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Whooping cough on the rise in Dane County

Whooping cough on the rise in Dane County

Over the past several months, whooping cough, or pertussis, has been on the rise in Dane County, according to Public Health Department officials.

Since March 1, more than 90 cases have been reported in Dane County and more cases are expected, officials said.

Most of the reported cases are school aged children -- and within the age group, the hardest hit is 10 to 14 year old people, officials said. More than 160 total cases have been reported since the beginning of the year. 

While cases of pertussis have been found in quite a few areas of the county, clusters of cases have been reported in Sun Prairie, Monona and Cottage Grove. 

Other counties in Wisconsin have also seen an increase in pertussis. 

City, county leaders announce steps to reduce heroin overdoses

City, county leaders announce steps to reduce heroin overdoses

City of Madison and Dane County leaders on Monday announced the latest steps under way to tackle the root of heroin usage.

Law enforcement officials are honing in on prescription drugs as the gateway to heroin.

Officials said they hope an expansion of Safe Communities MedDrop locations can help curb the problem with opiates.

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin and Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced Monday they are more than doubling the number of Safe Communities MedDrop locations, from four locations to 10, where residents can get rid of potentially dangerous expired, unused or unwanted medicine.

The new boxes will be at police departments in Cambridge, Deerfield, Madison West District, Mazomanie, McFarland and Waunakee. The four current locations include police stations in Fitchburg, Madison East District, Middleton and Sun Prairie.

Health Officials Warn Of Norovirus Cases

Health Officials Warn Of Norovirus Cases

Public Health Madison-Dane County officials said they have received numerous reports of people sick with vomiting and diarrhea, most likely caused by norovirus.

The highly contagious virus is often called by other names, such as viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu, and food poisoning.

Officials said norovirus usually circulates through the community every winter.

Officials said the most important steps to take to prevent becoming ill are to wash your hands often, especially before you eat, and to not share food with anyone you know to be sick. If you are sick, the best ways to prevent spreading your illness to others are to wash your hands often, especially after using the bathroom, and to not prepare food for other people until you have been symptom-free for at least 48 hours.

Med Drop Sites Added In Fitchburg, Sun Prairie

Med Drop Sites Added In Fitchburg, Sun Prairie

After collecting more than 2.5 tons of medicines at the pilot locations, Safe Communities has begun a collaboration with the cities of Fitchburg and Sun Prairie to give Dane County residents access to two additional year-round MedDrop box sites.

Unwanted medicines can now be dropped off in Fitchburg and Sun Prairie.

Dane County MedDrop Events Scheduled

Dane County MedDrop Events Scheduled

Poisoning has surpassed motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of injury death in Dane County according to the latest statistics available from Public Health-Madison and Dane County.

By Taking the simple step of bringing your unwanted or unnecessary medications to area MedDrop events, residents can help curb what's been called an American epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control.

"Over 75 percent of Dane County poisonings were the result of drugs," said Cheryl Wittke, Safe Communities Director. "Young children, teens, seniors, everyone -- is safer if unnecessary medications are removed from the home. If medications are not available we expect to see a drop in accidental and intentional poisonings."

St. Mary's To Spread Seeds Of Wellness

St. Mary's To Spread Seeds Of Wellness

The cornerstone of St. Mary's Hospital was laid 100 years ago on Oct. 8, 1911. The hospital opened its doors in September 1912.

On Saturday, Oct. 8, the hospital will celebrate the laying of that cornerstone by handing out free apples -- a cornerstone of good health -- throughout Dane County. 

There are 12 locations in total in Madison, Middleton, DeForest, Waunakee, Sun Prairie, Oregon and McFarland. People can stop by anytime between 1 and 4 p.m. to receive their free fruit. And in the spirit of good food safety practice, we'll also be handing out free fruit wipes along with the apples.

For more information on where the apples will be handed out and when, visit www.stmarysmadison.com/apples

Boy Who Survived Leukemia Gives Hope To Other Families

For many children, the end of the school year is plenty of reason to celebrate. And one Sun Prairie boy finishing kindergarten is also celebrating survival in his battle with leukemia.

This month, 6-year-old Andrew Zielsdorf is being named Boy of the Year by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Wisconsin Chapter to give hope to other families.

Only seven months ago, Andrew was in chemotherapy for leukemia.

In the summer of 2008, when Andrew was 2 years old, his mother, Patsy Zielsdorf, found deep purple bruises on his body. The pediatrician called them "summer legs," but decided to do tests just in case.

"(The doctor said), 'We'll do a blood test. It's the end of the day; we probably won't call you until tomorrow, so we'll give you an update then,'" Zielsdorf recalled.

When her phone rang that night and it was the doctor, Zielsdorf said she knew something was wrong.