WNC wellness review: Child dies from mosquito virus, a new women’s health website, and Patch Adams


Henderson County child dies from suspected mosquito-related virus

An 8-year-old North Carolina girl died this week from encephalitis, after she was bitten by a mosquito likely carrying LaCrosse virus. Her death and the hospitalization of her younger brother are the latest evidence that a wet spring and a hot, wet summer have boosted the insects’ population and power to imperil public health.

Health officials on Friday awaited results of lab tests to confirm the underlying cause of the brain inflammation that proved fatal to the Henderson County, N.C., child. The youngster, whose name was being withheld, died Wednesday at Mission Hospital in Asheville, in the mountains of western North Carolina. The LaCrosse virus, which travels from the bloodstream into the brain, can cause headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting and weakness. It can only be spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. It cannot be spread from person to person.

From KGO Newstalk AM810

NC takes steps to address childhood obesity

Information released recently from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges states to make healthier choices easier for kids and more accessible and affordable for parents. To that end, the N.C. Divisions of Public Health and Child Development have been working together to improve child care nutrition and physical activity as part of the state’s efforts to reduce childhood obesity rates, which rank among the highest in the nation.

Using data from 2008, the CDC’s Children’s Food Environment State Indicator Report points to the need for licensure regulations for child care centers to promote healthy behaviors. NC currently meets all the CDC recommendations, including those that require that children have access to drinking water throughout the day, limits sugary drinks to special occasions and limit TV and other screen time in child care settings.

From the Elkin Tribune

New website launched to improve women’s health before pregnancy

The March of Dimes North Carolina Preconception Health Campaign (NCPHC) recently launched a new website, everywomannc.com. The site provides comprehensive information about women’s health and preconception health.

Preconception health refers to a woman’s health before she becomes pregnant. It is important to know how health conditions and risk factors could affect a woman or her unborn baby if she becomes pregnant. Better preconception health improves the overall health of women and babies, decreases health disparities, improves our health care system, and decreases costs to families and society.

From the press release

Girls on the Run to provide life-skills, exercise programs in 38 WNC schools

Girls on the Run® of Western North Carolina will provide their life-skills and exercise programs at 38 elementary and middle school locations in Western North Carolina this fall.

“In the 10 years since our program has been running in Western North Carolina,” says Executive Director, Audrey McElwain, “we have served just over 5200 girls in and we are expanding into Yancey County this fall.”

Last spring the local non-profit served 502 girls in 31 locations. With the program’s continued increase in popularity, it estimates it expects to serve over 1000 girls in 13 Western North Carolina counties during Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 sessions. “We have been amazed at the growth and success of Girls on the Run and look forward to offering our programs for the next 10 years,” says McElwain.

From the press release

Dr. Patch Adams to speak as part of UNC Asheville’s Well-a-Bration

“Well-a-Bration,” a week of activities showcasing UNC Asheville’s health and wellness programs and the grand opening of the new Sherrill Center, will take place Monday, Sept. 12, through Saturday, Sept. 17. The week will feature cooking and exercise programs, meetings of health policy leaders, two expos, and a talk by Dr. Patch Adams, the physician and social activist who inspired the Robin Williams film named for him. Many Well-a-Bration events and activities will be free and open to the public.

“Well-a-Bration will help focus attention on what we can all do to make this a healthier community and a healthier state,” said David Gardner, executive director of UNC Asheville’s N.C. Center for Health & Wellness (NCCH&W). “We’re also celebrating the opening of a great new resource, the Sherrill Center, home to NCCH&W and the Kimmel Arena.”

From the press release

Cancer support group hosts first annual golf tournament, fundraiser Sept. 17

Weaverville—Saturday, September 17 is the tee-off date for the 1st Annual Golf Tournament and Auction fundraiser presented by Bosom Buddies cancer support group for The Hope Chest for Women. The tournament will be played scramble style with 4 person teams on the greens at Reems Creek Golf Club.

Entry fee is $85.00 per person and includes green fees, cart, and an evening cookout. The cookout is $12.00 for non-golfers. Admission to the auction is free.

From the press release

Healthy Aging Month prompts experts to evaluate what will happen when “Baby Boomers” retire

September is Healthy Aging Month, and experts emphasize that healthy living beyond age 65 is a focus more than ever before. The year 2011 will be the first for retirement for the “Baby Boomers,” a group that will significantly add to our aging population during the next 20 years.
“The problem is that during the next 20 years, more will be retiring each year, and we’re going to potentially have millions retiring and not participating in physical activity,” says Whitney Doiron, R.N., A.P.R.N., a board-certified adult and geriatric nurse practitioner at Park Ridge Health. “This sedentary lifestyle leads to more and more problems.”

From the press release

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