Tag Archives: health

Kidney Mobile returns to Passavant Area Hospital for free screenings first Tuesday in June

A type of disease more deadly than breast and prostate cancer combined is in the spotlight at an annual event coming to Passavant Hospital next week.

The eleventh annual Kidney Mobile visit to Jacksonville will be next Tuesday, June 5th, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the main lobby of Passavant Area Hospital’s campus at 1600 West Walnut.

One in three adults is at risk for kidney disease in the United States. Anyone 18 or older can be screened. A few walk-ins will be accepted. Passavant asks that anyone who knows they would like a kidney screening on June 5th to please call 217-479-5800 to make a personal reservation.

Julie Gound is the Director of Educational Services at Passavant, as well as the Coordinator of the Kidney Mobile’s annual visit to the hospital’s campus. As a recent guest of WLDS’ AM conversation, Gound described the partnership between Passavant Hospital Foundation and the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois and its benefits for the Jacksonville community.

The Kidney Mobile is brought to the Jacksonville community by the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois, whose goal is to provide the health and well-being of people at risk for or affected by kidney disease through prevention, education, and empowerment. Passavant’s mission is to improve the health and communities of the people we serve. It’s our honor to partner together to bring this valuable screening to the Passavant community. To date, we have screened over one thousand community members, some of which we’ve been able to refer to physicians for diagnosis of kidney disease, hypertension, and diabetes. They had no indications or awareness that they were at risk.”

Gound lays out the process of testing that everyone will partake in to receive a full analysis.

When they come in on June 5th, they will come through our main entrance and we’ll get them registered. They’re going to have their blood pressure and waist circumference checked, as well as a blood glucose reading and urinalysis. If they have abnormal results on those initial tests, they may receive a blood test for serum creatinine and GFR (glomerular filtration rate). Those are tests that estimate kidney function. Then, we will go over all those results with the patient and then they can be referred on to further care if needed.”

Gound says most blood testing won’t happen on the day of the Kidney Mobile visit, and also says why anyone who wants a screening does not need to worry about the night before.

If they have to have a blood draw, they will get a letter from the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois later in the mail. All the other preliminary tests are given to them right there, and the best thing is there’s no cost. It’s free of charge, and you don’t need to be fasting for the testing.”

Passavant and the Kidney Mobile Staff will be screening for things like high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, and diabetes. Tours of the Kidney Mobile will also be available to those interested. To reserve your spot for this event in advance, call 217-479-5800. To learn more about the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois, go to nkfi.org.

To hear more from Julie Gound regarding Passavant and the Kidney Mobile, go to our news page right here at WLDS.com.

Morgan County Health Department beginning routine searches for West Nile Virus infections in deceased birds

People always think mosquitoes when West Nile Virus is mentioned, but where do the mosquitoes get it from? The answer to that question is birds. For this reason, health departments nationwide conduct regular studies of dead birds possibly infected by the West Nile Virus. However, birds cannot give the virus to humans.

Cameron Morford is the Sanitarian and Coordinator of Public Health Emergency Preparedness with the Morgan County Health Department. As a guest on this month’s edition of the County Health Department AM Conversation on WLDS, Morford discussed the prevalence of West Nile Virus in Illinois.

Morford says the annual testing season of suspicious deceased birds has already begun.

“We start our surveillance of dead birds the First of May and it runs all the way through October 15th, so with it being a little bit warmer lately, we’re actually getting in to the start of it.”

Morford and the MCHD want everyone to know what the possible symptoms of West Nile are.

“Your minor symptoms are going to be fever, headache, body ache, and rash… and that’s only going to be your twenty percent of people who even show symptoms, so it’s kind of minor, almost flu-like symptoms there. And then when we get into the more severe stuff, that will be stiff neck, sleepiness. You could actually go into a coma, have tremors, convulsions, and maybe even lead to paralysis or severe nervous system damage. So, it can be pretty serious.”

While talking with WLDS’ Gary Scott, Morford explains what should and should not be done when you see a deceased bird that may be infected with or a carrier of the West Nile Virus.

Morford: “What we’re really looking for is kind of a bird that doesn’t really have any obvious signs of death. It just kind of looks like it really didn’t get hit by a car, didn’t get shot, wasn’t eaten on, just kind of laying there and it looks a little suspicious, like it shouldn’t have died. That’s when we start thinking West Nile, perhaps. If you see one, and it’s not overly decayed, it looks like there’s no obvious signs of death, you’re going to want to report that to the health department. We’re on 345 West State there in Jacksonville. You can give us a call, or head in and meet with me and I’ll head out and we’ll send it in for testing to IDPH at the lab.”

Gary Scott: “Should we as the general public handle the bird?”

Morford: “You shouldn’t. As soon as you see it on the ground, just give me a call or head in and talk to me and I’ll handle it from there.”

Morford goes over the Illinois West Nile Virus Prevention Protocol, referred to as the three R’s.

“The Three R’s: Reduce, Repel, and Report. When you are outside, make sure you’re covered up: long sleeves, long pants, taking care of your children, putting repellent on. The repellent’s you’re going to be using are deet, picaridin, IR3535, or eucalyptus oil. You can also treat your clothes with permethrin. DON’T EVER PUT THAT [permethrin] ON YOUR SKIN, though, like a regular repellent. You’re going to want to treat your clothes [with permethrin] before hand.

Some things you can do around your house or yard to mosquito-proof:

  • Make sure any screens you have on windows or doors are in good repair.
  • If you’ve got any trash cans, buckets, flower pots, tires, or anything in your backyard make sure those aren’t filling up with water.

Your culex pipiens, the breed of mosquitoes that are actually going to have the highest possibility of carrying West Nile – they like the stagnant, standing-still water to lay their eggs in.”

Since 2013, nearly 500 confirmed human cases of West Nile Virus were reported in Illinois. Eighty percent of people that contract West Nile Virus will not be effected enough to ever show any symptoms. No one has died from West Nile Virus in Illinois since 2004.