Casper-Natrona County Health Department Deals With Vaping
The Casper-Natrona County Health Department has been busy, its new executive director told the Casper City Council at a work session Tuesday.
Some services have been provided for decades by the department that just marked its 65th anniversary, such as restaurant and pool inspections, providing flu shots and monitoring sexually transmitted diseases, Anna Kinder said.
Some are new and immediate, Kinder said.
"Vaping is a huge issue we're dealing with right now," she said. "It's affecting our young population."
The popular practice with a variety of flavors as well as the ability to ingest THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Health care officials have been noting recent cases of side effects including respiratory diseases that have resulted in some deaths.
Kinder said there has been a case of respiratory distress in Uinta County, but nothing yet in Natrona County.
The department has been working with the Casper Police Department and the Natrona County School District to educate students and their parents, she said.
Vaccinations also have kept the department busy with the beginning of the school year, she said.
Unfortunately, Natrona County has a high incidence of HIV and other STDs, Kinder said, citing state statistics. The department provide services for 40 HIV-positive local residents, she said.
Those reported high numbers may be the result of the aggressive testing, she added.
The department also monitors potential contagious health issues including one local patient with the West Nile Virus, and a possible salmonella outbreak, Kinder said.
The department is funded by allocations from the City of Casper, Natrona County, the state and grants.