Health Alerts & Updates

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

April 30, 2016, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

Here is the website to locate a collection center near you:

On April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., local Police Departments and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 11th opportunity in six years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to: see DEA Diversion website to locate a center near you. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.)  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last September, Americans turned in 350 tons (over 702,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,000 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 10 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 5.5 million pounds—more than 2,750 tons—of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards. 

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 30 Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Diversion website

Posted by Damian Shiner on Tuesday April 26, 2016
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Ebola & Enterovirus 68

Ebola Concern

Although it is unlikely that Saint Joseph Prep will have to address Ebola in the classroom, it is important to be prepared. Please see the BPHC website for more information on Ebola and how it is transmitted.

Enterovirus 68 Information

What is enterovirus 68?
Enterovirus 68 (EV-68) is a virus that was first identified in California in 1962. It has not been commonly diagnosed in the United States.

What symptoms does EV-68 cause?
The illness can be mild or more serious. EV-68 can cause fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches. More serious illness may cause difficulty breathing and wheezing. Parents of children with asthma should monitor their child closely for symptoms and contact the child’s doctor if their child’s  asthma or wheezing is worse than usual or is not getting better.

If my child gets any of these symptoms, does that mean my child has EV-68?
No. Respiratory illness can be caused by many different germs, but many can have the same symptoms. Not all respiratory illnesses are caused by EV-68. Anyone with respiratory illness should contact their doctor if they are having difficulty breathing, or if their symptoms are getting worse.

How does the germ spread?
The virus is in an infected person’s saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum (spit). The germ can spread to another person when the infected person coughs or sneezes. The germ can also spread when someone touches a contaminated surface then touches his or her eyes, mouth, or nose.

Who is at risk?
So far, infants, children, and teenagers have been more likely to get EV-68.

How is EV-68 diagnosed?
EV-68 can only be diagnosed by doing a specific laboratory tests on samples, usually taken from a person’s nose or throat. Later in the illness, other types of specimens can be tested.

What is the treatment for EV-68?
There are no medicines available that specifically treat EV-68.  For mild illness, over-the-counter medicines can be used to reduce fever and treat pain. Aspirin should not be given to children. Some people with severe respiratory illness may need to be hospitalized. If you are unsure what to do, contact your child’s doctor.

Is there a vaccine?
No. There is no vaccine available to prevent EV-68 infection.

How can I protect myself and my family?
• Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers. Hand washing is preferable to hand sanitizers, which are not as effective at killing this type of germ.
• Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
• Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.

Information provided by the Boston Public Health Commission.

For more information, please consult the CDC website.

Posted by Damian Shiner on Wednesday September 30, 2015
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