WNC wellness review: Look out for (Colorado) cantaloupes, and a rabid fox found in town

N.C. Health Officials monitor cases of cantaloupe-related Listeria infection
After recent reports of deadly Listeria infections from cantaloupe linked to one farm in Colorado:

North Carolina Health Officials are closely monitoring recently reported cases of cantaloupe-related Listeria infection associated with the recent outbreak that has sickened and killed several people in other states. N.C. public health officials are on the lookout for any potential cases. They encourage people to take steps to avoid exposure to Listeria infection and other food-borne illnesses.

“Most food-borne illness can be avoided by using safe food handling practices,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Megan Davies. “This is especially important for pregnant women, newborns, the elderly, and adults with weakened immune systems who are particularly susceptible to complications from food-borne illnesses.”

From the press release

Buncombe County urges caution after rabid fox found in Black Mountain

Buncombe County Department of Health officials have confirmed that a fox found dead in Black Mountain has tested positive for rabies. The dead fox was found in the area where a woman was bitten on Saturday. Rabies is easily transmitted among wild animals and unvaccinated pets, so the public has been alerted to watch for any wild animal that may be behaving strangely such as acting aggressively, stumbling or foaming at the mouth. If such an animal is seen in the Black Mountain area, residents are asked to take children and pets inside and call the Buncombe County Sheriff’s office at 250-6670.

From the press release

NC awarded $7.4 million to help create healthier communities

RALEIGH – Gov. Bev Perdue announced today that the N.C. Division of Public Health has been awarded $7.4 million as part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Community Transformation Grants. The grant will support public health efforts in local communities to reduce chronic diseases, promote healthier lifestyles, reduce health disparities, and control health care spending.

“North Carolina has long led the nation in community-based efforts to improve health,” Gov. Perdue said. “By putting these federal dollars to work at the local level, we can help our citizens live healthier, longer lives and continue to build a strong workforce to make North Carolina an even more appealing place to live and work.”

From the press release

Local VA hospital chosen for electronic data exchange

Charles George VA Medical Center has been selected as a pilot site for a new electronic data exchange enterprise that will allow veterans’ health records to be accessed electronically by health care providers in 16 Western North Carolina hospitals.

The Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record program allows health records to be shared securely over the Nationwide Health Information Network. Enrollment in the program is voluntary.

From the Times-News

WCU offers course on medical billing

Western Carolina University’s Office of Continuing Education will offer a course for individuals interested in becoming a medical billing and coding professional beginning Monday, Oct. 10, and continuing through Monday, Dec. 19.

Classes will be held Mondays and Thursdays from 6 to 9:30 p.m. in Room 143 of WCU’s Cordelia Camp Building.

From the press release

Mast General Store, Merrell Footwear, and MANNA FoodBank team up to fight hunger

Mast General Store, Merrell Footwear, and MANNA FoodBank are partnering to provide children in the Asheville area with weekend food, and you can help. For each pair of Merrell shoes purchased at Mast Store October 1st through 16th Merrell will fill a pack with food to feed a child for a weekend.

The MANNA FoodBank plays a vital role in our community by involving, educating, and uniting people in the work of ending hunger in Western North Carolina. MANNA is a private, not-for-profit service organization, founded in 1982, that links the food industry with 231 partner agencies in 16 counties of Western North Carolina.

From the press release

WNC high school students explore health careers during Oct. 11 conference

Some 500 high school students from across Western North Carolina will explore an array of career opportunities in the fields of health care, health education and more at the 12th annual Health Careers Education Awareness Conference, “Navigating Your Journey to a Health Career,” at UNC Asheville’s Wilma Sherrill Center on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011.

The day-long conference is organized by MAHEC’s Department of Health Careers & Diversity Education, UNC Asheville’s Career Center and the WNC Regional Advisory Committee, whose 28 members represent a range of educational and medical institutions.

From the press release

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