News & Education

Immunization

Why Immunize? Why immunize our children? Sometimes we are confused by the messages in the media. First we are assured that, thanks to vaccines, some diseases are almost gone from the U.S. But we are also warned to immunize our children, ourselves as adults, and the elderly.   


Diseases are becoming rare due to vaccinations. It's true, some diseases (like polio and diphtheria) are becoming very rare in the U.S. Of course, they are becoming rare largely because we have been vaccinating against them. But it is still reasonable to ask whether it's really worthwhile to keep vaccinating.   It's much like bailing out a boat with a slow leak. When we started bailing, the boat was filled with water. But we have been bailing fast and hard, and now it is almost dry. We could say, "Good. The boat is dry now, so we can throw away the bucket and relax." But the leak hasn't stopped. Before long we'd notice a little water seeping in, and soon it might be back up to the same level as when we started.   


Keep immunizing until disease is eliminated. Unless we can "stop the leak" (eliminate the disease), it is important to keep immunizing. Even if there are only a few cases of disease today, if we take away the protection given by vaccination, more and more people will become infected and will spread disease to others. Soon we will undo the progress we have made over the years.   


Japan reduced pertussis vaccinations, and an epidemic occurred. In 1974, Japan had a successful pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination program, with nearly 80% of Japanese children vaccinated. That year only 393 cases of pertussis were reported in the entire country, and there were no deaths from pertussis. But then rumors began to spread that pertussis vaccination was no longer needed and that the vaccine was not safe, and by 1976 only 10% of infants were getting vaccinated. In 1979 Japan suffered a major pertussis epidemic, with more than 13,000 cases of whooping cough and 41 deaths. In 1981 the government began vaccinating with acellular pertussis vaccine, and the number of pertussis cases dropped again.  


What if we stopped vaccinating? So what would happen if we stopped vaccinating here? Diseases that are almost unknown would stage a comeback. Before long we would see epidemics of diseases that are nearly under control today. More children would get sick and more would die.   

We vaccinate to protect our future. We don't vaccinate just to protect our children. We also vaccinate to protect our grandchildren and their grandchildren. With one disease, smallpox, we "stopped the leak" in the boat by eradicating the disease. Our children don't have to get smallpox shots any more because the disease no longer exists. If we keep vaccinating now, parents in the future may be able to trust that diseases like polio and meningitis won't infect, cripple, or kill children. Vaccinations are one of the best ways to put an end to the serious effects of certain diseases.  


  *all information taken from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  

Head Lice

The head louse is a tiny, grayish-white insect. Female head lice typically live for about one month and lay 7 to 10 eggs (called nits) per day. The eggs are attached to the base of a hair, near the scalp. The eggs hatch after about eight days. After the eggs hatch, the nits become easier to see. Since the nits are firmly attached to the hair, they move away from the scalp as the hair grows. Head lice do not jump or fly, and they cannot spread from person to person by attaching to pets. Direct contact with the hair of a person with lice (hair to hair contact) is thought to be the most common method of spreading head lice. It is unclear how much contact with objects used by people with head lice, such as clothing, bedding, combs, or brushes, contributes to the spread of head lice. Head lice often affect children. In one study, approximately one of every four elementary-age students in the United States had head lice. 

“SUPER LICE” Many people are concerned about super or resistant lice. None of these have been identified in our area to date. 

HEAD LICE SYMPTOMS — Most people with head lice do not have any symptoms. Some people feel itching or skin irritation of the scalp, neck, and ears. This is caused by a reaction to lice saliva, which the lice inject into the skin during feeding. 

HEAD LICE DIAGNOSIS — Head lice are diagnosed by examination of the scalp and hair. Special "nit combs" can be used to assist with the diagnosis. 

●Before using the fine-toothed comb, use a regular brush or comb to remove tangles. This can be done while the hair is wet or dry. If the hair is wet, apply hair conditioner to make the hair easier to comb. 

●Place the fine-toothed comb at the top of the head, touching the scalp. Pull the comb through the hair from roots to ends. After each stroke, carefully examine the comb for lice or eggs. ●Comb the entire head at least twice Finding eggs (nits) without lice does not necessarily mean that there is an active infestation; nits can be found for months after lice are treated. Because lice lay eggs at the base of the hair shaft, the identification of nits within ¼ inch of the scalp suggests (but does not confirm) an active infestation . Lice can be more difficult to see than nits since they can move and hide from view. A doctor or nurse can examine the head under a special lamp, which causes nits to glow a pale blue color. If you are unsure whether your child has lice, make an appointment for your child to be examined before you start treatment. Finding head lice can be upsetting to children and parents, but it is important to keep the following in mind: 

●Head lice are not a sign of being dirty or sick 

●You can get rid of head lice with proper treatment 

●There are no serious or long-term health problems associated with head lice 

HEAD LICE TREATMENT — There are several options for getting rid of head lice, including creams and liquids, and combing. It is important to follow directions carefully to be sure that the treatment works. If you are sure that your child (over age two years) has head lice, you can use a nonprescription lice treatment (see 'Insecticides' below). Examine family members and close contacts at the same time and treat them if needed. If your child is under age two years, contact the child's doctor or nurse for treatment advice. Insecticides — A topical insecticide (pediculicide) is a substance, usually a lotion or gel, that is applied to the scalp to kill lice. 


Available insecticides at Bad River Pharmacy include: 

●Permethrin (Nix, Rid) 

●Spinosad (Natroba)(Office visit and prescription required) 

●Topical ivermectin (Sklice) (Office visit and prescription required) 

(Availability can depend on your insurance’s preferred medicine.) 

Follow the manufacturer's instructions for applying the insecticide carefully. We recommend starting with permethrin.  

  • Wash the hair with shampoo, rinse it, and towel-dry it. Do not use conditioner  or combined shampoo/conditioner for this washing..
  • Apply the insecticide cream or gel liberally to the scalp and leave on for 10 minutes before rinsing with water.
  • The  treated person should put on clean clothes after the medicine has been applied and rinsed out.
  • Have them wait 1 to 2 days after treatment to wash and condition their hair.
  • If a  few slower moving lice are seen 8 to 12 hours after treatment, do not      retreat at this point. The medicine may take longer to kill all the lice.      Comb the dead and live lice out of the hair with a fine tooth comb.
  • If  after 8 to 12 hours there are no dead lice and the live ones are still as  active as before, the medicine may not be working. Consult with your health care provider at this point.
  • Nit  combs that often come in the packaging of the permethrin can be used to remove nits and lice from the hair. Many flea combs made for cats and dogs also work well.
  • After  treatment, combing the hair with a nit comb every 2 or 3 days may decrease  the chance of re-infestation. Continue to check for 2 to 3 weeks to be sure all nits and lice are gone.
  • A second treatment is sometimes needed with permethrin  9 days      after the first treatment. This is to kill any lice that may have hatched      from nits after the first treatment before they are able to lay any new      eggs.

Treatment with spinosad should be repeated if live lice remain after seven days.  Topical ivermectin is given as a single treatment; patients should consult with a healthcare provider before repeating treatment. Nit combing is not required with ivermectin, although fine tooth combing may be used to remove treated lice and nits. Wet-combing — Wet-combing is a way to remove lice from the hair with careful and repeated combing. It is a good option for treating very young children or if you want to avoid using insecticides. However, wet-combing is time consuming and must be repeated multiple times over a period of a few weeks. Wet the hair and add a lubricant, such as hair conditioner or cream rinse, vinegar, or olive oil. See above for a description of how to wet-comb (see 'Head lice diagnosis' above). The combing session should take 15 to 30 minutes, depending how long and thick the hair is. Comb every three to four days for two weeks AFTER you find any large, adult lice. 


PREVENTING HEAD LICE SPREAD — Adults and children who live with a person diagnosed with lice should be examined for lice and treated if needed. Anyone who sleeps in the same bed should be treated for lice, even if no lice or eggs are found. School policies differ about whom at a school, if anyone, needs to be informed when a child has lice. A confidential call or visit with the school nurse is a good place to start. Most experts believe that children with head lice do not need to be removed from school. Clothing, bedding, and towels used within 48 hours before treatment should be washed in hot water and dried in an electric dryer on the hot setting. Dry cleaning is also effective. You can use a vacuum to clean furniture, carpet, and car seats. Items that cannot be washed or vacuumed can be sealed inside a plastic bag for two weeks. Soak brushes and combs in hot water (at least 130 degrees F) for 5-10 minutes. 


Items that the person used more than two days before treatment are not likely to be infested because head lice cannot survive off the body for more than 48 hours. You do not need to have your home sprayed for lice. Click here for printable head lice information 

Breast Health

Did you know that breast cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death in Northern Plains or Woodland American Indians?   


It is important to talk with your health care provider on what screening recommendations are right for you.    

Family Planning Waiver

Family Planning Only Services is a limited benefit program that provides routine contraceptive management or related services to low-income individuals who are of childbearing/reproductive age (typically 15 years of age or older) and who are otherwise not eligible for Wisconsin Medicaid or BadgerCare Plus. 


Members receiving Family Planning Only Services must be receiving routine birth control or related services.   The goal of Family Planning Only Services is to provide members with information and services to assist them in preventing pregnancy.   


Members who apply only for limited-benefit Family Planning Only Services will not be required to provide other insurance information.  


This benefit allows minors to have their information kept private from their parents/guardians  

Dual Protection Kits

Dual Protection Kits are now available at the Bad River Health and Wellness Center.  Dual Protections kits can be provided to anyone of reproductive age, even without a parent’s consent.    


Dual Protection Kits will be distributed at your initial visit along with a primary method, the provider or MCH nurse will re-supply your Dual Protection Kit at anytime it is needed.  Dual Protection Kits will contain 2 packages of emergency contraceptive, 40 male condoms, 2 female condoms, personal lubricant and information regarding these supplies. Did you Know?  

Colon Cancer

Colon Cancer affects American Indians at higher rates than other Americans 

  Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer among Northern Plains American Indians – a population with rates 53 percent higher than the general U.S. population. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and the American Indian Cancer Foundation is promoting awareness of colorectal cancer.


Over the past 20 years, the U.S. population as a whole has been celebrating decreases in cancer mortality. Unfortunately, American Indian populations have not had the same good news. This is largely the result of cancer diagnoses that are too late.” — Kris Rhodes (Ojibwe), Executive Director, American Indian Cancer Foundation.   


View the full article at: http://www.nativehealthnews.com/colorectal-cancer-screenings/   


Colon cancer screening is available through the clinic. 


People can make an appointment with a provider to select and arrange the screening form that works best for them.  Call us today!  


Information provided by the American Indian Cancer Foundation