Good Question – Do you have a cold or the flu?

The flu is different from a cold. A cold will come on gradually with various symptoms, and the flu will come on suddenly. People who have the flu may experience some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Fever – chills/feeling feverish
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Vomiting and diarrhea may occur; this is more common in children than adults.

*Not everyone will experience a fever with the flu.

Flu vs. Cold

Signs & Symptoms Influenza (Flu) Cold
Symptom onset  Abrupt Gradual
Fever Usual; lasts 3-4 days Rare
Aches Usual; often severe Slight
Chills Fairly common Uncommon
Fatigue, weakness Usual Sometimes
Sneezing Sometimes Common
Stuffy nose Sometimes Common
Sore throat Sometimes Common
Chest discomfort, cough Common; can be severe Mild to moderate; hacking cough
Headache Common Rare


For more information go to Center of Disease Control Flu & Symptom Severity

Click here for more information about the PHS Immunization Clinic. You can ask your health provider about immunizations or call PHS at 402-826-3880

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 !





Is Your Vehicle Winter Ready?

In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car including:

  • Jumper cables: might want to include flares or reflective triangle
  • Flashlights: with extra batteries or  hand crank flashlight
  • First Aid Kit: remember any necessary medications, baby formula and diapers if you have a small child
  • Food: non-perishable food such as canned food, and protein rich foods like nuts and energy bars
  • Manual can opener
  • Water
  • Basic toolkit: pliers, wrench, screwdriver
  • Pet supplies: food and water
  • Radio: battery or hand cranked
  • Cat litter or sand: for better tire traction
  • Small shovel
  • Ice scraper
  • Clothes: warm clothes, gloves, hat sturdy boots, jacket and an extra change of clothes for the cold
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Charged cell phone: and car charger

Some other tips are:

  • Keep your gas tank full or nearly full. Never travel with a low gas tank
  • Check windshield wipers and replace if needed
  • Keep windshield washer fluid full with a winter solution
  • Check or have a mechanic give your a car a “winter check-up” to make sure it is in good working condition and tires do not need replaced


For more tips on preparing your home and vehicles for winter go to


Colon Cancer Campaign Winner

CC Winner 3Of cancers affecting both men and women, colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon and rectum) is the second leading cancer killer in the United States, but it does not have to be. Screening also helps find colorectal cancer at an early stage, when treatment often leads to a cure.
Public Health Solutions promoted a campaign for colon cancer screening during colon cancer awareness month in  March. During this campaign PHS distributed free, in-home colon cancer test kits called FOBT kits to residents of Saline, Thayer, Gage, Jefferson, and Fillmore Nebraska Counties. FOBT kits are recommended to be completed annually by everyone. In an effort to increase access to the kits around our district, PHS partnered with local pharmacies to distribute the kits. By completing an FOBT kit, residents of these counties were entered for a chance to win $250. After the campaign, Public Health Solutions drew for the winner. Eleanora Rempel of Jansen, Nebraska completed a FOBT kit and was this years winner! We congratulate CC Winner 2Eleanora in her efforts to complete recommended cancer screenings! PHS also thanks Deb Wendelin for managing this year’s Colon Cancer Campaign.


LB 1013: Increasing Tobacco Tax

smoking1Public Health Solutions’ Board of Health supports LB 1013. As Board of Health members committed to ensuring the public’s health, we support the increase in tobacco tax for Nebraska. This is a proven strategy that results in reduce smoking rates, saves lives, and reduces health care costs. Nebraska’s currently ranks 40th nationally and is lower than our neighboring states of Colorado, Iowa, and South Dakota. Our department has been actively engaged with community partners to reduce the smoking rate and subsequent health issues in our district. The tobacco tax increase will make a positive impact on these efforts.

Almost everyone’s lives have been touched by the effects of smoking. On a daily basis we see the consequences of smoking in our districts as evidenced by lung cancer rates, pulmonary, and cardiovascular disease. These tobacco related illnesses are estimated to cost $795 million dollars in Nebraska*. In addition it is estimated that the tobacco industry spends an estimated $66 million to hook our kids on tobacco in Nebraska*

To improve the health of the communities we use strategies based on evidence based practices. Raising cigarette taxes is a proven practice that reduces the number of our youth who smoke. Preventing tobacco use in teens is critical to ending tobacco use in Nebraska. The best way to reduce the impact of smoking is not to start.

smoking2The goal of public health seeks to prevent and control disease, prolong life through organized efforts and informed choices of society, public and private organizations, communities, and individuals. While primary care addresses an individual’s needs, public health efforts are targeted toward population health improvements and health system changes, including education and self-management and creating communities and environments that support healthy lifestyles.

LB 1013 is a giant step in the right direction to save lives and reduce health care costs.


*Toll of Tobacco in Nebraska. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (9-25-15)

Zika Virus

Flu Season

Flu season is upon us. Public Health Solutions would like to remind everyone to take the steps necessary to help prevent influenza and keep your family healthy:

  • Get a flu shot each year. Everyone age 6 months and older should receive a flu vaccination yearly. Flu shots and FluMist (the nasal application) are extremely safe and the best way to protect yourself from getting the flu.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for information on what to do if you become sick with the flu:

Click here for more information!

Diabetes Prevention Program

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 2.50.57 PMPublic Health Solutions is working with community partners throughout the District to reduce the incidence of diabetes by identifying individuals that are pre-diabetic. These individuals can reduce their risk of getting diabetes through participation in the Smart Moves Program. Smart Moves is a lifestyle change program focused on individuals with prediabetes or have risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Classes meet weekly with a trained lifestyle coach in a small group setting. The program teaches you how to make real changes to live healthier by focusing on healthy eating, staying active and problem solving skills. Take the risk test below to see where you fall. Classes are being held at Public Health Solutions and throughout the District. Contact PHS at 402-826-3880 or toll free 1-844-830-0813 for more information.

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 2.53.27 PM
Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 2.50.09 PM


If your score is 9 or more you are at risk for prediabetes and qualify for the Smart Moves My Life My Health Program.

Winterize Your Home

Prepare Now for the Winter Months Ahead

Once again here in the Midwest, old man winter is upon us. Public Health Solutions District Health Department would like to take this opportunity to provide some pertinent information to help you better prepare for the upcoming winter season.

Below are collective lists provided through recommendations from FEMA and other various government agencies for your use. For further information on emergency preparedness, feel free to call Emergency Response Coordinator/Environmental, Dave Wieting at (402) 826-6688.

Winterize Your Home

  • Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.
  • Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment. Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.
  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
  • Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing. Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
  • Learn how to shut off water valves(in case a pipe bursts).
  • Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
  • Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow – or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.

Winterize Your Vehicle

Check or have a mechanic check the following items on your car:

  • Antifreeze levels– ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
  • Battery and ignition system– should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
  • Brakes– check for wear and fluid levels.
  • Exhaust system– check for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
  • Fuel and air filters– replace and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Heater and defroster– ensure they work properly.
  • Lights and flashing hazard lights– check for serviceability.
  • Oil– check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well.
  • Thermostat– ensure it works properly.
  • Windshield wiper equipment– repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.
  • Install good winter tires– Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.

Update the emergency kits in your vehicles with:

  • a shovel
  • windshield scraper and small broom
  • flashlight
  • battery powered radio
  • extra batteries
  • water
  • snack food
  • matches
  • extra hats, socks and mittens
  • first aid kit with pocket knife
  • necessary medications
  • blanket(s)
  • tow chain or rope
  • road salt and sand
  • booster cables
  • emergency flares
  • fluorescent distress flag

Are you prepared to use CPR?

CPR we have all heard of it but are we all prepared to use CPR? What if someone we know has a cardiac event? I know I was not prepared to do CPR. But after going through an easy 30 minute training and several meaningful conversations with Kate, our public health nurse, I am now prepared to act.

It is even more important to know CPR when you think that 70 % of all cardiac events take place in a residential setting. Then add in the rural factor and you will see why it is so very important to learn basic bystander intervention Check – Call – Compress. In our rural areas we need to act while waiting for our volunteer rescue squads to arrive.

Is it scary – yes. But not acting could mean certain death for the individual experiencing a cardiac event. As each of us receives training on CPR and AED use, we make our communities stronger. Because of the training from the Saving Rural Hearts program, I am prepared to respond, to do compressions, to instruct someone to call 911 and retrieve the AED.

We all love our families and our community. We need to carry that commitment a step further and get trained so all of us are prepared to save rural hearts. I know it is scary but always remember inaction only results in death but action can save a life! Don’t worry about breaking a bone – that happens. Trust me, I think we can all agree it is better to have a fractured sternum than end up dead.

We hear a lot about being prepared for winter weather, floods, influenza but are you prepared to provide CPR for a neighbor in need? To get prepared contact Kate, our PHS Public Health Nurse. She will get you prepared and you will feel more confident and you will know that you can make a difference “Saving Rural Hearts”.

Contact us at 402-826-3880 or

Please take the survey to let us know your thoughts on Citizen CPR: