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Features Health & Wellness

Two additional cases of La Crosse encephalitis confirmed in Macon County

Macon County Health Director, Jim Bruckner announced on Monday that two additional cases of La Crosse encephalitis were confirmed in Macon County. Bruckner confirmed that both patients were admitted during September to Memorial Mission Hospital and both patients are currently recovering at home. Laboratory testing to confirm La Crosse encephalitis relies on antibody testing which can take up to two weeks to produce a definitive result. These two cases of La Crosse encephalitis brought Macon County’s total to three for the year, with the first case being diagnosed back in June.

Stan Polanski, Physician Assistant at Macon County Public Health said the La Crosse encephalitis virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.

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The American Red Cross is holding the following blood drives in the area:

— Sunday, Oct. 2 - Otto Community Blood Drive in conjunction with Otto Fire and Rescue Bar B Que at Asbury United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 8289 Georgia Road, Franklin, 12:30 to 5 p.m. Call Phyllis Castle at (828)524-9307 to schedule an appointment.

— Tuesday, Oct. 4 - Macon County Library Blood Drive, 149 Siler Farm Road, Franklin, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call (828)524-3600 to schedule an appointment.

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Citizens seeking certain services at the Macon County Public Health Department may have to pay a little extra for their next visit, as local health department officials recently increased some fees in response to state changes to Medicaid reimbursements and the annual Medicaid Cost Settlement. Local health departments across the state are acting in unison, as state legislators changed the method used to calculate and disburse Medicaid Cost Settlement dollars.

“Most of the fee changes were mandated by the state, so we had little say,” said County Commissioner Ronnie Beale. “We hate to see fees go up, but unfortunately we had to make the changes. It’s a consequence of the recession and state policy actions.”

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For those whose lives have been touched by addiction

The Smokey Mountain Ride for Recovery is an event designed to raise awareness about recovery from substance use disorders in Western North Carolina. This poker-style ride is being sponsored by The Coalition for Safe and Drug Free Cherokee County and will also help raise money for Mountain Projects’ WNC Teen Institute. Everyone is invited to attend this event and families are encouraged to participate. A recovery celebration will be held after the ride that will include food, guest speakers, games, prizes and a vigil to honor those that have lost their battle with a substance use disorder.

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published: 10/18/2013
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