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Friday, November 19, 2010

Featured Condtion/Disease: HIV/AIDS

We are featuring a childhood/infant disease or condition informational post every other Friday. Today's topic is HIV/AIDS.


HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a disease that attacks and destroys the body's immune system. The immune system is the body's defense against diseases and sickness. If the immune system does not work well, a person can develop deadly infections and cancers.

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is the most serious stage of HIV infection. This stage means the immune system of the infected person has been destroyed.

Being infected with HIV does not mean a person has AIDS, but rather that the person's immune system may be damaged, leading to AIDS.

Effects on a Child's Health

How HIV infection will affect a child's health differs with each child. Some children show symptoms of the infection as early as the year they are born; others may not show any signs of disease until much later. How old the child is when symptoms start to show is an important clue to how your child's health may be affected.

HIV makes your child's immune system weak and hard to fight off infections or cancer, and it can make your child more vulnerable to other problems and diseases. Sometimes it can even cause strokes. The medicines used to treat HIV can have many side effects. Medicine used to treat HIV can help, but not cure the disease. Some possible side effects of the treatment include:
  • Fever.
  • Nausea or being sick to the stomach.
  • Fatigue or tiring often and easily.
More Information

To get more information about HIV/AIDS, click here.

*Most of the information provided here is from the Teach More/Love More site, click here to visit their site.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Great American Smokeout! - Saturday, November 20, 2010

Do you smoke and looking for help quitting?  Visit the Great American Smokeout this Saturday at Krusen Park in Zephyrhills from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM.  Admission is free for all ages.  While you're there you can meet with a Tobacco Treatment Specialist and sign up for:
  • Free Nicotine Patches
  • Give-a-ways and encouragement
  • Lung function tests and oral cancer screenings
  • Information about nicotine addiction and carbon monoxide levels
In addition to learning about quitting smoking, there will also be carnvial rides, the Tampa Bay Rays Street Team, the Zephyrhills Police Athletic League, Flu Shots, and Food at the event.

If you have any questions about the SmokeOut, please contact Maurissa at the Pasco County Health Department (727) 861-5250 extension 279.

Can't make the Great American SmokeOut but still want to quit?  You can call Quitline at (877) 822-6669 for free nicotine gum, lozenges, or patches by signing up for phone counseling.    They also offer assistance in Spanish, local referrals, and self-help materials.

The Pasco County Health Department also offers two Quit Smoking Support Groups:

Mondays 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
10841 Little Road, New Port Richey
727/861-5250 extension 161

2nd Tuesday of the Month 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
13941 15th Street, Dade City
352/521-1450 extension 339

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Diabetes Awareness Month

 November is Diabetes Awareness month

This is a time to communicate the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of diabetes prevention and control. Nearly 24 million children and adults in the U.S. are living with diabetes. If current trends continue, one out of every three children born today will face a future with the disease.

  • Diabetes kills more Americans every year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.
  • It is the #1 cause of blindness in adults.
  • It doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • 1 in 13 of all Americans have diabetes.
  • 1 in 4 of those don't know it yet.
  • 1 in 5 are on their way to getting it. Having a condition called prediabetes means you are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the next three to six years. People with prediabetes have blood glucose (sugar) levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

*American Diabetes Association

Research shows you can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes through a healthy lifestyle.
  • Change your diet. People at high risk for type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the disease by losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight, or about 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person. You can do that by eating healthier and being physically active for 30 minutes, five days a week.
  • Increase your level of physical activity. Physical activity can help you control your weight, blood glucose, and blood pressure, as well as raise your "good" cholesterol and lower your "bad" cholesterol.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese raises your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

    Diabetes care begins with informed patients.
  • Talk to your health care provider about how to manage your blood glucose (A1C), blood pressure, and cholesterol.
  • Get a flu vaccine. For those with diabetes, it is important to ask for the "shot" version. Talk to your health care provider about a pneumonia (pneumococcal) shot. People with diabetes are more likely to die from pneumonia or influenza than people who do not have diabetes.

    Stay Informed and share what you learn. You can join the effort to help promote National Diabetes Awareness Month  in your area by using NDEP messages, tools and resources.

    Monday, November 8, 2010

    Reduced & Free Lunch in Pasco County Schools - Application & Eligibility

    Reduced & Free School Lunch in Pasco County

    Are my children eligible for reduced or free lunch in Pasco County?  The answer depends on your income.  If your income is between 131% and 185% of the federal poverty guidelines then yes, they can get a reduced lunch.  If your income is below 130% of the federal poverty guidelines then they can get a free lunch.  For instance, a family of five with an annual income of $45,000.00 is eligible for reduced lunch, while another family of five with an annual income of $28,600.00 would be eligible for free lunch.  Where can I view the federal poverty guidelines?

    You view the current federal poverty guidelines at GetHelpFlorida.org here.  How do I apply for free or reduced lunch?  The application is on the Pasco County Schools site here.  Please remember that if you're income changes, you can come back at any time through-out the calendar year and re-apply for free or reduced lunch.  Did you know whether or not you have reduced or regular lunch, you can pay for your children's meals online?  MyLunchMoney allows parents/guardians to pay for their children's meals online, visit them here.  You will need to create an account.  You can also set weekly and daily spending limits for your children.  MyLunchMoney is available for most, if not all, Pasco County Schools.

    Friday, November 5, 2010

    Featured Condtion/Disease: Immune System Disorders

    We are featuring a childhood/infant disease or condition informational post every other Friday.  Today's topic is Immune System Disorders.


    The immune system -- your body's defense system against getting sick -- is made up of organs, tissues, cells, blood and other fluids that work together to defend the body against germs. Germs are bacteria and viruses that can harm the body. Germs are what make us sick when we catch a cold or an infection. The amazingly complex immune system can recognize millions of different enemies to the body. It can call on special cells and secretions to find and destroy those enemies. We count on our body's immune system, sometimes with the help of medicines such as antibiotics, to eliminate germs that cause infection. Some people are born with an immune defense system that is faulty. Immune system disorders (sometimes called Immunodeficiency Diseases) happen when the immune system does not defend the body normally and can affect any part of the immune system. 

    • Eight or more ear infections in a year.
    • Two or more serious sinus infections within a year. (Sinuses are the air passages in the bones of the cheeks, forehead and jaw.)
    • Two or more pneumonia cases within a year.
    • Need for intravenous antibiotics to clear infections. (Medications go directly into your child's veins in a hospital.)
    • A family history of immune system problems.
    More Information

    To get more information about Immune System Disorders, click here.

    *Most of the information provided here is from the Teach More/Love More site, click here to visit their site.