Wellness briefly

Substance abuse programs recertified

BISMARCK – The N.D. Department of Human Services announced May 20 that seven regional human service centers applied for and received national certification from the Matrix Institute on Addictions for its intensive outpatient alcohol and drug treatment program. The certification recognizes organizations for meeting and exceeding an established set of standards relating to the delivery of substance addiction treatment for adults and adolescents.

Human service centers receiving first-time certification include Lake Region Human Service Center in Devils Lake, Northeast Human Service Center in Grand Forks, South Central Human Service Center in Jamestown and Northwest Human Service Center in Williston. West Central Human Service Center in Bismarck, Southeast Human Service Center in Fargo and North Central Human Service Center in Minot received their second consecutive certification. The Bismarck, Fargo and Minot centers were the first treatment programs in the U.S. to receive Matrix certification in 2008.

“We are pleased with this recent national certification,” said JoAnne Hoesel, director of the department’s Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Division. “It’s an indicator that the human service centers are providing high quality drug and alcohol treatment that is improving the lives of individuals and families affected by substance abuse addiction.”

The certification process included an on-site visit by officials from the Matrix Institute on Addictions, an evaluation of a group session to verify it conforms to performance standards, review of clinical charts and one-on-one interviews with clients participating in the treatment program.

Individuals interested in learning more about substance addiction treatment options should contact a regional human service center. Contact information is online at (www.nd.gov).

– Jill Hambek

Hantavirus disease warning issued

BISMARCK – People who are cleaning cabins or other buildings that had been closed for the winter should protect themselves against hantavirus, a disease transmitted by infected mice, according to the North Dakota State Department of Health.

“Hantavirus infection has been associated with cleaning or occupying previously vacant cabins or other dwellings,” said Michelle Feist, epidemiologist with the department’s Division of Disease Control. “It’s important to take precautions while cleaning buildings infested with rodents. Preventing infection is important since there is no cure and the disease can be fatal.”

Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is a viral infection that causes severe lung disease. Infected rodents spread the virus in their urine, droppings and saliva. The virus may be transmitted if an infected rodent bites someone, but is mainly transmitted to people when they breathe in air contaminated by the virus. The deer mouse is the primary carrier of the virus.

The Department of Health offers the following tips for cleaning a rodent infested building to prevent hantavirus infection: ventilate the space by opening the doors and windows for 30 minutes and leave the area during this period; do not stir up dust by sweeping or vacuuming up droppings, urine or nesting materials; wear gloves and use disinfectant when cleaning up dead rodents or their urine, droppings and nests; mop floors and clean countertops, cabinets and drawers with disinfectant.

Symptoms of HPS usually occur two or three weeks after infection. Early symptoms commonly include fever, muscle and body aches, fatigue, headache, dizziness, chills, nausea and vomiting. The illness worsens within a short period of time to include coughing and severe shortness of breath when lungs fill with fluid.

– Jill Hambek