by ALANNA WIARDA, M.D. Advantage Health Physician Network Northeast Office Influenza, commonly called the flu, is a contagious respiratory viral illness which is most commonly seen in the winter months. The flu virus is spread person-to-person via respiratory droplets produced by coughing, sneezing or talking. There are many different strains of the influenza virus, each designated with an H and N number (example strain H2N3 was common several years ago). The most recently recognized strain of influenza, the swine flu (H1N1), was first seen in Mexico in March 2009. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 29 countries have officially reported a total of 4,379 cases of this flu strain. As of May 10, 2009, in the United States, there have been 2,532 confirmed cases in 44 states, including 114 in Michigan. As of May 7, there has been one confirmed and 38 probable cases in Kent County. Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of the swine flu are similar to other flu strains. Symptoms of influenza infection include: fever, chills, headache, body aches, cough, sore throat and fatigue. Fever may last two to five days with flu, compared to 24-48 hours with other common upper respiratory infections. The illness typically lasts three to five days, but weakness and fatigue can persist for several weeks. A person is considered to be contagious from one day before symptoms begin until about one week later. The most common complication of the flu is pneumonia, which can be very serious in the elderly, young children and those with chronic medical problems. You should seek medical care quickly if serious symptoms develop such as shortness of breath, chest pains, uncontrolled vomiting, dehydration, confusion or convulsions. Influenza is diagnosed based on the typical symptoms occurring during an outbreak in the community or during the usual flu season. A nasal swab can be obtained to confirm this diagnosis, but is not always necessary. Treatment of flu symptoms can help to make you feel better, but will not shorten the illness. Recommendations include rest, drinking plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration, and use of over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin) to relieve fever, headaches and muscle aches. Use of aspirin is not recommended, especially in children under 18, as this […]
Articles by Squire News
An imported beetle that eats an invasive plant is being used to restore native wetland species such as cattails. Jim Biener and Bob Stegmier of the Dwight Lydell Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America are looking for some friends with good eyesight and steady hands to again collect these beetles and spread them into loosestrife infested wetlands. Jim, 361-1353, coordinates the efforts in the townships of Cannon and Grattan. Bob Stegmier, 866-4769, coordinates the efforts for the Ike’s and the Rouge River Watershed Council in the Rogue River watershed. Purple Loosestrife is an unwanted “beauty” in our midst. This statement so definitely describes the non-native Purple Loosestrife wetland plant in North America. From a good beginning in 2007 volunteers will again be in the wetlands colonized with the Gallerucella calmariensis beetle collecting the beetle as they emerge from the soil and beginning their spring eating and mating process. The aim of these volunteers is to collect beetles before they lay their eggs and transplant them into areas with P.L. so the eggs will be hatched in the new area. That way two beetles transplanted produces 500 new larva to eat loosestrife blossoms and seeds making our effort very effective. The Rogue River Watershed Council (RRWC) with the guidance of Dwight Lydell Chapter of the Izaak Walton League will continue to collect and spread the Purple Loosestrife eating Gallerucella calmariensis beetle in the Rogue River watershed. This is a volunteer effort to control the spread of the non-native Purple Loosestrife wetland plant. Good progress is being steadily made from the south of the watershed northward. While this plant is pretty with its tall slender purple spikes it is still very much a plant that if left uncontrolled would significantly alter the native plant structure of our wetlands. Native Michigan wetland species find very little value in the plant. The beauty is short lived lasting only a few weeks in July before the blossom and stalk structure dies and turns brown. The damage continues all growing season long as the plant crowds out native plants. The result is that Michigan native wetlands species loose their “preferred” living habitat. Volunteers are needed and folks throughout the watershed are invited to volunteer to help in this […]
The Order Deadline for the spring native plant sale will be May 20, 2009. The sale will be held at the Kent CD office (Grand Rapids) at 3260 Eagle Park Dr. N.E., Suite 111, Grand Rapids on May 27 at 6 p.m. For additional information call (616) 942-4111 extension 100. There will be a cash and carry sale for customers who need help with their selection, but please remember stock is not guaranteed at the cash and carry sale so please put an order in for all items you know you want. For more information on this sale go to the tree sale section of our website where you can download our catalog for free. The Kent Conservation District hosts two native plant sales each year. One in the Spring and one in the Fall. Because the native plants of Michigan have evolved with our unique climate and soils, they are often times better adapted to our local conditions than their non-native or cultivated counterparts. Native plants also play an important role in the life cycle of many different species of wildlife including many butterflies, song birds and mammals. Please consider using Michigan Natives for your next planting.
Defending Division II girls lacrosse champion Flint Powers traveled to Rockford to take on the Rams in a battle between two of 2009’s elite teams. The game went back and forth over both halves with the Rams trailing early 3-1, at the half by one, down 7-6, and midway through the second half 10-8. Each time, the Rams were able to answer as they kept their resolve. The Rams had to fight through back-to-back yellow cards that had them playing down two players for almost two minutes. The Rams’ defense held strong, only surrendering one goal during that time and scoring a short-handed goal of their own. Rockford Coach Neerken stated, “Our defense won that game with the play during the penalty, and with their smothering defense in the last two minutes preventing Powers from getting off the tying shot.” The entire defensive effort led by Alyssa Neumen, Lexi O’Connor, Roxy Rosema, Kelly McCabe, Jill Fowle and Emily Gray gave the potent Ram offense time to find their stride. Kelsei Streeter also played well off the bench, helping to kill the Ram penalties. Gabby Twiest continued her strong play in the nets for Rockford with 10 saves, including two penalty shot saves. The Powers defense tried to shut down the Ram attack, but the teamwork of Michon Moline,Abbey Neerken, Taylor Hiner and Taylor Balch drew the attention of the defense to open the scoring lanes for Andi Raymond and Meagan Emery. According to Coach Emery, “The level of teamwork did not show in the stat book tonight. The hard work keeping the ball in our scoring zone late in the game, and opening the lane for our give-and-go was a total team effort.” Raymond ended with seven goals and three assists. Emery had five goals and two assists, and Moline chipped in an assist to complete the Ram victory, 12-11.
The Rockford High School Rams girls varsity tennis team finished the regular season with a tie for first place at the Saturday, May 9 OK Red conference tournament. In the final conference standings, Rockford placed second behind OK Red champs Hudsonville by just one point. This week, the Rams’ attention turned to the Thursday, May 14 Division I regional tournament. A non-conference match with Caledonia was scheduled for Monday, May 11. The Rams finished conference play with a 6-1-1 record, and a 9-1-1 overall record. The team won two invitationals. At the conference tournament, the Rockford squad tied with Hudsonville at 50 points each. Lindsay Gauger and Meliah Mead earned first-place medals for the fourth doubles flight, topping the runners-up from Jenison, 6-1 and 6-0. Second singles player MJ Bothma, third singles player Alex Stembaugh, and the first doubles team of Jill Haverkate and Katie Rachon were awarded medals as runners-up in their flights. Rain forced the conference event indoors at MVP in Rockford, Riverview and Ramblewood for the morning. By the afternoon, the rain stopped and the tournament moved back outdoors to the Jenison High School courts. The Rams were to face a nearly identical slate for Thursday’s regional tournament, except for Hudsonville. Ranked fifth in the state in Division II by high school tennis coaches, the Eagles moved to the Division II regional event. Winning teams and top singles flights at the regional tournaments are eligible for the state finals, May 29-30. Last year’s Rockford girls varsity tennis team was the first to qualify for the state finals in a decade, and finished in 15th place.