Neighbors / Briefly

Posted: Friday, August 10, 2001

Immunizations required

To get into school this fall, Juneau's kids will need proof that they've started a series of two newly required vaccinations hepatitis A and hepatitis B, according to public health nurse Colleen McNulty of the Juneau Public Health Center.

The requirement affects all children, including those in day care.

"The rates for both diseases in Alaska are very high," McNulty said Thursday, with a reported hepatitis A incidence of 3,000 between 1991 and 2000.

With children, hepatitis A is often non-symptomatic, she said, and is frequently transmitted to adults who do suffer from symptoms that include a flu-like illness, jaundiced (yellow) skin and eyes, severe stomach pains and diarrhea. At least four deaths in Alaska have been attributed to hepatitis A in the past decade. This form of hepatitis is spread from person to person, sometimes through food handled by someone who is infected.

Hepatitis B numbers in the state are high as well.

"Hepatitis B's main serious problem is that you can develop a long-term chronic infection," McNulty said. "Ten percent who are infected carry it the rest of their lives."

Its symptoms include loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice, diarrhea, and muscle and stomach pain. Hepatitis B can also develop into cirrrhosis and liver cancer, which can lead to death.

Type B is spread through blood or body fluid contact.

McNulty urged parents to check their children's immunization records. "Hepatitis B vaccine has routinely been given to children for about 8 years now," she said. But older children may not have received it.

Hepatitis A vaccine has been in use for about 6 years.

Both vaccines require a series of inocculations for about 6 months, she said.

Parents who have determined their children need one or both vaccines should get in touch with their doctor. Proof that the series is underway will be required for enrollment of any child in the city's schools.

For more information, call 465-3353.

Pollution Prevention Week

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is promoting National Pollution Prevention Week, Sept.. 16-23. The week is dedicated to "source reduction and recycling," activities that avoid, eliminate, or reduce the creation of waste. DEC's Compliance Assistance Program invites businesses, organizations and communities to join the source reduction and recycling effort.

DEC is currently accepting applications for the Commissioner's Pollution Prevention Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Waste Reduction. Nominee forms will be accepted until Sept. 3, 2001.

Business can also celebrate the week with help from the DEC by hosing a pollution prevention event during the month of September. According to Tee Little of the compliance assistance program, "This is a great opportunity to demonstrate that pollution prevention and energy efficiency are not only environmentally responsible but also save money, reduce health and safety issues and help attract customers. We'll help your business publicize your event."

Applications for the award and the business participation are available by calling (907) 269-7581 or (800) 510-2332.

AWARE offers training session

AWARE is offering an extensive training session on domestic violence, sexual violence and child abuse. This session is free, open to the public and held at AWARE. The training begins Aug. 20 and continues Aug. 23, 25 and 27. For a complete schedule or to register please call 586-6623.

There is additional training in September for those interested in volunteering or working in the rewarding field of crises intervention and healing. Other topics include sexual assault and child abuse. Social service agencies, church members and interested individuals are encouraged to attend.

Fund to benefit family

The Fraternal Order of the Eagles Aerie 4200 non-profit organization has set up a fund to benefit the family of 17-year-old Ashley Herrin, who was injured in an automobile accident on Aug. 2 in Juneau.

She is currently being treated at the Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and is listed in stable condition. However she is undergoing numerous operations because of major injuries to her spine.

Her parents, Tim DeHart and Kathy Budke, are with her in Seattle and would like to thank all those in advance for their continuing prayers and support. Ashley will be in Washington for an extended period of time.

The parents would also like to thank the Juneau/Douglas Eagles Aerie and Auxiliary members and the Auke Bay Bible Church for their generous donations.

Donations to the family may be made out to The Ashley Herrin Fund at 2005 Jordan Ave., Juneau, AK 99801.

CAP to fly safety patrol

The Juneau Civil Air Patrol will be flying safety patrol over the greatly expanded Salmon Derby grounds all three days of the derby. If you need help you can contact the pilots on marine band channel 16, steer your boat to the left in tight circles, or wave bright-colored clothing in the air as CAP craft passes over. Help will then be summoned from other surface craft. CAP suggests that you adopt the "buddy system" so that a boating friend is always available to offer a tow, provide fuel or help in an emergency if one should develop. Again this year, CAP is partially sponsored by Richard RRoundtree's Aero Services.

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