West Nile Virus Update

Mosquito Pool in Gage County Tests Positive for West Nile Virus

Nebraska DHHS has reported that a mosquito pool collected in Gage County has tested positive for West Nile Virus. This is the first report of a positive mosquito pool in the PHS district this season.

West Nile Virus (WNV) is most commonly transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV. Fortunately, most people infected with the virus do not have symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever and other symptoms. About 1 in 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness. To date, PHS has confirmed two cases of neuro-invasive WNN in the district and one blood donor has screened positive for the virus.

Late summer is typically when we see increased cases of WNV in our area. Taking steps to prevent mosquito bites remains the best defense against West Nile Virus.

* Use insect repellent containing Deet when you are outdoors

* Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants & socks when outdoors

* Avoid going out at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active

* Eliminate standing water around your homes and in the community

If you have questions regarding West Nile virus or mosquito prevention, please contact Public Health Solutions at 402-826-3880 or email Kate Lange.

PHS Working to Lower Blood Lead Levels

PHS Working with Families and Health Care Providers to Lower Blood Lead Levels in Children with Lead Poisoning

In recent months, PHS has received funding from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to educate the public about the harmful effects of lead and to work with families and health care providers to lower blood lead levels in children with lead poisoning. According to public health nurse, Kate Lange, RN, BSN, “Protecting children from exposure to lead is important to life-long good health. There is no known identified safe blood lead level. Exposure to lead can seriously harm a child’s health and increase their risk for damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems, and hearing and speech problems.

Health care providers routinely test children for lead poisoning at 12 and 24 months of age. When a child’s blood lead level is 5 ug/dL or higher, actions to both help prevent further exposure to lead and to lower the amount of lead in the blood are started. The new grant funding allows for a community health worker (CHW) to contact parents and provide education on:

* possible sources of lead in the child’s environment,

* the importance of a healthy diet high in calcium, iron, and vitamin c,

* cleaning methods to decrease lead in the home,

* the importance of good hand washing, especially before meals, and

* guidelines for repeat testing

In addition, a public health nurse collaborates with:

* the child’s primary care provider to assure follow-up testing is done on time, and

* the DHHS Lead Poisoning Program to schedule a home inspection for children with blood lead levels of 10 ug/dL or higher.

“We are excited to work with families and to teach the public about the harmful effects of lead”, says Jennifer Banos, CHW with the PHS Lead Program.

To learn more about lead poisoning prevention, contact Jennifer Banos, or Kate Lange, at 402-826-3880 or go to www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/

Nitrate Violation Alert!


A Nitrate Violation Notice has been issued for users of the Village of Steele City, Nebraska Public Water Supply System. Nitrate was measured at 14 milligrams per liter on a sample collected on August 10, 2017. Parents are advised that Infants who are six months or younger, nursing mothers, and pregnant women should not consume Steele City water until further notice. In accord with State protocol, the Village of Steele City will offer an alternate source of water for infants who are six months or younger, nursing mothers, and pregnant women until the nitrates on the public water system are reduced below 10 mg/1.

Children who drink water with high nitrates can become seriously ill and die if their sickness goes untreated. Shortness of breath and blue baby syndrome are symptoms of drinking water with high nitrate levels.  Pregnant woman who drink the high nitrate tap water are told to consult with a doctor.

Water, juice and formula for children under six months should not be prepared with Steele City Tap water while this notice is in effect. Do not boil, freeze or let water stand in an effort to reduce nitrates. These actions will further concentrate nitrate levels.

Non-pregnant adults and children older than 6 months may drink Steele City tap water. Nitrate in drinking water can come from natural, industrial, and/or agricultural sources so the levels can vary throughout the year.

Contact the Village of Steele City for information regarding the status of the water system and the availability of alternate water sources.

Suicide PreventionTraining Available to the Public!

Community stakeholders will be certified and trained as QPR (Question. Persuade. Refer) gatekeepers. The 90-minute QPR Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention program teaches people how to recognize suicide-warning signs, ask about suicide, and persuade people to accept professional help. As a universal intervention for troubled youth and others, QPR has been taught to more than two million people worldwide. Below are the free QPR (Gatekeepers) Suicide Prevention Training details.

Target Audience: Middle and High School Students and Adults working in those settings.

Where: Beatrice Public Library, 100 N. 16th Street, Beatrice

Why: To help prevent suicide

Time: 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Date: Wednesday, August 9th, 2017


This event is sponsored by: Beatrice Public Library, Public health Solutions District Health Department, and Region V Systems.

Funding supported by: SAMSHA Grant # 1U79SMO61741-01, NE DHHS/Division of Behavioral Health, and Region V Systems

Water Warning for Steele City, NE

A water warning has been issued by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services for residents of the Village of Steele City. Parents are advised that Infants who are six months or younger, nursing mothers, and pregnant women should not consume Village of Steele City water until further analyses indicate that nitrate levels throughout the system do not exceed 10 mg/l. The water should not be used to make anything to drink for the infants, including juice or formula. While some water conditions can be eliminated by boiling water, parents are being warned not to boil the water.  Boiling, freezing, or letting water stand does not reduce the nitrate level. Instead it can make nitrates more concentrated, because nitrates remain behind when the water evaporates.
Children who are exposed to high nitrates could become seriously ill and die if their sickness goes untreated. Shortness of breath and blue baby syndrome are symptoms of drinking water with high nitrate levels.  Pregnant woman who drink the high nitrate tap water are told to consult with a doctor.
Please contact the Village of Steele City for information regarding alternate water sources.


Warmer Days Bring Ticks to Nebraska

Ticks are generally found near the ground, in brushy or wooded areas. They can’t jump or fly. Instead, they climb tall grasses or shrubs and wait for you to brush against them. When this happens, they climb on and seek a site for attachment. Ticks can cause a number of diseases and some can be life-threatening.

Protect yourself from TICKS

  • Use a repellent with at least 20 percent DEET, picaridin, or IR3535
  • Dress in long-sleeved shirts, pants and socks when you’re outside.
  • Shower as soon as possible after being outdoors.

Do frequent tick checks after being outdoors and remove attached ticks promptly by grasping with tweezers as close to the skin as possible and pulling straight out. Then watch for signs of illness such as fever/chills, aches and pains and/or a rash.  If you have these symptoms, see your doctor immediately.

Call Public Health Solutions at 402-826-3880 with any questions or concerns.

Falafel King Issues Allergy Alert for “Tzatziki Sauce”




The following recall alert was received from Nebraska Department of Agriculture, after the FDA initiated a recall of Falafel King Tzatziki Sauce.

Falafel King of Boulder, Colorado is notifying the public that its containers of Tzatziki Sauce made with sour cream contains milk, a known allergen. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk run the risk of a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products

Falafel King Tzatziki Sauce is distributed to retail stores in certain areas of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Nebraska.

Falafel King Tzatziki Sauce is sold in a 10 ounce plastic container with a black rimmed lid with the UPC #822986-70015-2 and a “Sell By” date printed on the top label. The old label on this product will have a “Sell By” date prior to 03/04/17.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with our product.

This Allergy Alert was initiated to protect the consumers after it was discovered that the Tzatziki Sauce made with sour cream was distributed in packaging that did not declare the presence of milk.

Anyone with questions may contact the Falafel King Corporate office at 303-443-1346 and ask for Amnon Gilady, Owner, Monday-Friday, 9:00a.m.–5:00p.m. MST or email at falafelkingent@aol.com

Visit the U.S. Food & Drug Administration website for more information regarding recall alerts. www.fda.gov

Dental Day Is Coming! -Feb 3rd

Annually, the first Friday in February UNMC College of Dentistry hosts a Dental Day for children across Nebraska. Public Health Solutions has partnered with UNMC to make sure that the uninsured and underinsured children of our district are able to get free dental work. The next Dental Day will be held on Friday, February 3rd, 2017. The deadline to apply is January 20th, 2017. To enroll your children, you can contact Public Health Solutions for more information, or you can fill out the application form  and return it to our offices.

Once the form is filled out, signed, and received by Public Health Solutions, we will contact a local dental professional to set up a free pre-screening exam that is needed before the February 3rd clinic. The exam is very quick and simple, and will let the Dental College know your child’s dental needs.

The clinic will be held at the University’s East Campus  (40th & Holdredge) in Lincoln  and families need to check in at 8:00am. Parents will be able to wait in the clinic’s waiting room while the children are in the clinic or are doing fun and educational activities between treatments. Please be prepared to be there a full day, as some procedures may take a long time. Your child will be given lunch and there are vending machines in the building. Free coffee will be available, and there are also a few restaurants in the area.

If you need transportation, Public Health Solutions can try to help you, so please let us know!

Obtenga una copia de la aplicación en español !