Inside News

Chickenpox in Southwest Nebraska

Several chickenpox cases have been reported to Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department (SWNPHD).  The symptoms of chickenpox usually appear as a rash that turns into itchy fluid filled blisters,shares Melissa Propp, RN, Surveillance Nurse.  ‚It takes about a week for all the blisters to turn into scabs.  Other symptoms of chickenpox typically include:  fever, tiredness, headache and loss of appetite.
Most chickenpox has been eliminated in the United States due to vaccine.  Two doses of chickenpox vaccine are about 90% effective in preventing chickenpox.    The first dose is typically given between 12 and 15 months of age.  The second dose is given between ages 4 and 6.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), chickenpox parties have been held to intentionally expose a child with chickenpox to other children in hopes that they will get the disease.  Chickenpox can be serious, especially for infants and even for some children.  It is not worth taking the chance of exposing them to chickenpox.
Chickenpox spreads easily, mainly when a person touches or breathes in the virus particles that come from chickenpox blisters. It can also spread through tiny droplets that get into the air when someone who has chickenpox breathes or talks, for example. Chickenpox can spread 1 to 2 days before the infected person gets a rash until all the blisters have formed scabs, typically 5 to 7 days.  Symptoms usually show up within 10 to 21 days after exposure.
‚Once someone has chickenpox, years later they can have a very painful disease called shingles. explains Propp.  ‚There is a vaccine for both of these diseases.  It is better to be vaccinated than be exposed to a potentially dangerous disease.
Either shot is available at SWNPHD or you may contact your local healthcare provider or pharmacy.
For more information, contact SWNPHD at 308-345-4223.  SWNPHD serves Chase, Dundy, Frontier, Furnas, Hayes, Hitchcock, Keith, Perkins and Red Willow counties.  SWNPHD is located at 404 West 10th (one block north of Arby‚Äôs) in McCook or 501 Broadway in Imperial (Moreland building 5th Street entrance).  Information can also be found the website at or on Facebook and Twitter.


Multispecies lottery permit applications accepted beginning Jan. 2

LINCOLN, Neb. – Applications for multispecies Super Tag and Combo lottery permits will be accepted by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission beginning Jan. 2.

The Super Tag lottery permit will be valid for one elk of either sex, one antelope of either sex, one deer of either sex, and two turkeys (only toms and bearded hens may be taken in the spring). One permit will be authorized for residents only, and one permit will be authorized for residents/nonresidents. Persons may apply for the residents-only permit once per year for $25. Persons may apply for the resident/nonresident permit multiple times per year for $10 per application.

The Combo permit will be valid for one antelope of either sex, one deer of either sex, and two turkeys (only toms and bearded hens may be taken in the spring). One permit will be authorized for residents only, and one permit will be authorized for nonresidents only. Qualifying persons may apply multiple times per year for $10 per application.

These multispecies lottery permits will be valid in 2018 and 2019 in open seasons with the appropriate weapons. Winners of these permits will require a Habitat Stamp.

Applications will be received beginning at 1 p.m. Central time on Jan. 2. They must be received by Game and Parks by 5 p.m. (11:59 p.m. if applying online) on July 6. Beginning Jan. 2, visit to apply.


Prescribed burn training workshops scheduled

LINCOLN, Neb. – Pheasants Forever and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will host prescribed burn training workshops across the state early in the new year.

These workshops will provide guidance and instruction for completing safe and effective prescribed fires. Landowners, resource professionals, volunteer fire departments and other interested persons are invited to attend. No prior burn experience is required. All workshops are scheduled for 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

The workshop schedule is:

— Jan. 16 – Scottsbluff, North Platte Natural Resources District, 100547 Airport Road

— Jan. 17 – Alliance, Public Library, 1750 Sweetwater Ave.

— Jan. 24 – McCook, Red Willow County Fairgrounds 4-H Building, 1400 W. 5th St.

— Jan. 30 – Grand Island, UNL Extension Office, 3180 W. U.S. Hwy. 34

— Jan. 30 – Norfolk, Northeast Community College, Lifelong Learning Center, 801 E. Benjamin Ave.

— Jan. 31 – Lincoln, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) Extension Office, 444 Cherry Creek Road

— Feb. 7 – Broken Bow, Veterans Memorial Building, 416 S. 1st Ave.

The $10 workshop fee includes lunch and training materials. To register, visit or call 308-850-8395.