Tips to Avoid Colds or Flu this Holiday Travel Season

seasonal-flu-300The most wonderful time of the year is all about spending time with loved ones. But if doing so requires travel, be sure to take precautions to stay healthy.

“Stressed travelers confined in crowded spaces can be particularly susceptible to colds and flu, especially at this time of year,” says Dr. Kenneth Redcross, M.D.

But don’t despair. Redcross says that a few behavior can help you get through the season.

Don’t Touch That

Cold and flu viruses are transmitted by touching respiratory secretions and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth. So avoid touching escalator rails and other surfaces in crowded public places like airports. Don’t put your face directly on airline-supplied pillows or blankets that haven’t been sanitized. Use antibacterial wipes to clean off tray tables and arm rests.

One of the simplest ways to avoid transmitting cold and flu bugs is to wash your hands, yet as many as 30 percent of airline travelers do not after using airport restrooms, according to a study by the American Society for Microbiology.

The Air Up There

Airplane cabins are extremely dry, and viruses tend to thrive in low-humidity conditions. Cold, dry air will dry out your mucous membranes, breaking down your natural barrier to infection. Drinking water, juice or electrolyte drinks or spritzing your face with water will keep skin moist. Avoid dehydrating beverages like coffee, soda and alcohol.

Healthy Habits

Stress can take a toll on your immune system. Reduce the stress associated with traveling by being flexible and prepared. Build extra time into your schedule for a more relaxing trip.

Exercise may prevent the elderly from getting colds and flu, according to a study reported in the journal, “Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.” Make an effort to continue exercising on trips.

Do your best to get a full night’s sleep while traveling. Even missing an hour or two of sleep nightly can wear down your immune system and increase your stress level, making you more susceptible to germs.

Eat right to avoid digestion problems and ensure you’re getting immunity-boosting nutrients, such as vitamin C.

The busy holiday season doesn’t have to mean sniffles, a sore throat and an achy, rundown body. Take steps to ring in a happy, healthy New Year.


Residents Urged to Get Vaccinated Against Whooping Cough

P_infectionB_whoop_1Responding to a recent surge in cases of whooping cough (pertussis), the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment urges Coloradans to ensure they’re up to date on vaccinations. One hundred new cases of pertussis were reported in the second half of October.

In the first 10 months of 2013, 1,116 cases of pertussis were reported. Colorado has seen epidemic levels of pertussis over the past two years. The 1,494 cases in 2012 made it the state’s worst year for whooping cough, surpassing the 1,383 cases in 2005.
“Pertussis immunizations are recommended for all children and adults, but it is especially important for people who have contact with infants to be up-to-date,” said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the medical director of the department’s immunization section. “Infants are too young to receive the vaccine themselves and have a higher risk of hospitalization and death due to pertussis.”
“Unfortunately parents and other caregivers are commonly the source of pertussis infections in infants,” Dr. Herlihy said. “With national estimates suggesting only 12 percent of adults have received the recommended Tdap vaccine, we are missing too many opportunities to prevent these infections.”
Though the recent increase is widespread, the most of the new cases were in Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver and Jefferson counties.
Ideally, the vaccine should be received at least two weeks before beginning contact with an infant, to allow enough time to develop immunity. Infants should receive the pertussis containing vaccine, DTaP, at ages 2-, 4- and 6-months, and again between 15 and18 months of age, and children should receive a booster between 4 and 6 years of age.
The Tdap vaccine is recommended for:
  • Children 7–10 years old who are not fully immunized with the childhood DTaP vaccine series
  • Adolescents 11–12 years old
  • Adults who have never received a Tdap vaccine
  • Pregnant women at 27 through 36 weeks or pregnancy
  • Parents/caregivers of infants under 12 months of age, including grandparents, babysitters and childcare workers
  • Health care workers
  • Others who plan on having close contact with an infant
Pertussis is a bacterial infection of the respiratory tract that spreads easily through the air in droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The illness often starts with cold-like symptoms, including sneezing, runny nose, low-grade fever and a mild cough. The cough becomes more severe during the first week or two, and often is characterized by episodes of rapid coughs (coughing fits), followed by a high-pitched whoop, or a coughing fit followed by vomiting. The cough may last for a couple of months and is more frequent at night.


agenda tile -450Steamboat Redevelopment Authority meeting agenda for 12-03

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Steamboat City Council Agenda for 12-03

Steamboat City Council agenda for 12-17



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The Denver Broncos play at Kansas City today.  You can catch that game live on 55 Country, with the pregame at noon and the kickoff at 2:30.



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