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Nurse’s Corner

November 2018

Bed Bugs

Parents & Teachers – bed bugs are making a comeback around the globe. They cannot fly and are really not interested in hanging out on your body – but they do occasionally bite during the day. Here is what you need to know:

Bed bugs are tiny! They are about 5mm in length and can flatten out to fit in tiny nooks, folds and crannies.
Adult females lay 1 egg a day, resulting in 200-500 eggs in their lifetime. The eggs hatch in 10 days and take another 5-6 weeks to become an adult bed bug.
The typical lifespand of a bed bug is 4 to 6 months.
Bd bugs feed on mammal and avian (bird) blood. In colder climates, they have been known to live as long as one year without blood mean!
Bed bugs do not like heat. They do not stick in hair or on skin, like lice or ticks, and perfer not to remain in our clothes close to our bodily heat. Bed gubs are more likely to travel in backpacks or shoes.
Bed bug bites can lead to anxiety, sleeplessness and even secondary infections, but there have been no reported cases of bed bugs transmitting disease to humans.

What NOT to Do When You Have Bed Bugs

Do not panic. You can control bed bugs with careful inspection and by using proper control methods.
Do not try to kill bed bugs by using agricultural or garden pesticides. Using outdoor pesticides to control bed bugs can make you or your family very sick.
Do not use products that appear to be “homemade” or “custom formulated”. Homemade products could be dangerous and they might make the problem worse.
Do not use products that have labels in a language other than English.
Do not apply pesticides directly to your body. This could make you very sick.
Do not throw away your furniture. Beds and other furniture can be treated for bed bugs. Throwing away your furniture can spread the bugs and you have to buy new furniture.
Do not store things under the bed. Storing stuff under they bed give bed bugs many new places to hid. This makes it more difficult to get rid of bed bugs.
Do not move things from room to room. Moving your things from the room with bed bugs to another room in your house may spread the bed bugs.
Do not wrap items in black plastic and place in the sun. It will not get hot enough to kill all the bugs.

Things you can do if you think you have bed bugs:

Make sure it is a bed bug: see the factsheet “Have I found a Bed Bug?” at www.bedbug.umn.edu/have-i-found-a-bed-bug
Contact a Pest Management Professional or your landlord.
Take steps to control the infestation: see the factsheet “Bed Bug Control in Residences” at www.bedbugs.umn.edu/bed-bugs-control-in-residences

What do they look like?

Bed bugs pierce human skin with elongated beaks through which they extract blood
Bed bug bites occur most commonly on exposed skin, such as the upper body, neck, arms and shoulders
Bite Symptoms may include itching, red welts or swelling the day after being bitten
Bed bugs can look very similar to a large mosquito bite, or depending on the body’s individual reaction, a small flea bite

October 2018

Flu & You (Healthy Solutions Inc.)

Influenza (Flu)

Sometimes peo- ple mistake symp- toms of stomach flu, or gastroenter- itis, for the viral
infection of the nose, throat, bron- chial tubes, and lungs that can make someone of any age ill. Flu can lead to hospitalization and sometimes death.

How does flu spread?

Flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk. These drop- lets can be inhaled into the lungs. A person might also get the flu by toughing a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own eyes, mouth, or nose.

How long can a sick person spread?

People infected with flu shed virus and may be able to infect others from one (1) day before getting sick to about five(5) to seven(7) days after getting sick. This can be longer in some people, especially people with weakened immune systems.

Flu Symptoms vary by age, but can include:

  • Fever/chills
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose
  • Vomiting

Preventing seasonal flu: Get vaccinated

The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each sea- son. About two weeks after vaccination, antibodies develop that protect against flu-like illness caused by non-influenza viruses. According to the Mayo Clinic, “The vaccine’s effectiveness is usually strongest dur- ing the first six months after receiving the flu vaccine. After that, the strength of the protection it provides begins to diminish.”

Every day actions

  1. Avoid close contact with sick people.
  2. Cover your nose and mouth.
  3. Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  5. Clean and disinfect surfaces/objects that may be contaminated.

When will flu activity begin?

The timing of flu is very unpredictable and can vary from season to season. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the U.S. in January or February, however, seasonal flu activity can occur as early as October and as late as May.