non-Lyme diseases make up 27 percent of the tick total, it said.
Strangely enough, Lymeez is based in Lyme, N.H.
State gains on infant child-care deaths
The numbers are small, but Minnesota may have turned a corner in deaths of infants in child care.
No infant deaths occurred in child care facilities in the state during the last half of 2012, the Minnesota Department of Human Services said in a news release.
That came after an increase of such deaths from an average of six a year before 2006 to more than 11 in both 2010 and 2011, the news release said. Six more deaths occurred during the first four months of 2012.
The state responded with efforts to raise child care providers’ awareness of safe-sleep practices and stepped up enforcement of rules, the news release said. The deaths that occurred were predominantly in family child care settings and related to unsafe sleep practices.
To date, one infant death in child care has been reported this year, the news release said.
DECC to host rural health conference
Duluth will be home to the Minnesota Rural Health Conference again this year.
The conference, co-sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Health, the Minnesota Rural Health Association and the National Rural Health Resource Center, will take place June 24-25 at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.
The 2012 conference, also at the DECC, drew more than 450 participants, including rural hospital staff and volunteers, rural health professionals, state legislators, state and local public health staff, students and educators.
More information is online at: https://secure.ruralcenter.org/conference/
St. Luke’s gets a +
St. Luke’s hospital has been recognized as a center of excellence for hip and knee replacements.
The notice came from Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the Eagan, Minn.-based health insurance company. It designated St. Luke’s a Blue Distinction Center+, the hospital said in a news release.
Making it a SNAP
A Minnesota agency has simplified the process senior citizens use to apply for access to healthy food.
The Minnesota Department of Health Services announced on Wednesday it had launched a one-page application for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Minnesotans age 60 or older.
Previously, senior citizens had to fill out a combined application for food, cash and health-care benefits. That form still is required for those younger than 60, a Department of Health Services news release said.
Michele Kimball, AARP Minnesota state director, said she hoped the simplified process would entice more seniors to get the food assistance they need.
At the end of 2012, only 50.5 percent of Minnesota seniors eligible for SNAP were accessing it, the news release. In all, more than 500,000 Minnesotans are on SNAP.
Seniors interested in applying should contact their county social service agency.