South Dakota Influenza summary for the week ending December 23, 2017 December 29, 2017
· 121 new confirmed* cases of influenza were reported last week. 421 confirmed cases cumulative so far this season: 384 Influenza A and 37 Influenza B. *Lab confirmed: PCR, culture or DFA. The number of laboratories using rapid confirmatory tests has increased, which may account for some of the increase in confirmed cases observed this influenza season.
· 17.4% positive rapidantigentests reported statewide (122 positives out of 702 individuals tested last week). Total 6,294 tests performed so far this season.
· 19 new influenza-associated hospitalizations reported last week (Brookings, Codington, Day, Grant, Hamlin, Jackson, Lawrence, Lincoln, Mellette, Minnehaha, Oglala Lakota, Pennington, Tripp, Walworth, and Yankton counties). Total of 68 hospitalizations so far this season.
· One influenza-associated death reported last week (Davison County). Total of 2 deaths so far this season.
· 2.58% of clinic visits were for influenza–likeillness (ILI), 34.1% of ILI visits were children 4 years of age and younger.
· 1.8% of K–12students were absent due to any illness, range 0% – 8% absent (56 schools reporting).
National Synopsis: Influenza activity sharply increased in the past week in the United States. Nationally, 89% influenza A and 11% influenza B of 831 positive specimens tested in public health laboratories.
Influenza activity by state:
– WIDESPREAD (highest level) influenza activity in 36 states; including South Dakota;
– REGIONAL activity in 13 states;
– LOCAL activity in 1 states
– SPORADIC activity in 0 states;
– NO activity in 0 states.
Our neighboring states:
– WIDESPREAD activity: North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wyoming Montana and
Influenza activity was at “REGIONAL” level in South Dakota again during the past week.
· 86 new confirmed* cases of influenza were reported last week. 301 confirmed cases cumulative so far this season: 219 Influenza A and 27 Influenza B. *Lab confirmed: PCR, culture or DFA. The number of laboratories using rapid confirmatory tests has increased, which may account for some of the increase in confirmed cases observed this influenza season.
· 11.6% positive rapidantigentests reported statewide (109 positives out of 944 individuals tested last week). Total 5,576 tests performed so far this season.
· 13 new influenza-associated hospitalizations reported last week (Brown, Codington, Day, Lawrence, Meade, Minnehaha, Pennington, and Todd counties). Total of 46 hospitalizations so far this season.
· One influenza-associated death reported last week (Day County).
· 2.6% of clinic visits were for influenza–likeillness (ILI),1.01% of ILI visits were children 4 years of age and younger.
· 2.4% of K–12students were absent due to any illness, range 0% – 8% absent (115 schools reporting).
National Synopsis: Influenza activity sharply increased in the past week in the United States. Nationally, 86.7% influenza A and 13.3% influenza B of 795 positive specimens tested in public health laboratories.
Influenza activity by state:
– WIDESPREAD (highest level) influenza activity in 23 states;
– REGIONAL activity in 23 states; including South Dakota;
– LOCAL activity in 4 states;
– SPORADIC activity in 0 states;
– NO activity in 0 states.
Our neighboring states:
– WIDESPREAD activity: North Dakota.
– REGIONAL activity: Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota.
Stay active in winter Take the Winter Fun Bingo Challenge
By Christel Peters
Black Hills State Univerity
December 22, 2017
SPEARFISH, S.D – It’s cold outside. Winter in the Midwest can make it hard to find the motivation to stay active outdoors. Why should you leave the comfort of a warm couch and pajamas to play outside?
Studies have shown that people who spend time outdoors improve their short-term memory and concentration, find relief of stress and mental fatigue, reduce levels of inflammation and boost the immune system, and improve mental health.
“Playing outdoors” can be as simple or challenging as you choose. Making plans with a friend can keep you accountable and more apt to follow through. Students at Black Hills State University have the opportunity to join clubs, groups, or organizations that inspire them to try new outdoor activities. There are a variety of ways that are free, inexpensive, or a worthwhile investment to “play” outside for college students and adults, alike.
Go for a walk or just sit outside
A simple walk in a park, around campus, or on nearby sidewalks are an easy and free way to enjoy the benefits of the outdoors. Challenge yourself to stay out for a specific amount of time or go a certain distance a few times a week. Or, simply take a warm beverage and sit outdoors while you enjoy it. You can gaze at the stars at night or enjoy the touch of the warm sun while breathing in the crisp, fresh air. Just 30 minutes will revive your spirit Discover local wildlife
Find a spot and look up and around you. Birding is an entertaining way to discover nature. Identify animal tracks (or even scat) and see how many varieties you can find. Not all wildlife hibernates in the winter!
Go for a hike
Trails that are designated for winter hiking are a great way to immerse yourself in nature. Winter makeovers keep the hiking scenery unique and interesting. *Be sure to follow winter trail etiquette; do not hike on groomed cross-country trails or on muddy, eroding land.
Turn that fluffy stuff into works of art! Build a snowman, create a snow fort, or attempt an ice sculpture. If you have milk and sugar on hand, make some snow ice cream or snow candy. Use your imagination and create your own fun to show to the world!
Buy a sled or make one yourself and find a snowy hill!
Visit an ice rink
Try ice skating! Don’t own ice skates? Buy them second-hand or rent them from a local rink or outdoor gear group. Take advantage of a large patch of ice and play hockey with sticks, a flat rock, and makeshift goals.
Many organizations and state or national parks rent snowshoes or even loan them for free. There are even tutorials that demonstrate how to make your own snowshoes. Using snowshoes can help you with traction and stability when hiking those snow-covered trails and help you burn more calories!
Run in a winter race
Find a 5K or similar running event to participate in. This will keep you motivated to train outside. Plus, they usually end with a celebratory hot cocoa or other fun winter-related goodies!
Buy second-hand or rent cross-country skis and enjoy the thrill of local groomed trails!
If you already own fishing gear this is an inexpensive way to enjoy some outdoors time. If you don’t own your own gear, find a friend to borrow from or buy some second-hand. Many outdoors organizations and state or national parks have gear to rent and can provide the local licenses required for fishing in your area.
Downhill skiing / snowboarding / skinning / snow tubing
Prices vary nationally but there are ways to enjoy ski resorts without breaking the bank. Renting, borrowing, or buying second-hand gear can reduce your cost. Also, find a group of friends and take advantage of group pricing. Some resorts will have special event days with reduced prices or offer discounts to students, military, or seniors.
Yes, you CAN camp in the winter! You don’t have to pack away that tent and sleeping bag when the temperatures drop. Winter camping can be fun if you are prepared. Know your limits and be sure to have the right gear when venturing out to sleep in the winter wonderland.
This sport does require specialty bikes with tires equipped to handle snowy trails. If you are a bike enthusiast, this could be a purchase worth investing in to enjoy biking all year round
ATV or snowmobiling
If you don’t own off-road vehicles yourself, there are places that rent them and the gear required to run them safely.
Does all of this sound interesting, but you are still thinking, “but it’s just TOO COLD…”? Dr. Christine McCart, associate professor of Outdoor Education at BHSU, knows that overcoming barriers is a big challenge for those who are averse to being cold. She suggests to start small and make it fun when preparing to play outdoors in the winter chill. “Just because it’s cold outside does not mean that you will be miserable,” said McCart. “Find your own fun and go within your skillset.”
Some tips for overcoming barriers to getting outdoors:
Dress in layers – base layer, warm clothing, and appropriate outerwear. Avoid cotton if possible (cotton retains moisture) and choose to wear synthetic blends or wool that wick away moisture.
Stay active – movement keeps you warm, take short breaks during activity and keep moving when you begin to feel cold.
Protect your eyes – the ice and snow can create a significant glare from the winter sun. Be sure to wear sunglasses or other protective eyewear.
Stay hydrated – don’t forget to drink plenty of water. Bring a warm beverage in an insulated container as well.
Be creative – cut foam or wool to fit in footwear or wrap your feet in bread bags for an added barrier. Repurpose an old wool sweater into neck scarves, leg or arm warmers, or mittens. Waterproof your shoes with wax.
Keep dry – getting wet in the cold can be deadly. Keep a towel and a spare set of clothing nearby in case you need to change. Don’t blow on your hands to warm them up – your breath is full of moisture and will just make them colder.
Know your limits – check the weather service for any severe weather notices or wind chill advisories. Attempt new adventures with a friend or a group. Keep cell phones close to your body to avoid the battery draining from the cold. Have a spare set of keys in a safe place in case you lose yours. Check in with local forest or park rangers before exploring winter trails. Use attachable treads for footwear to avoid slips and falls.
Make it fun – try to plan an activity that you will enjoy. Give yourself a fun challenge, such as a Winter Bingo competition with friends or a winter bucket list to achieve. Be inspired by others by joining outdoor groups or cheering on the athletes in the Winter Olympics.
Inspired to learn more? Here in Spearfish, there are many resources for anyone who wants to adventure outdoors. BHSU’s Collegiate Outdoor Leadership Program (COLP) rents gear, offers maps and is a source of professional advice about all things outdoors. In addition, the Black Hills National Forest – Northern Hills Ranger Station in Spearfish offers maps and knowledge regarding regulations and licensure for outdoor activities. Other resources include state parks and city recreation offices that offer gear rentals, group activities and valuable advice for outdoor adventurers.
Don’t let the cold stop you from enjoying the outdoors this winter! Challenge yourself, challenge a friend, and find your own winter fun.
CUSTER STATE PARK, S.D. – On Monday, January 1, Custer State Park will host a First Day Hike. The hike will begin at 10:00am at the Peter Norbeck Outdoor Education Center.
Participants will go on a guided hike along the paved Creekside Trail for approximately 2 miles. The hike will last approximately two hours. Pre-registration is not required.
As part of a national initiative, these hikes take place across the nation to offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year rejuvenated and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike on January 1 at a state park close to home. First Day Hikes offer a great way to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature and welcome the New Year with family and friends.
January 1 is also the last day to view and vote for “Favorite Tree” for the Custer State Park Festival of Trees located at the Visitor Center. The visitor center hours are 9am – 4pm every day.
There is no cost for the hike; however, a park entrance license is required. Participants should dress appropriately for the weather, as temperatures in the Black Hills can be unpredictable.
Custer State Park will also host snowshoe hikes this winter. The Game Lodge Snowshoe Hike will take place at 10:00am on January 13, the Lover’s Leap Snowshoe Hike will take place at 10:00am and 12:00pm on February 10, and the Sylvan Lake Snowshoe Hike will take place at 10:00am on March 10. Reservations for these hikes are required and can be made by calling 605-255-4515.
PIERRE, S.D. – In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, the South Dakota Department of Public Safety reminds people to remember to be safe as well.
With so much happening, DPS officials say it is easy to forget about being careful. Col. Craig Price, superintendent of the Highway Patrol, says for those people traveling during the holidays, they will see more troopers out patrolling highways.
“Our same safety reminders are as important now as they are during the rest of the year,” Price says. “Slow down, focus on your driving, don’t drink and drive, and wear your seatbelt. These four factors are consistently reported as contributing factors in many of the crashes the highway patrol investigates.”
Last year, there was one motor vehicle fatality during the Christmas holiday and two during the New Year’s period. Since Sept. 1, there have been 37 motor vehicle fatalities in South Dakota and 24 of them were not wearing seatbelts. Highway Safety Office Director Lee Axdahl says a happy time can change quickly if someone is not wearing a seatbelt during a vehicle crash.
“Too many families this holiday season will have a loved one missing from around the Christmas tree or the dinner table,” he says. “Don’t add to that sad list. Wear a seatbelt no matter how far you travel, get to your destination safely and make it a memorable season for all the right reasons.”
Holiday safety is also important at home as well. State Fire Marshal Paul Merriman says home fires are more prevalent during the holidays.
“With more lights, more candles, more cooking and more fireplaces being used, the chances of a home fire increase at this time of the year,” Merriman says. “Use holiday lighting safely, never leave burning candles unattended, practice cooking safety, and have a working smoke alarm on each floor, every sleeping area and each bedroom in the home.”
DPS officials also encourage the public to be aware of possible changing weather conditions later this week. Those planning to travel should watch for latest forecasts and check road conditions by calling 511 or at http://www.safetravelusa.com/sd/. If traveling, practice safe driving techniques and pack a winter safety kit.
New study confirms a dramatic decrease in infant deaths
December 5, 2017
Infant deaths from critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) decreased more than 33 percent in eight states that mandated screening for CCHD using a test called pulse oximetry. In addition, deaths from other or unspecified cardiac causes decreased by 21 percent.
Pulse oximetry is a simple bedside test to determine the amount of oxygen in a baby’s blood and the baby’s pulse rate. Low levels of oxygen in the blood can be a sign of a CCHD.
CCHD screening nationwide could save at least 120 babies each year, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This study is the first look at the impact of state policies to either require or recommend screening of infants for CCHD at birth.
The study, Association of U.S. State Implementation of Newborn Screening Policies for Critical Congenital Heart Disease With Infant Cardiac Deaths,shows that states that required their hospitals to screen newborns with pulse oximetry saw the most significant decrease in infant deaths compared with states without screening policies. Voluntary policies or mandated policies not yet implemented were not associated with reductions in infant death rates. The encouraging news is that 47 states and D.C. now have mandatory screening policies in place and one additional state, California, requires screening be offered. These results serve as a reminder to hospitals across the country to remain vigilant in their screening for CCHD.
“More families are able to celebrate special milestones in a child’s life thanks to the early identification and treatment of heart defects,” said CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. “Screening newborns for critical congenital heart disease in every state, tribe, and territory will save lives and help babies thrive.”
About 1 in every 4 babies born with a congenital heart defect has CCHD and will need surgery or other procedures in the first year of life. In the U.S., about 7,200 babies born each year have one of seven CCHDs. Without screening by a pulse oximetry reading, some babies born with a congenital heart defect can appear healthy at first and be sent home with their families before their heart defect is detected.
CDC works to identify causes of congenital heart defects, find opportunities to prevent them, and improve the health of people living with these conditions.
In this season of giving, we are all thinking about what we can do for others. This is certainly noble and important. But we’ve also all heard the expression, “charity begins at home”. In particular, I’d like to focus on what Buddhists call “right speech”.
Traditionally, this concept refers to how we use language to avoid hurting others. According to the Discourse on Mindfulness Meditation, right speech is defined as “refraining from lying, divisive speech, harsh speech, and meaningless speech”. An abbreviated version of this definition can also be as simple as “speaking truthfully and helpfully”. In a recent article in Tricycle magazine titled “If the Buddha Were Called to Jury Duty” by Mark Epstein, the author writes, “Conventionally, right speech refers to how we speak to others, but I also believe it can help us pay attention to how we speak to ourselves.” This got me to thinking about self-talk and how we treat ourselves.
It is safe to say that all of us without exception have some kind of internal dialogue going throughout each day. For most of us it is, in fact, a pretty constant companion from the moment we wake until we fall back to sleep. The most common reason people give for their perceived inability to meditate is that they can’t quiet their constantly chattering minds. Those of you who have a meditation practice know that this is not really what it’s all about, but I’m going to leave that aside for now and focus instead on the internal dialogue itself.
Throughout this blog I have often pointed to the fact that we are our own harshest critics. In fact, most of us would never treat other people the way we routinely treat ourselves. We hold ourselves to impossibly high standards and then mercilessly berate ourselves when we fail to reach them. The fact that they were unrealistic to begin with rarely enters the conversation. We compare ourselves to others who we are certain are doing better and tell ourselves we are failures because we can’t measure up. Or we will find some external source to blame. In other words, we could have been perfect if it weren’t for ______ (fill in the culprit du jour). Most of us are doing the best we can with what we have to work with in any given moment. And none of us – without exception – is perfect. But instead of acknowledging that fact and moving on, we will often poke and prod at the wound of our inability like a toothache and just keep reinforcing that negative perception. The “should haves, could haves, would haves, ifs, ands. and buts” are rerun ad-nauseum in our mind’s eye until we feel incapable of doing anything right.
It is interesting to me that it seems almost like human nature to focus on the negative. During my years of teaching and training, whenever evaluation requests are distributed to participants, 99% could come in saying “this was the best course I ever had in my life”. But then 1 person says, “This was horrible. A total waste of my time.” Instead of focussing on the positive majority, trainers will inevitably worry about the 1 or 2 instances of negative feedback. As the expression goes: negative experiences cling like velcro while the positive ones repel like teflon.
Turning negative thinking into positive is a practice. There are many articles that tout this concept. For example positive self-talk is used by athletes to improve performance. According to Psychology Today: “Positive self-talk is not self-deception. . . Rather, [it] is about recognizing the truth, in situations and in yourself. . . One of the fundamental truths is that you will make mistakes. To expect perfection in yourself or anyone else is unrealistic.” The Mayo Clinic suggests that positive self-talk can help relieve stress. This article presents some ideas to help you practice. For example, if you are thinking “I can’t do this because I’ve never done it before”, you can change that to “this is an opportunity to learn something new”. Or “this is too complicated” can change to “I’ll try it a different way.” Or “I don’t have the resources” can become “maybe I can get creative – necessity is the mother of invention.” Of course, there are more, but you get the picture.
So to bring this back to the season we’re in and to my favorite topic – mindful movement, if you find yourself lamenting lack of time, funds, patience, skill or any other perceived shortcoming, recognize this as an opportunity to practice turning the negative self-talk around. Remind yourself that all of the generosity you want to express during the holidays needs to begin with your own self-compassion. You can’t give what you haven’t got. If you don’t take care of yourself first, you will be no good to anyone else. Be kind to yourself and everyone around you will benefit.
PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota’s Department of Public Safety reminds motorists to be safe so they can make sure they remember this Thanksgiving holiday for all of the right reasons.
The 102-hour Thanksgiving Day Holiday Period for reporting motor vehicle traffic crashes starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday (tonight) and ends at midnight Sunday. It is expected to be a busy travel period and DPS officials urge motorists to slow down, don’t get distracted and for all vehicle drivers and passengers to wear seatbelts.
Already this year, there have been more than 100 vehicle crash fatalities with about a third of them occurring since September. About 66 percent of those fatalities involved people not wearing seatbelts.
“We have seen too many vehicle crash fatalities, especially in the last three months, involving people not wearing seatbelts,” says Lee Axdahl, director of the department’s Office of Highway Safety. “There are too many families who will not be enjoying Thanksgiving this year because of a missing loved one at the table. We don’t want to add to that number this week.”
South Dakota Highway Patrol troopers are conducting an “Operation Safe Thanksgiving” effort on Wednesday in an effort to encourage those already out on the roads to be careful. Col. Craig Price, superintendent of the Highway Patrol, says all available troopers will be on the road Wednesday and throughout the holiday weekend as well.
“Our safety messages are the same as always; wear your seatbelt, obey the speed limits, pay attention and don’t drink and drive,” Col. Price says. “Let’s watch out for each other so everybody can make it safely to their holiday destination.”
While weather is not expected to be a major factor this holiday, Axdahl and Price encourage motorists to watch for possible changing weather conditions just in case. They say travelers should check road conditions by calling 5-1-1 or clicking onto http://www.safetravelusa.com/sd/.
Last year, there were 191 motor vehicle traffic crashes in South Dakota during the Thanksgiving holiday. The crashes resulted in two fatalities and 28 injuries.
WASHINGTON, DC – In observance of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW) on November 25 and the accompanying 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, the United States reaffirms its commitment to defending the rights of women and girls to live free from violence.
IDEVAW and the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign to focus global attention on the scourge of violence against women, including child and forced marriage, domestic violence, and all forms of human trafficking. We know that violence against women and girls undermines global peace and security. It weakens the social fabric that binds families and communities together and prevents countries from achieving social stability and economic development.
Nearly two decades after the United Nations General Assembly established IDEVAW, we continue to recognize that violence against women remains a persistent threat and an obstacle to achieving women’s equality. The United States is especially alarmed by violent extremist groups’ use of violence against women as a tactic of terror to suppress women, recruit terrorists, and stigmatize communities. We denounce terrorist organizations’ use of forced conscription, sexual exploitation, and abuse, including sex trafficking of women and girls.
The United States will never waver in its support for women’s equality. In partnership with governments, international organizations, and civil society around the world, we will continue to work to end violence against women and girls globally and to ensure that women and girls have equal rights and opportunities. On IDEVAW and throughout the 16 Days of Activism, we call on all governments to join us in our shared responsibility to end violence against women.