Archive for April, 2009


Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Forget singing the ABC song with kids while they wash their hands- afterschool kids need something a bit “cooler” !

Check out this web site with games and a great 6 STEP  Game to wash your hands!

Can your kids come up with something to sing  -that lasts 20 seconds? Let me know and I will share on the Afterschool FLASH!

I sing the chorus of “HIT THE ROAD JACK” 2x-that works for  me! (

Diane Genco
Executive Director
NJSACC: The network for NJ’s Afterschool Communities

Scrub Club® to the Rescue

Each year, more than 164 million school days are lost due to illness*, which could be greatly reduced with proper handwashing. That’s why NSF International created the Scrub Club® – to raise awareness about the benefits of handwashing and ultimately improve the health of children and reduce school sick days. The Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE) has partnered with NSF on this groundbreaking initiative.

Scrub Club® to the Rescue

The Scrub Club® program is the first of its kind – a fun, interactive and educational Web site


that teaches children the proper way to wash their hands.
The site consists of a Webisode interactive games, educational music, downloadable activities for kids, educational materials for teachers and program information for parents.

Cast of Characters
The Scrub Club® is a group of seven kids and Ship-Shape – the mysterious but lovable leader who watches over the hands of the world’s children from his Bubble telescope – that join forces to fight off harmful germs and bacteria, teaching children the proper handwashing process along the way.

Each of the Scrub Club® kids represents one of the six steps of the handwashing process.

Scrub Club Webisode
The cornerstone of the Web site is a Webisode entitled “The Good, the BAC and the Ugly,” which features The Partnership for Food Safety Education’s loathsome but lovable character BAC® (from its Fight BAC!® public education campaign) along with his rotten-tootin’ sidekick Sal Monella in a wild west-themed adventure.

Note: The Scrub Club® is designed for children who are 3 to 8 years of age. Children in this age range are at different cognitive and developmental levels. To emphasize the importance of personal hygiene, NSF recommends that parents and educators aid in the educational process by viewing the Scrub Club® Web site with young children. Older school-age children will be able to navigate through the Web site with more autonomy so they can truly benefit from the fun and informative learning experience through individual Web site interaction. Overall, all children, parents, and educators will benefit from revisiting the Web site as new educational programs are introduced.

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Swine Flu-UPDATE

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

For Release:
April 29, 2009
Heather Howard
The Department of Health and Senior Services

DHSS Identified Two Additional Probable Cases of Swine Flu —Public and Health Care Provider Hotline Opened—

The Department of Health and Senior Services has identified two additional probable cases of swine flu in New Jersey residents and is sending the samples to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for confirmatory testing.

On Monday, New Jersey had identified five probable cases of swine flu and is waiting for confirmatory test results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

All seven of these individuals have mild forms of the flu and are recovering at home. None were hospitalized. The patients include residents from various counties throughout New Jersey.

The Department expects confirmatory results on the first five probable cases from the CDC in the next day.

In addition, the Department opened a toll-free, 24-hour hotline to answer questions from the general public and New Jersey health care providers.

The hotline number is 1-866-321-9571 and is open as of today.

“We understand that New Jersey residents are concerned about the outbreak of swine flu and will have many questions on how they can protect themselves and their family,” said Health and Senior Services Commissioner Heather Howard. “The situation will continue to evolve and the Department is offering the call center for the general public and health care providers.”

“There is good information on our website ( regarding swine flu and we recommend that people take the time to review that information. But for those people who have questions, we have opened up an information line.

New Jersey continues to take steps to prepare if the outbreak widens. The Department enhanced its surveillance activities to identify potential cases of swine flu, particularly in individuals who have travelled to infected areas in California and Mexico or have had contact with those who have travelled.

The state received 300,000 courses of antiviral medications including Tamiflu from the Strategic National Stockpile to add to its 800,000 courses previously purchased. Tamiflu is a medication available by prescription through physicians and is effective in reducing the symptoms and length of influenza if taken within 48 hours of developing symptoms.

“We cannot emphasize enough that there are effective methods of prevention that everyone should continue to follow,” said Commissioner Howard. “Good hygiene habits such as washing your hands frequently and thoroughly will greatly reduce the chance of getting sick. Also, people should be covering coughs and sneezes. Most important, if you are sick, stay home from work or school.”

Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that causes regular outbreaks in pigs. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen.

The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with swine flu infection in people. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.

For more information on swine flu, visit

Is your program in Hunterdon or Warren County?

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Is your program in Hunterdon or Warren County?

Please let me know as soon as possible if your  are located in  one of these counties and are planning a special event to:
Celebrate Afterschool!  Outdoors in the Garden State?

NJLINCS Health Alert Network

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

Distributed by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services

Subject: CDC Investigation and Interim Recommendatons – Swine Influenza (H1N1)

Date: 4/25/2009; 21:27:20

Message#: 101121-4-25-2009-PHAL

Contact Info: CDC Health Alert Network, CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Phone: 1-800-232-4636; Email:

This is an official CDC Health Advisory Distributed via Health Alert Network

April 25, 2009, 3:00 EST (03:00 PM EDT)

Investigation and Interim Recommendations:

Swine Influenza (H1N1)

CDC, in collaboration with public health officials in California and Texas, is investigating cases of febrile respiratory illness caused by swine influenza (H1N1) viruses. As of 11 AM (EDT) April 25, 2009, 8 laboratory confirmed cases of Swine Influenza infection have been confirmed in the United States. Four cases have been reported in San Diego County, California. Two cases have been reported in Imperial County California. Two cases have been reported in Guadalupe County, Texas. Of the 8 persons with available data, illness onsets occurred March 28-April 14, 2009. Age range was 7-54 y.o. Cases are 63% male.

The viruses contain a unique combination of gene segments that have not been reported previously among swine or human influenza viruses in the U.S. or elsewhere. At this time, CDC recommends the use of oseltamivir or zanamivir for the treatment of infection with swine influenza viruses. The H1N1 viruses are resistant to amantadine and rimantadine but not to oseltamivir or zanamivir. It is not anticipated that the seasonal influenza vaccine will provide protection against the swine flu H1N1 viruses.

CDC has also been working closely with public health officials in Mexico, Canada and the World Health Organization (WHO). Mexican public health authorities have reported increased levels of respiratory disease, including reports of severe pneumonia cases and deaths, in recent weeks. CDC is assisting public health authorities in Mexico by testing specimens and providing epidemiological support. As of 11:00 AM (EDT) April 25, 2009, 7 specimens from Mexico at CDC have tested positive for the same strain of swine influenza A (H1N1) as identified in U.S. cases. However, no clear data are available to assess the link between the increased disease reports in Mexico and the confirmation of swine influenza in a small number of specimens. WHO is monitoring international cases. Further information on international cases may be found at:

Clinicians should consider swine influenza infection in the differential diagnosis of patients with febrile respiratory illness and who 1) live in San Diego or Imperial counties, California, or Guadalupe County, Texas, or traveled to these counties or 2) who traveled recently to Mexico or were in contact with persons who had febrile respiratory illness and were in one of the three U.S. counties or Mexico during the 7 days preceding their illness onset.

Patients who meet these criteria should be tested for influenza, and specimens positive for influenza should be sent to public health laboratories for further characterization. Clinicians who suspect swine influenza virus infections in humans should obtain a nasopharyngeal swab from the patient, place the swab in a viral transport medium, refrigerate the specimen, and then contact their state or local health department to facilitate transport and timely diagnosis at a state public health laboratory. CDC requests that state public health laboratories promptly send all influenza A specimens that cannot be subtyped to the CDC, Influenza Division, Virus Surveillance and Diagnostics Branch Laboratory.

Persons with febrile respiratory illness should stay home from work or school to avoid spreading infections (including influenza and other respiratory illnesses) to others in their communities. In addition, frequent hand washing can lessen the spread of respiratory illness.

CDC has not recommended that people avoid travel to affected areas at this time. Recommendations found at will help travelers reduce risk of infection and stay healthy.

Clinical guidance on laboratory safety, case definitions, infection control and information for the public are available at:

Swine Influenza A (H1N1) Virus Biosafety Guidelines for Laboratory Workers:

For more information about swine flu:

Additional information is also available by calling 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636)

Categories of Health Alert messages:

Health Alert conveys the highest level of importance: warrants immediate action or attention.
Health Advisory provides important information for a specific incident or situation: may not require immediate action.
Health Update provides updated information regarding an incident or situation: unlikely to require immediate action.

EPA Invites the Public to “Pick 5 for the Environment”

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

(Washington, D.C. – April 22, 2009) As part of its Earth Month outreach efforts, EPA today launched “Pick 5 for the Environment,” encouraging the public to commit to taking at least five actions to protect the environment. Pick 5 helps people identify ways they can protect their environment and makes use of social media sites to allow them to share their tips and stories.

Since April 1, EPA has issued daily green tips via podcasts and email subscription. EPA is asking the public to pick 5 of the 10 actions listed below and then to share their own thoughts by using a variety of social media sites.

After signing up on EPA’s Web site, people can share tips and stories on Facebook, photos on Flickr, and videos on YouTube.  A Facebook application will make it easy for members of that site to sign up and encourage their friends to participate.  People can also sign up for email updates from EPA.

The 10 actions are:
1. Use less water.
2. Commute without polluting.
3. Save electricity.
4. Reduce, reuse and recycle.
5. Test your home for radon.

6. Check your local air quality.
7. Use chemicals safely.
8. Reuse and recycle electronics.
9. Enjoy the outdoors safely.

10. Spread the word to family and friends.

Start on the Pick 5 for the Environment Web site:

Then share your thoughts:
On Facebook:
On Flickr:
On YouTube:

More you can do on Earth Day: