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The Cities | Flu Epidemic | Wapsi Center | WQPT

January 24, 2020

– [Narrator] Public
Affairs Programming on WQPT is brought to you by The
Singh Group at Merrill Lynch, serving the wealth management
needs of clients in the region for over 25 years. – Feeling a little under the weather? You know you’re not alone. Plus, attracting the birds
you want in your backyard, part of a global initiative that’s taking place in The Cities. (gentle rock music) It’s called the Great Backyard Bird Count. It’s only days away. In a moment, how you could
take part and maybe improve the bird population in your neighborhood. But first, you might be sick and tired of being sick and tired, or you might be fed up with being the only person in the
office who’s not out sick. Either way, the flu season
is leaving an impact on you, whether you’re sick or not. And joining us is the
Public Health Administrator for the Rock Island County
Health Department, Nita Ludwig. Thank you for joining us. – Thank you for having me. – [Jim] How you feeling? – Pretty good. – How’s the staff? Everyone’s good? – Everyone’s good, everyone’s healthy at the Health Department. – Everyone had their shot? – Most everybody. – Most everybody had the shot. Tell me about the shot
being offered right now. Is it still being offered? Is it still worth getting if you haven’t had your vaccine yet? – It is. We still have flu vaccine
at the health department. It is still recommended by
the Center for Disease Control and the Illinois Department
of Public Health. Even if you do get the flu,
it will hopefully lessen the severity in your symptoms
and the duration of the flu. – Well, let’s be honest,
we’re seeing the people that are hardest impact some
of the youngest children and of course some of our oldest citizens. – Right, we have seen
those reports on the news, and they are very tragic reports, but the flu still really hits hardest the very young and the elderly. So it’s especially important
for that group, as well. But really, everyone over
the age of six months is recommended to have
the flu shot every year. – Flu season starts October maybe? – October. – Into March and April. Are we over the worst of it by now? – Well, I did just look at
the weekly reports from the– – All right, because I’ve looked at them, but they were last year. You probably have more updated numbers. – And it did look like it
spiked around Christmas, New Year’s, and it has decreased somewhat, but I would say we’re still
not out of the woods, yet. And flu season can
actually even go into May. So, there still could be
spikes with people out on break or in big gatherings, things like that. – And that’s pretty typical, isn’t it? Like around the first of
the year, early January, and then it just starts
to diminish a little bit? – It is. Actually, what I was looking at said the peak month is usually February. So we’re right into the
peak season right now. – And you could have the
flu more than once, right? – You can, you can. So, it’s very important
to get the shot every year to build up those immunities, and even if it’s only
slightly effective this year, the strains, it’s still
gonna provide some protection and less of the severity,
again, if you do get the flu. – Well, I know you have
updated statistics, perhaps, but last week the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention said that there were 53
children who had died because of the flu as of, I
think, the week before that. Is that an unusual number? I mean, is it really hitting
our children hardest this year? – Well, it does seem like a
horrible number, obviously, and that is the most recent number that I came across as well. Rock Island County, I did look up our, we don’t have statistics necessarily because the flu is not a
reportable condition in Illinois like it is in Iowa, and some other states, but we have had flu activity. We’ve had some schools that
have had a lot of absences and nursing homes with flu cases. And they are calling us and
asking for ways to be proactive and to learn how to prevent things from spreading, basically. – There was an interesting case earlier this month in Fulton. Fulton, Illinois, where
as parochial school had to shut down because of the flu. They did their best to
clean the entire building. Two days later the kids come back, and they had to close it again. Is there a whole lot that you can do other than the flu shot? – Well, the best things
to do are very simple, and everybody, it’s good
common sense, really. And it’s getting your flu shot every year, making sure to wash your hands often, that’s huge for lots
of different diseases, covering any coughs and
sneezes with your elbow and not your hands so you’re
not spreading it that way, really cleaning all the
common surfaces that you use, like your doorknobs,
your computer keyboards, your telephones, things like that. – [Jim] Light switch. – Light switch, that’s a
very good one, yeah (laughs). Everybody uses it, so. The best thing to do is use
some kind of disinfectant and wipe all those surfaces down. – Well, you probably have
seen that viral video of that nurse– – I have, yeah (laughs). – Who just is, she makes it
very clear how simple it is. – Cesspool of funky flu. – [Jim] One of the other
things that she points out is, I mean, if you’re taking
your kids to the hospital or anything like that,
I mean, that’s gotta be something that’s gotta
be uppermost in your mind is how you take care of your infants and your smallest children. – It really is, and so it would be best to call the doctor ahead, if
you think you have the symptoms of the flu because you
don’t want to go into a crowded emergency room
and infect healthy people. You can also wear a mask
on yourself if you’re sick so that you don’t spread it that way. And a lot of times, the emergency rooms will ask you to put on a mask. – Well, this year’s flu, the most prevalent strain
is influenza A H3N2. You guys have numbers and
letters for everything. H3N2 was this year’s boogeyman. Was that expected? – Well, the CDC and the– – [Jim] The drug makers, yeah. – Vaccine manufacturers, they look to see what flu strains are circulating
in the southern hemisphere. – And they have to predict us, what, five to six months ahead of time
what we’re gonna be facing. – Yeah, so it is kind of a guessing game. They use their best educated guesses as to what the prevalent
strains are gonna be and include that in the vaccine. – I want to talk about
another topic, the norovirus. A little earlier this month, once again. The Iowa Department of Public Health said that norovirus was becoming a problem, particularly in central part of the state, not so much in our area. Tell me a little bit
about that, the norovirus, and how that really affects your system right away in unpleasant ways. – Right, and that is not the flu. I think people do get confused about what’s the flu and what’s not the flu. Norovirus is really more
of vomiting and diarrhea, where the flu is more of
a respiratory illness. And the flu is more headache, fever, aches, body aches,
chills, things like that. But norovirus is really more of just the diarrhea and vomiting. – And is that passed on similarly? I mean, like a virus, is
it picked up wherever? – Yeah, it can be picked up on your hands. It’s again, hand washing
is really important and everything that we talk about. But in Rock Island County
we have not had calls or concerns about norovirus,
so that’s the good news. – Should we knock on glass right now? – Yeah, I guess (laughs). – Let’s keep it that way. But that could really take a person down for a good portion of the day or more. – Yeah, we’ve had that before
in the Quad Cities area, so. – One other area, I know that
you’ve got some new funding and you’ve got some exciting things that are going on at
the Health Department. You had a tough year last
year with budget cuts and questions about whether or not the state of Illinois
was gonna be helping out. One of the areas that you had to cut back was under sexual
transmitted diseases, STDs, not something that people
want to talk about, but exactly the reason why the Public Health Department’s here. – Right, exactly. And one of the reasons
that we were kind of suspending our sexually
transmitted disease clinic was because we unfortunately
lost our physician that was helping us at
the Health Department. He passed away in August, but we do have a new physician on staff. Her name’s Dr. Julie Volker,
and we do have STD clinics again on Wednesday afternoons. So it’s a different day now. It’s Wednesdays, 1 to 3:30,
and it’s $25 per visit, and right now it’s for
males, walk-in clinic. No appointments needed. And we hope to add females
in the near future. – It is a serious problem. People kind of snicker or
they look the other way or they deny it’s ever happening. Why is it important to see a
Public Health nurse or doctor when it comes to this issue? – Oh, because absolutely you want to take care of whatever the issue is and get the medication that you need, but also, for any partners
that the people have. We want to make sure that
everybody gets treated so it doesn’t just keep
happening in a cycle. – So we were talking about
2017 being a tough year, particularly financial-wise. Give me a little bit of crystal ball. How are you guys doing this year? What’s 2018 gonna be like? – Well, I have a very
positive outlook for 2018. We do have a state budget
now, so that’s good, and we have our new physician on board. And we are now at full staffing level. So, our plan is to provide all the much-needed public health services to all the Rock Island County residents. – Nite Ludwig, thank you
so much for joining us. We appreciate it.
– Thank you. – The Public Health Administrator with the Rock Island
County Health Department. If this week has been any indication, there is plenty of cold, snowy weather still ahead of us this season. Even so, Laura Adams has some great ideas that will make this winter a lot more fun when you go out and about. – [Narrator] This is Out and About for February 5th through 11th. Hi, I’m Laura Adams. Pick out a gift at the
Valentine Shopping Expo coming to the Geneseo
Community Center February 10th. YouthHope’s 4th Annual Trivia Night will be February 10th at the Center. While QC Paws is holding a Trivia Night at the Holiday Inn in
Rock Island on the 9th. It’s the newest beer sampling
event in the Quad Cities. Brewed Live will be at
the QCCA Expo Center on February 10th,
tickets available online. The weather’s perfect for the Frozen Landing Family
Ice Rink in Bettendorf. Skate rentals are available for $2. Saturn the Ring World
Discovery Dome will be showing on the 10th at the Putnam
Museum and Science Center. Or, spend a romantic
evening with someone special at the elegant Hauberg Mansion at their Valentine’s Wine Dinner. Tickets available online. While the Muscatine Symphony
Orchestra invites you to a night of food and music at
An Evening with Benny Goodman. The Western Illinois
University Quad Cities Social Entrepreneurship Salon will offer a presentation on community foundations, February 7th on the Riverfront Campus. Plus, there’s still time to
catch the critically-acclaimed Black Box Theatre’s production of Sleuth by Anthony Shaffer in downtown Moline. Circa 21’s production of
Disney’s Freaky Friday is musically entertaining guests at the downtown Rock Island Theater, and next door, the Speakeasy hosts The Manny Lopez Big Band February 9th. For more information, visit – Thank you, Laura. Rock Island musician Lewis Knudsen is a favorite at the
River Music Experience, but this year he hopes
to get out a bit more, including a tour of the
east coast, he says. Plus, he wants to write,
record, and release at least one new song each week this year. We caught up with him when he was playing his original music on
the RME Community Stage. Here’s Lewis Knudsen, with Sing to You. (♪ Ohhhhhh) (♪ Ohhhhhh) (♪ I am free) (♪ from my burdens) (♪ All my chains are gone) (♪ Ohhhhh) (♪ Now all I have left) (♪ is a heart so full of songs) (♪ Ohhhhh) (♪ My pain is all gone) (♪ and I’m gonna sing to you) (♪ Said my pain is all gone) (♪ and I’m gonna sing) (♪ Said I’m gonna sing) (♪ to you) (♪ Ooooooo) (♪ Now my heart) (♪ has been lifted) (♪ out from the sand and the mud) (♪ Ohhhhh) (♪ Now all I have to lift) (♪ is a heart so full of love) (♪ Ohhhhhh) (♪ My pain is all gone) (♪ and I’m gonna sing to you) (♪ I said my pain is all gone) (♪ and I’m gonna sing) (♪ Said I’m gonna sing) (♪ to you) (♪ Ahhhh) (♪ Oooooo) (♪ You are standing) (♪ right beside me) (♪ I’m not alone anymore) (♪ Ohhhhhh) (♪ In you I have all) (♪ I was waiting for and more) (♪ And my loneliness is gone) (♪ and I’m gonna sing to you) (♪ My loneliness is gone) (♪ and I’m gonna sing) (♪ to you) (♪ So why should I not be glad) (♪ Ohhhhh) (♪ Why should I not be glad) (♪ Ohhhhh) (♪ I am free from my burdens) (♪ all my chains are songs) – Lewis Knudsen with Sing to You. You can catch him Valentine’s
night in LeClaire. He’s scheduled to play that
night at Steventon’s Restaurant. The Wapsi River Environmental
Education Center wants you to look to the sky. The center is taking part in a global citizen science project, specifically, the Great
Backyard Bird Count. And joining us now is the Wapsi Center’s naturalist, Becky Horton. Becky, thank you so much for joining us. – Yeah. – So tell me a little bit
about the 21st Annual, 21st Annual, Great Backyard Bird Count. – This Great Backyard Bird Count has been happening since 1997, so
this is the 21st year of it. And it is led by the
Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Audubon Society, and
then a partner up in Canada, Bird Studies Canada. So this bird count is
prevalent in North America, but it actually occurs
all around the world. There are inputs, data inputs,
from India, from Germany, from France, and then, of
course, all over the US. So, this bird count is, it really shows bird population trends and migration patterns and
it’s really easy to do. You don’t need any scientific
degree to do this count. All you have to know is how
to identify certain birds and how to input counts on the Internet. It’s really easy. – Well, but how to identify
birds is not that easy. – Yeah, I mean, there are a lot of birds that are look-alikes. It’s hard to tell certain
finches from other finches, but you don’t have to, if
you don’t know certain birds, don’t put them in your count. You can just, if you
know that’s a cardinal, count your cardinals, and
then there’s a little checkbox on this count that says,
“Are these all the birds?” And you just say no because you don’t know what some of them are, and
then you submit your data. So if you don’t know all
of them, then it’s fine. You can still count the birds you do know. – So the bird count is
Saturday, February 17th. – The bird count, that’s the
workshop for the Wapsi, yes. – Okay, so tell me about that because you want people to show up at the Education Center on
Saturday, February 17th. – Yes, so this bird count
is actually occurring from Friday through Monday,
from the 16th through the 19th. It always happens every
year the middle of February. I, however, am hosting a workshop at the Wapsi Center on the 17th at 10 a.m. And this workshop is basically
to introduce it to people so they know how to do it,
and then once they learn how to do this count and
how to count the birds, because there’s a certain
way how you count the birds. You can’t just keep counting the birds that bounce back and forth
because they do that. But there’s a certain way to count, and once you figure it out and
learn how to count the birds and learn what seeds you could
put out to attract the birds, then you can go home and do
this count in your own backyard or at your friend’s backyard
or at your local park. And you can do this on Sunday and Monday, so the 18th and 19th. – Yeah, so come to the Wapsi,
find out how to do this, and then spend two days doing it in the comfort of your own home. – Yeah, and you have to, exactly, you can stay warm if
it’s a nice, cold day. You can stay warm and
do it inside your house. And all you’d need is 15
minutes at a time to do it. They require about 15 minutes
so you can get a good count, but all you need is 15 minutes. You can do that in the middle of the day. You can do that toward the evening hours. You can do it right when you wake up. And that’s all you need to do is just 15 minutes out of your
day to do this bird count. – You pointed out that
part of the point of this is to find out the migration
of some of these birds. Is it also kind of find
out where the population is as far as the health of some species? – Yes, yes. So, that’s actually a really good point. They have studied, for
instance, the American crow. That bird, back in 1999, West
Nile virus became pretty, it was noticeable in the US. Well, that virus knocked out that bird population
for the American crow. So, before that, the American
crow was always on the top of the top 10 list of the
most frequently counted birds. Well, once West Nile virus hit, that bird dropped to the
bottom of that top 10 list, and then as of last year,
that bird actually now hit number two on that top 10 list. So it rebounded in its population since West Nile virus came out. So, this count really
shows how population trends of these birds are
decreasing or increasing, and it really shows the
trends of these populations. – So is that basically, you said that’s the number two bird, is that in America or right here? – A lot of the input data is from America so that is basically nationwide. For right here, if you go to
the website, they show all the trends
of the bird distribution of any bird you want to look at. So, the neat thing about this scientific citizen science project is once you input the
data of your own backyard, the scientists that are
behind it will then analyze all the data and then
re-input all this data online. So you can actually see how
your counts have contributed to the trend of the bird population. – What do we usually see around here? And let’s be honest, you see
different birds in February than you may see in July and August. – Yes you do. So, right now in February,
right now for instance at the Wapsi Center, we’re seeing a lot of your house finches, goldfinches,
cardinals, especially, blue jays, some woodpeckers. And in my own backyard,
for instance, in Bluegrass we have finches and we have
sparrows and we have crows. So, it kind of depends on if you’re rural or if you’re urban. So that is a big difference. So we have in the rural areas,
you’re gonna see more of your hawks, you’re gonna
see your American kestrel, your little falcon species,
you’re gonna see some more owls. We’ve actually recently in
Walka area spotted a snowy owl, which is– – Oh, wow. – Yeah, which is huge. That was huge for us because they don’t come down this far south. So with the cold weather,
we’re seeing a lot of different birds that we normally don’t see. Another bird we saw at the Wapsi Center, and, this one, we may be
getting in the urban areas, it’s a small little songbird,
about the size of a sparrow, but it’s called the common redpoll. And this bird, also, does
not come down this far south. It’s usually the farthest
south it goes is in northern part of Iowa, and
we’re seeing it now in our area. And we’re pretty sure it’s due to how cold our weather has gotten. – So, why do we care about the bird count? I mean, is it an indicator
of the ecosystem? Is it kind of a good, I don’t know, a harbinger of
a good year as far as crops? Or is it just about weather? – It shows a lot. It shows a lot about the
different diseases for the birds, which also could make an impact on humans, for instance, West Nile virus. It also shows for the weather climate and the climate change,
and basically, yeah, it shows the difference for the weather. It shows how their population is growing or increasing or decreasing. So, for instance, last winter
it was a pretty mild winter. So we were see migrations happen a lot earlier than what they normally do. They were starting middle of February, whereas normal birds will
migrate more in March. – All right, so, I want a
certain type of bird in my yard. And you’re gonna tell me how I
can get that bird in my yard. – Yes, so, it all depends, if
you want basically any birds, they like your black oil sunflower seeds. So like this seed right here, this is your black oil sunflower seed. It is very common, almost
any bird will go for it. Your blue jays, your
cardinals, your finches, almost every bird will go for that seed. And it’s because it is so
high in fat for the birds, and that’s what they need
to survive the cold months. If you want your finches
or your smaller birds, you want to go for the niger, or thistle is another word
for it, this kind of seed. – [Jim] Okay, very thin, yeah. – So very thin, very small. That’s gonna go for your smaller birds with the finch-like beak. If you want your woodpeckers,
put out peanuts or suet cakes. Those are really big. They love that stuff. Blue jays– – Or they just go after my trees. – Yeah, but however in the
winter time, there’s no bugs, and that’s what they’re usually
going after in your trees, so you need to put out something
else for them to survive, which is the seed of the suet. – All right, and then you
have two other versions here? – Yeah, so this is just
your mixed bird seed. – Which you see everywhere. – Everywhere, yeah. This has everything in it. So this will pretty much attract anything. This is called safflower seed. Usually we see the cardinals. We saw the redpoll eating off this. The finches will eat off this. A lot of it is mainly the cardinals that will go for that seed. – Well, and a lot of creative ways of actually getting the
bird seed to the birds. – Yes. – This is a pine cone? – Pine cone, it is a pine cone. So what we did is how we mixed that up, you mix two cups of Crisco
or vegetable shortening, a cup of peanut butter,
half a cup of corn meal, and then you slather it on that pine cone, and you roll it in just
the mixed bird seed. And that has enough fat
in it for the birds to get a nice fat supply for them for
surviving the winter months. The peanut butter provides
the protein for them, and of course the seed is just seed. So this is a really easy thing you can do. It’s really cheap to make. You can hang it anywhere, and
it will all dissolve anyway in the weather because
it’s all natural products. – Do squirrels love it too? – Yeah, they may like it, too. (laughing) – There’s no way we can win, is there? – No, there’s not (laughs). – Becky Horton, thanks for joining us. Once again, it is Saturday, February 17th at the Wapsi Center. What time? – 10 a.m. – And you can learn a little bit more about the birds in this
area and how to count them, and then take part in that. Great idea. – Yeah! – All right, once again, February 17th, 10 o’clock, Saturday at the Wapsi Environmental Education Center. – Yes, up in Dixon. – There you go. WQPT is doing its part to support
the military men and women in the cities who are serving our nation. We call it Embracing the Military. And Arsenal Island wants
you to stay healthy, and that all starts with a strong heart. Next week is the annual health fair. This year dedicated to
Matters of the Heart. It may be just the right incentive for you to lead a
healthier, more active life. This year’s fair coming up
Valentine’s Day, February 14th, from 10 until 2 in Building
67 on Arsenal Island. On the air, on the radio, on the web, and on your mobile device,
thanks for taking some time to join us as we talk about
the issues on The Cities. (gentle music)

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