News, Notices and Information

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DPH PRESS RELEASE: Avoid CO Poisoning 5/16/18

Posted on May 16, 2018



HARTFORD – In the wake of yesterday’s storms, which have left thousands of Connecticut residents without power, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) warns residents of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) and asks that they take steps to prevent deadly CO poisoning. DPH cautions residents to ensure proper use of generators to protect against CO poisoning. Generators should be placed at least 20 feet from the house and never inside the house, enclosed porch or attached garage.

CO is an invisible, odorless gas that can be fatal. Breathing in excessive amounts of CO can cause loss of consciousness and death. The symptoms of CO poisoning can mimic those of the flu, including headache, fatigue, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, confusion, or loss of consciousness. People who are sleeping or unconscious can die from CO poisoning before they exhibit any symptoms. DPH warns that anyone exhibiting these symptoms should leave the house immediately and call 911.

Improper use of portable generators have caused more than half of CO poisonings in Connecticut, according to DPH. DPH offers the following safety tips to prevent CO poisoning:

• Never use portable generators or other gasoline-powered equipment (including tools) indoors or in the garage, basement, shed or other enclosed spaces. Even if the garage or shed doors are open, CO gas can still build up to dangerous levels within minutes.
• Place portable generators at least 20-25 feet from your home. There have been instances where exhaust containing CO gas has been blown back into the house and poisoned occupants when outdoor portable generators were close to the house.
• Opening windows and doors, and operating fans is NOT sufficient to prevent buildup of CO in a home.
• Use charcoal and gas grills or camping stoves outdoors only.

DPH developed a video, Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer, to help raise awareness of the dangers of CO and how to prevent poisoning. It is available online in English and Spanish by clicking on the following link:

More information on Carbon Monoxide can also be found on the DPH website by clicking here.


UPDATED E.coli Advisory 5/16/18

Posted on May 16, 2018

E. coli outbreak update 5/16/18: The last romaine lettuce shipments from the Yuma growing region were harvested on April 16 and are now past their 21-day shelf life. The romaine lettuce being sold and served in stores and restaurants today is NOT the romaine linked to the current E. coli outbreak.

The CT Department of Public Health has released another UPDATED Advisory regarding the multi-state E.coli 0157 outbreak associated with romaine lettuce. Read the 5/10/18 update here

Download the CT Department of Public Health UPDATED 4/20/18 Advisory here

Based on new information obtained during the investigation of the multi-state E.coli O157 outbreak
associated with romaine lettuce, CDC has expanded their consumer advice to include whole heads
and hearts of romaine lettuce, in addition to chopped romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing
romaine, from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. See page 2 for CDC’s specific advice.

Local health departments are advised to share this updated information with food establishments to
inform them of CDC’s updated advice not to serve romaine lettuce unless they are sure it did not
originate from the Yuma, Arizona growing area.

The investigation is ongoing and the number of cases have increase, however the number of
Connecticut cases remains at 2.

More specific information will be provided when it becomes available. Inquiries from consumers who
believe they may be ill from consuming romaine lettuce should contact their medical provider.

Additional Information

From the CDC website 4/20/18
What’s New?

- Based on new information, CDC is expanding its warning to consumers to cover all types of romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. This warning now includes whole heads and hearts of romaine lettuce, in addition to chopped romaine and salads and salad mixes containing romaine.

- Do not buy or eat romaine lettuce at a grocery store or restaurant unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region.

- Unless the source of the product is known, consumers anywhere in the United States who have any store-bought romaine lettuce at home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick. Product labels often do not identify growing regions; so, throw out any romaine lettuce if you’re uncertain about where it was grown. This includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce. If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away.

- Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.

- The expanded warning is based on information from newly reported illnesses in Alaska. Ill people in Alaska reported eating lettuce from whole heads of romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.

Lyme Disease Awareness Month

Posted on May 03, 2018

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month

“Lyme disease is spread by the bite of an infected tick. In the United States, an estimated 300,000 infections occur each year. If you camp, hike, work, or play in wooded or grassy places, you could be bitten by an infected tick” – (CDC, 2018).


“The blacklegged tick (or deer tick, Ixodes scapularis) spreads the disease in the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and north-central United States. The western blacklegged tick (Ixodes pacificus) spreads the disease on the Pacific Coast.

Ticks can attach to any part of the human body but are often found in hard-to-see areas such as the groin, armpits, and scalp. In most cases, the tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours or more before the Lyme disease bacterium can be transmitted.

Most humans are infected through the bites of immature ticks called nymphs. Nymphs are tiny (less than 2 mm) and difficult to see; they feed during the spring and summer months. Adult ticks can also transmit Lyme disease bacteria, but they are much larger and are more likely to be discovered and removed before they have had time to transmit the bacteria. Adult Ixodes ticks are most active during the cooler months of the year” -(CDC, 2015).


“Untreated Lyme disease can produce a wide range of symptoms, depending on the stage of infection. These include fever, rash, facial paralysis, and arthritis. Seek medical attention if you observe any of these symptoms and have had a tick bite, live in an area known for Lyme disease, or have recently traveled to an area where Lyme disease occurs” -(CDC, 2018).

Protect Yourself!

While outside….

  • Avoid tall grass and over-grown areas
  • Walk in the middle of trails when hiking
  • Consider using tick repellent
  • Tuck pant leg into socks
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts & closed shoes
  • Wear light colored clothes to see the ticks easier

After coming inside…

  • Bathe as soon as possible
  • Conduct full-body tick check
  • Hair/ head
  • Under arms
  • In and around ears
  • Inside belly button
  • Behind knees
  • Between the legs
  • Around the waist
  • Check your gear
  • Check your pets

Don’t forget to talk to your veterinarian about pet protection!

Tick Testing

Ticks found on humans can be submitted to The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) for testing through the NVHD. Please bring the tick in a sealed bag or container. NVHD will contact you with your results. There is a $5.00 fee per tick. Download our Tick Submission Form or fill it out at our office M-F 8:30AM-4:00PM.


NVHD Tick and Tick-borne Diseases Pamphlet
CDC – Lyme Disease
CDC – Prevent Lyme Disease

May 2018 Newsletter

Posted on May 02, 2018

Please download a PDF copy of our May 2018 Newsletter

Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

Posted on May 01, 2018

May is Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month.

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways of the lungs. Although asthma has no cure, it can be managed so a person can live a normal, healthy life. Please read our NVHD PRESS RELEASE: NVHD Partners with Griffin Hospital and Valley Parish Nurses on Asthma PSA for more information about effectively managing asthma with an asthma action plan (AAP).

View and/or share our Asthma PSA!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates all month!

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