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Health Department

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NJ Department of Health Newsletter Here

Health Topics of the Month:

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Tick Information

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Obesity in New Jersey

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The Zika Virus, be aware but not afraid

The virus is spread through mosquito bites, and while it has minor symptoms, only 1 in 5 people affected with the virus feel the effects once infected. The virus also causes serious birth defects if you get infected while pregnant. Click here to see the CDC website to learn more about the virus.


Pet Emergency Checklist 

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Safe Drinking Water

Passaic Valley Water Commission offers lead sample testing free of charge to all of our customers.  To have your water tested, pick up a water sample bottle and instructions at 1525 Main Avenue, Clifton during normal business hours.  

For more information about lead visit 

CDC New Research: Sodium Intake 

Nearly all Americans – regardless of age, race, gender or whether they have high blood pressure (hypertension) – consume more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet. That is the conclusion of a new report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). 

According to the latest findings, more than 90 percent of children and 89 percent of adults aged 19 and older eat too much sodium, that is, more than the recommended limits in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, not including salt added at the table. The newly released guidelines – which are developed around current scientific evidence and released every five years – recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg per day for people over the age of 14 and less for those younger. Evidence links excess sodium intake to high blood pressure and other health problems. 

“The finding that nine of ten adults and children still consume too much salt is alarming,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. “The evidence is clear: too much sodium in our foods leads to high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Reducing sodium in manufactured and restaurant foods will give consumers more choice and save lives.” 

CDC researchers analyzed dietary data from the 2009-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) to calculate how much sodium Americans are eating. Nearly 15,000 people were included in this study. 


CDC West Nile Virus Home 

No symptoms in most people. Most people (70-80%) who become infected with West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms. 

Febrile illness in some people. About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with this type of West Nile virus disease recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months. 

Severe symptoms in a few people. Less than 1% of people who are infected will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues). 

The symptoms of neurologic illness can include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures, or paralysis. 

Serious illness can occur in people of any age. However, people over 60 years of age are at the greatest risk for severe disease. People with certain
  medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and people who have received organ transplants, are also at greater risk for serious illness. 

Recovery from severe disease may take several weeks or months. Some of the neurologic effects may be permanent. About 10 percent of people who develop neurologic infection due to West Nile virus will die. 


No vaccine or specific antiviral treatments for West Nile virus infection are available. 
Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to reduce fever and relieve some symptoms 
In severe cases, patients often need to be hospitalized to receive supportive treatment, such as intravenous fluids, pain medication, and nursing care. 

West Nile Virus Resources: 

Frequently Asked Questions On West Nile Virus: 

Mosquito Checklist: 

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 

Safety Tips to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning During Bad Weather:
1. Check the batteries in your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector. If you don’t have either detector, install before the bad weather hits.
2. Have a flashlight with fresh batteries ready to use (you may have used the flashlight during Sandy, replace the batteries if you did).
• Make sure to use a flashlight when giving or taking medication. Read all labels carefully.
3. Have a battery-operated radio available and be sure the batteries are fresh.
4. DO NOT bring portable gas powered generator into the home or garage –
• Do not place them outside near any open windows/doors
• They should be at least 25 feet from any house.
5. DO NOT bring other gas powered equipment, propane stoves, propane lights, or kerosene camping stoves into the house or garage.
6. DO NOT heat your home with your stove.
7. DO NOT cook with charcoal indoors.
8. DO NOT idle a car in a closed garage. Once you pull in, immediately turn off the engine.
9. Keep your home well ventilated. If need be, keep a window slightly cracked to allow air flow.
10. After the storm, during the cleanup DO NOT USE gas powered cleaning equipment indoors.
Safety Tips to Prevent Food Spoilage during a Power Outage:
1. In preparing for a power outage, make the temperature colder than usual on both freezers and refrigerators. This will prolong the cold after a power outage.
2. During a power outage, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed and open them only when necessary.
3. Place a refrigerator thermometer in the center of the middle shelf and check the temperature. If it has risen to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, discard any potentially spoiled foods. Such foods include meat, poultry, fish, dairy and egg products, soft cheese, cooked beans, cooked rice, cooked potatoes, cooked pasta, potato salad, custard and pudding.
4. Fill freezers to capacity, but refrigerators need room for air to circulate.
5. When power is restored, allow time for the refrigerator to reach below 40 degrees Fahrenheit before restocking.
6. "When in doubt, throw it out!"
If you suspect Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, Take Immediate Action:
1. If your loved one is unconscious or unresponsive, get out them out of the house and call 911 immediately.
2. Exit the house/building immediately. Do not waste time opening windows to “air” it out; this will delay your escape and cause you to breathe in more dangerous fumes.
3. Contact your local fire department/energy provider.
4. Call the NJ Poison Experts, 800-222-1222, for immediate treatment advice. Do not waste time looking for information on the internet about carbon monoxide poisoning. Call us for fast, free and accurate information.

Contact Us
Passaic County Health Department
18 Clark Street
Paterson, NJ 07505

Charlene W. Gungil
Health Officer & Director
Phone: 973-881-4396
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