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News releases in La Crosse, Wis., highlight the work of public health.

AT THE La Crosse County Health Department in LA CROSSE, WIS., staff members stimulated local interest in National Public Health Week with a series of news releases on issues such as home safety, tobacco cessation, mosquito and tick awareness, physical fitness and healthy eating.

The news release for Monday of National Public Health Week focused on the health effects of radon and the importance of home testing. The release also listed information on local companies that conduct home testing.

Tuesday of National Public Health Week, the La Crosse County Health Department news release focused on tobacco products other than cigarettes and how those products, such as small pouches, dissolvable tobacco products and electronic cigarettes, are targeted to youth. That day's news release also highlighted the "7 C's" Health Initiative. The initiative works to improve health of residents in the counties of Buffalo, Trempealeau, Jackson, Monroe, La Crosse, Vernon and Crawford "so that they may live long, healthy lives, free from tobacco and nicotine regardless of their income, education or ethnic background," according to the initiative. Community-based efforts include pressing for tobacco-free apartment complexes.

The news release for Wednesday of National Public Health Week focused on the La Crosse Area Family YMCA and the organization's aim to provide local businesses with the resources and support to encourage employees to live healthier. The lifestyle focus areas are physical activity, healthy eating, helping individuals be substance-free and incorporating good mental health practices.

The news release for Thursday of National Public Health Week reminded people that tick and mosquito activity would soon begin and focused on protection information. Mosquitoes are linked to West Nile virus, and ticks can spread a variety of illnesses, including Lyme disease. Prevention tips include using DEET insect repellant and avoiding outdoor activity at dusk, if possible, and checking clothing and skin for ticks after outdoor activity.

The Friday news release captured the overall message of National Public Health Week by encouraging everyone to empower a healthy community by investing in public health.

The news releases caught media attention. The local ABC news affiliate, WXOW News Channel 19, ran segments on radon, other tobacco products and mosquito and tick awareness. The La Crosse Tribune published an article on the work being done by the La Crosse County Health Department's Vector Control Unit and included information about reducing the risk of mosquito- and tick-borne illness.
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Author:Currie, Donya
Publication:The Nation's Health
Date:Jun 29, 2013
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