Health
Thursday, August 14, 2003
Safe Sitter classes offered at NMH
Safe Sitter classes for girls and boys aged 11 to 13 will be offered at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital. The two-part course will be held from 8:30 a.m. till 3 p.m. on Aug. 15 and 19. The Safe Sitter program is a medically-accurate instructional series that teaches youngsters how to handle emergencies when caring for younger children. The cost is $30.00. Participants are to bring a bag lunch. To register your son or daughter or your child’s babysitter, call 629-6611 ext. 2540. The goal of Safe Sitter is to reduce the number of accidental and preventable deaths among children being cared for by babysitters. Thousands of young adolescents across the country have been trained by Safe Sitter to handle life-threatening emergencies. All medical information will be taught by a certified professional. During the course, students get hands-on practice in basic life-saving techniques so they are prepared to act in a crisis. Instructors also provide tips to make sitters more confident caregivers. They teach safety and security precautions, such as what to do if a stranger comes to the door and when and how to call for help. They give information on child development and suggest age-appropriate activities. Participants will learn about the business aspects of babysitting. For more information about Safe Sitter, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital at 629-6611 ext. 2540.

Easter Seals schedules Input Meetings
Easter Seals announces that it will conduct two Community Input Meetings, on Aug. 20 and Sept. 10, at 6 p.m. at the Easter Seals Adult Day Center at 504 West Market St., Georgetown. The public is cordially invited to attend. RSVP is not required, but is encouraged. The purpose of the meeting is to highlight disability needs region-wide and to get community feedback on Easter Seals plans for a new 25,000-square-foot center in Georgetown. Ford Waggoner, Sussex County director, will make a short presentation on Easter Seals programs and services, and region-wide plans to double the number of persons served by the year 2010. For more information on the Community Input Meetings or Easter Seals, call 302-856-7364.
Blood found containing West Nile Virus
Blood Bank of Delaware/ Eastern Shore announces that a unit of blood donated in late July in Talbot County, Md., was found to be infected with West Nile Virus (WNV). The blood tested positive during routine testing performed on each pint of donated blood. The unit of infected blood was destroyed and the donor, as well as Maryland health officials, was notified. This marks the first instance of WNV in donated blood on the Delmarva Peninsula. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 15 other states have reported human WNV cases this year with three deaths attributed to the disease so far. “While we’re concerned that the virus was found in our region, we are pleased that testing found the problem and we were able to keep it from infecting a patient,” said Christy Longmoore, the Blood Bank’s technical director. “This test was developed quickly and was made available just in time to help keep West Nile out of the blood supply this summer. It has been added to our arsenal of 11 other tests to help us deliver the safest blood possible,” she said. The Blood Bank began testing all donated blood for the West Nile Virus on June 30th when a test first became available. When coupled with the screening of donors for signs and symptoms, the WNV test is expected to be very effective at keeping the disease out of the blood supply. West Nile Virus is typically transmitted by mosquitoes and often shows up in bird populations prior to human cases being detected. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) WNV causes flu-like symptoms and can be life-threatening in about one in 150 cases. In 2002, the CDC tracked 4,156 cases and 284 deaths that were attributed to West Nile Virus in 44 states.