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Animal owners advised to take precautions to protect themselves
and their pets from monkeypox virus

[JUNE 18, 2003]  SPRINGFIELD -- Detailed instructions have been released to protect pet owners from the monkeypox virus and prevent the virus' spread in the domestic pet and wildlife populations.

The instructions, developed by veterinarians with the Illinois Departments of Agriculture and Public Health in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, include a new directive for disposing of dead animals that may have been exposed to the virus.

"Dead animals showing symptoms of monkeypox virus should not be buried or placed in the trash," Agriculture Director Chuck Hartke said. "Instead, they should be put in a sealed garbage bag and placed on ice in a disposable cooler until the Department of Agriculture can collect them,"

Pickup of dead animals can be arranged by calling the Department of Agriculture's toll-free hot line at 1-866-427-7281.

The monkeypox virus has been confirmed in four Illinoisans who reported having close contact with prairie dogs sold by Phil's Pocket Pets, an unlicensed pet dealer located in Villa Park. Fifteen other cases also involving contact with prairie dogs are suspected. While the Illinois investigation into the disease outbreak --- the first in this hemisphere --- has produced no conclusive evidence that other animals have been infected, as a precaution all mammals should be considered susceptible.


Monkeypox virus originated in Africa and typically is transmitted by infected rodents to other animals and humans. Human to human transmission also is possible but has not been documented in the current outbreak.

Symptoms of the virus include fever, cough, eye and nasal discharge, labored breathing, hair loss, swollen lymph nodes, and a blister-like rash.

Agriculture and Public Health officials recommend the following precautions if an animal displays any of those symptoms:

1. Isolate the animal from other animals and people.

2. Call the Illinois Department of Agriculture hot line immediately.

3. Wear disposable rubber gloves, a disposable mask like those worn by surgeons or a high-quality disposable dust mask, and eye protection when handling the animal, its cage, feed and water bowls, and bedding. The protective clothing protects the handler from infection through contact with skin lesions and the inhalation of infectious particles.


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4. Collect all bedding and disposable gloves and masks in a sealed garbage bag and call the Illinois Department of Agriculture hot line to have it disposed of as medically regulated waste. Do not place the bag in household trash.

5. Isolate animals that have been in contact with a sick animal and watch closely for symptoms of monkeypox virus for at least a month.

6. Disinfect household surfaces with a 3 percent solution of bleach (a 3 percent solution requires 74 ounces of bleach and 54 ounces of water to make one gallon). Laundry may be washed in a standard washing machine with warm water and detergent; bleach can be added but is not necessary. Care should be used when handling soiled laundry to avoid direct contact with contaminated material. Soiled laundry also should not be shaken or handled in a manner that may cause infectious particles of the virus to become airborne.

The transport of sick animals to a veterinary clinic or other location is not recommended, to prevent the unnecessary exposure of other animals and humans to the virus. However, if a sick animal must be moved:

1. Call the Illinois Department of Agriculture hot line.

2. Limit human exposure by having only one person transport the animal.

3. Keep the animal in a closed container, such as a cardboard box, and, if possible, in a separate compartment of the vehicle.

4. Immediately after the animal is delivered, clean the vehicle with the disinfectant described above.

5. Make sure the local health department is informed as soon as possible of the movement of the animal and the results of any examination.

Questions concerning these instructions should be directed to the agriculture hot line, state or local health officials, or the Centers for Disease Control Emergency Operations Center at 1-770-488-7100.

[Illinois Department of Agriculture news release]


Tamper-evident packaging
could foil terrorists

[JUNE 14, 2003]  The recent discovery of ricin, a toxin from castor beans, in London has raised concern that terrorists could contaminate food at either the point of manufacture or after it's been put out for consumption in grocery stores and restaurants, but tamper-evident packaging in use today means terrorists would have a difficult time contaminating large numbers of food packages.

"Tamper-evident packaging has been in use since the drug-tampering scares in the early 1980s," said Scott Morris, an expert on food packaging at the University of Illinois.

"Although tamper-evident seals are not required on foodstuffs, the food industry already has a high level of tamper evidence on most products."

Morris says that tamper-evident packaging includes such things as twist-locks, ring pulls, pop-tops, shrink seals and blister-packs. They are commonly used in food packaging, not only because they provide evidence of tampering, but also because they keep foods fresh.

"Consumers usually know enough to look for overt signs of tampering, and they know that they should avoid products with an open seal," he said. "No seal is completely foolproof, but they work reasonably well as a first line of defense."

Other products, such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and cleaning agents, could also be used to infect or poison people, and there is already concern about diluted and counterfeit pharmaceuticals in the United States.

"The Food and Drug Administration is investigating better ways of protecting the food supply, and recently it issued new voluntary guidelines for food producers, processors, transporters and retailers. Food plants are also making security a primary concern," said Morris.

Another comforting fact is that the food industry is capable of doing large-scale recalls very efficiently because of its experience with food-poisoning cases.

"Such recalls are now done almost pre-emptively. If there is an outbreak, the food industry aggressively tracks down the rest of the product and gets it off the shelves very quickly," he said.


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Morris has been working with the U of I Bioacoustics Lab in the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology to image food seals and determine how large a defect in a seal must be to become a contamination problem. The research was prompted by the military's concern about the safety of food in their MRE (meal ready-to-eat) packages.

"The technologies to make tamper evidence even more secure are there if people are willing to pay for them," Morris said, "but consumer or governmental demand that would prompt industry to make new investments in more secure technologies isn't there yet."

Morris says right now people are getting the level of security that they're willing to pay for.

"More security would require significant changes at the production, distribution and retail facilities. This would be a huge and expensive task. Look at the way the airlines scan and search purses and briefcases at the airport. Would shoppers put up with that level of inconvenience when they enter a grocery store?" asked Morris.

If people start getting nervous about the food supply, however, Morris believes they may be willing to pay extra for a more restrictive packaging. He notes that this packaging would also be more difficult for the end user to open. And, no doubt, the product would end up costing more too.

"If someone wants to tamper with a product badly enough, they will find a way to do it. But I believe we can make it more difficult, and that's what we're trying to do."

[University of Illinois news release]


Health Matters

A monthly feature from  Logan County Health Department

Health officials advise mosquito control and personal protection

[MAY 19, 2003]  As you know, mosquito season is upon us again. Last year, West Nile virus, which can be transmitted by mosquitoes, was prevalent in Illinois. Although we don't know what 2003 will bring, it is always best to be prepared.

First of all, no amount of larvaciding or adult mosquito fogging will kill all mosquito larva or adult mosquitoes. It can have a tremendous impact, but it is only one way to help eliminate the mosquito population. Each person must do his or her part. Since mosquitoes need only a small amount of water for breeding, look to your own back yard.

*Remove or empty water in old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, flower pots or bird baths

*Empty plastic wading pools at least once a week and store indoors when not in use. Also, swimming pools that are not used should be covered or drained during the mosquito season.

*Change the water in bird baths and plant pots at least once a week.

*Level the ground around your house so water can drain away and not collect in low-lying areas.

*If you have an ornamental water garden, stock it with mosquito-eating fish such as minnows, "mosquito fish" or goldfish. They eat mosquito larva.

*Keep weeds and tall grass cut short; adult mosquitoes look for these shady places to rest during the hot daylight hours.

*Small impoundments of water may be treated with "Bti," a bacterial insecticide. Many hardware stores carry doughnut-shaped Bti briquets (Mosquito Dunks) for this purpose.


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Since we will not eradicate the mosquito, we must also be responsible about personal protection. You can protect yourself by:

*Avoiding places and times when mosquitoes bite. This is usually just before and after sunset and just before dawn. Each species has its own peak period of biting.

*Be sure doors and screens are tight-fitting and in good repair.

*Check to see that your mosquito repellent contains DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide)

Generally, repellents with a concentration of 25 percent to 35 percent DEET work best on adults; use lower concentrations of 10 percent or less for children between the ages of 2 and 12. Do not use on infants.

For more information, go to http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm and http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/

You may also contact the Logan County Health Department at (217) 735-2317.

[Logan County Health Department news release]


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Honors & Awards


CICBC blood drives monthly at paramedics' building

Blood supplies across the nation are critical. In some areas, there is less than a one-day supply. Fortunately, thanks to the dedicated donors in central Illinois, these tremendous shortages have not yet touched our hospitals. However, the blood supply is a resource that must be renewed. Every three seconds someone needs a blood transfusion of some kind. To accommodate this constant usage, community members must continually help replenish the supply. Since a donor can donate whole blood only every eight weeks, Central Illinois Community Blood Center needs community members to come forward and help with this lifesaving effort.

Central Illinois Community Blood Center provides all of the blood and blood products for 12 area hospitals, including those in Lincoln, Hopedale and Springfield. No other organization provides blood in these hospitals. CICBC is a community-based blood center whose mission is to provide a safe and adequate blood supply for patients in local hospitals in a cost-effective manner.

When you donate blood through CICBC, you help to keep a safe and adequate blood supply for your community. You also help keep local medical costs under control.


Regularly scheduled blood drives are on the first Monday of each month (except Labor Day) at the Logan County Paramedic Association building, 1300 N. Postville Road. (See schedule.) Please help by donating blood.

CICBC also provides other services for the communities served, such as therapeutic phlebotomy at no charge for patients with hereditary hemochromatosis.

For more information, call Terry Bell at 753-1530.

[CICBC press release]

CICBC blood drive schedule
  • July 2, 1-7 p.m., at Lincoln Christian Church, 204 N. McLean

  • July 7, noon-6 p.m., at Logan County Paramedic Association building

  • July 15, hours and location to be announced

  • Aug. 4, noon-6 p.m., at Logan County Paramedic Association building

  • Sept. 8, noon-6 p.m., at Logan County Paramedic Association building

  • Sept. 24, hours and location to be announced

  • Oct. 6, noon-6 p.m., at Logan County Paramedic Association building

  • Nov. 3, noon-6 p.m., at Logan County Paramedic Association building

  • Nov. 12, hours and location to be announced

  • Dec. 1, noon-6 p.m., at Logan County Paramedic Association building

Mobile health unit schedule

The Rural Health Partnership has announced the schedule for its mobile health unit for 2002.


Morning: 9-11 a.m.



Afternoon: 1-3:30 p.m.


1st and 3rd


1st and 3rd



2nd and 4th

San Jose

2nd and 4th






Mount Pulaski



New Holland




1st and 3rd




2nd and 4th

Friendship Manor-Lincoln


1st, 2nd, 4th

Village Hall-Latham




2nd and 4th




Maintenance/ special events


special events

The mobile health unit does not operate on the following dates for holidays during 2002:  Jan. 21 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), Feb. 18 (Presidents' Day), March 29 (Good Friday), May 27 (Memorial Day), July 4 (Independence Day), Sept. 2 (Labor Day), Oct. 14 (Columbus Day), Nov. 11 (Veterans Day), Nov. 28-29 (Thanksgiving break) and Dec. 24-25 (Christmas break).

For more information on the mobile health unit schedule and services, contact Dayle Eldredge at (217) 732-2161, Ext. 409.

Community resource list

This family resource list to save and use is provided by the Healthy Communities Partnership and the Healthy Families Task Force, 732-2161, Ext. 409.         


Phone number


Lincoln agencies


911 (emergency)
732-3911 (office -- non-emergency)

911 Pekin St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital


315 Eighth St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

American Red Cross

732-2134 or 
1 (800) 412-0100

125 S. Kickapoo
Lincoln, IL 62656

Catholic Social Services


310 S. Logan
Lincoln, IL 62656

Lincoln/Logan County Chamber
of Commerce


303 S. Kickapoo St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Community Action (CIEDC)


1800 Fifth St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Crisis Pregnancy Center/
Living Alternatives


408 A Pulaski St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

DCFS (Department of Children
& Family Services)

735-4402 or 
1 (800) 252-2873
(crisis hotline)

1120 Keokuk St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Heartland Community College
- GED program


620 Broadway St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Housing Authority


1028 N. College St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Illinois Breast & Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP)

735-2317 or 
1 (800) 269-4019

109 Third St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Illinois Employment and Training Center (replaces JTPA office)


120 S. McLean St., Suite B
Farm Bureau Building
Lincoln, IL 62656

Lincoln Area YMCA


319 W. Kickapoo St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Lincoln/Logan Food Pantry


P.O. Box 773
Lincoln, IL 62656

Lincoln Parents' Center


100 S. Maple
Lincoln, IL 62656

Lincoln Park District


1400 Primm Rd.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Logan County Department of Human Services (Public Aid)


1500 Fourth St.
P.O. Box 310
Lincoln, IL 62656

Logan County Health Department


109 Third St.
P.O. Box 508
Lincoln, IL 62656

Logan-Mason Mental Health

735-2272 or
732-3600 (crisis line)

304 Eighth St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Logan-Mason Rehabilitation Center


760 S. Postville Drive
Lincoln, IL 62656

The Oasis
(Senior Citizens of Logan County)


501 Pulaski St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Project READ


620 Broadway St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Salvation Army


1501 N. Kickapoo
Lincoln, IL 62656

Senior Services of Central Illinois

732-6213 or 
1 (800) 252-8966
(crisis line)

109 Third St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

U. of I. Extension Service


980 N. Postville Drive
Lincoln, IL 62656

Springfield agencies

Department of Aging


421 E. Capitol, #100
Springfield, IL 62701-1789

American Cancer Society

(24 hour)

1305 Wabash, Suite J
Springfield, IL 62704

Community Child Care Connection

(217) 525-2805 or
1 (800) 676-2805

1004 N. Milton Ave.
Springfield, IL 62702-4430

Hospice Care of Illinois

1 (800) 342-4862
(24 hour) or
732-2161, Ext. 444

720 N. Bond
Springfield, IL 62702

Illinois Department of Public Health

(217) 782-4977

535 W. Jefferson
Springfield, IL 62761

Legal Assistance Foundation

(217) 753-3300 or
1 (800) 252-8629

730 E. Vine St., Suite 214
Springfield, IL 62703

Sojourn Shelter & Services Inc.

732-8988 or
1 (866) HELP4DV
(24-hour hotline)

1800 Westchester Blvd.
Springfield, IL 62704

U. of I. Division of Specialized Care for Children

524-2000 or 
1 (800) 946-8468

421 South Grand Ave. West
Second Floor
Springfield, IL 62704

Logan County libraries

Atlanta Library 

(217) 648-2112

100 Race St.
Atlanta, IL 61723

Elkhart Library

(217) 947-2313

121 E. Bohan
Elkhart, IL 62634

Lincoln Public Library


725 Pekin St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Mount Pulaski Library


320 N. Washington
Mount Pulaski, IL 62548

(updated 2-15-02)

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