Readers Respond

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Letters to the Pilot

What you can do about mumps epidemic in Iowa

To The Editor,

There are now over 1000 cases of mumps in Iowa. There has been no confirmed cases in Buena Vista County as of yet, but we know it is bound to hit our county soon. We as a community need to get prepared. Your part is to check your vaccination record to see if you have either had the mumps or had two vaccines for the Mumps. It will read MMR (meaning Measles Mumps and Rubella). If you have had the Mumps you are 100% covered, if you have had two MMR vaccines you are 95% covered, if you have had one MMR you are about 70% covered, if you have not had either it is highly recommended that you get two MMR's, 28 days apart. Some people say they don't know if they had the mumps as a kid. Another option would be to do a serology test called IgG (a blood test) to see if your immunity to the mumps is positive or negative.

If you prefer the serology testing please call your doctor to set up an appointment for a lab draw. If you prefer the vaccine please call Public Health for an appointment. The cost is $55 per injection for anyone age 23 and older.

The State of Iowa has given Buena Vista County 400 doses to give to people ages 18 to 22. This will be a $7.50 charge to give the vaccine. We are set up to give the MMR's at Buena Vista University to their students on Wednesday, April 26th at 2 p.m. and at Iowa Central Community College on Thursday, April 27th from 11-1 and again from 4-6 p.m. for their students. We would also like to set a time for anyone not attending college that is between the ages of 18 and 22 to be able to receive the vaccine for $7.50. We will offer this by appointment only at Buena Vista County Public Health & Home Care office located at 1709 East Richland Street (just east of Sara Lee). Please call for an appointment at 712-749-2548.

Be a good public citizen and get vaccinated. Buena Vista County Public Health & Home Care would be glad to assist you in any way we can because "Caring it's what we do best".

- Sally Bonnesen, RN, Public Health

Respite care for the disabled is critical

To The Editor,

Storm Lake and the surrounding area is blessed to have the respite care services that Faith, Hope & Charity offers. I know first hand how difficult it can be for the family of a child with a disability. My brother had cerebral palsy and taking care of him was a 24-7 job for my parents. The stress of constantly taking care of a disabled loved one was apparent to me growing up. If we would have had access to a respite care facility I believe my parents would have had more opportunity to take vacations or visit friends and family for a few days without worry.

Respite care at Faith, Hope & Charity has allowed families to be able to enjoy valuable time to themselves. This only happens when the funding is available. It is a shame when the programs are available to families but funding is not. That is why it is the intention of Faith, Hope & Charity to raise funds to make need-based scholarships available. Please join me in helping to support a very important opportunity for these families.

- Randy Fehr, Storm Lake

Give women in science equal shot

To The Editor,

As many of you know, women have been discriminated against for many years. It has been getting better the last few years, but things need to change at a faster pace. In 2001, only 15% of the professors in the science areas were female. This number has only increased 10% from 1975 according to the Association for Women in Science. For 26 years women have been working extremely hard to get noticed and show their contributions to science, but hardly anyone noticed. These numbers do not show and incorporate the pain and suffering they went through in college and at a graduate level. Numbers need to change in order to keep the women in the science areas.

Different females have different takes on this issue. Some women say, "If men want to discriminate against me, let them. It makes me stronger to persevere towards my goals." Other are working towards improving conditions for women. No one should have to be discriminated against by fellow colleagues and co-workers.

What I am asking you, the public, for is to come together and stop the discrimination against women. It is not right that men are always the ones on top when women can do it as well. Women and men need to be treated equally on and off the playing field so they can become science professors or whatever else they want to achieve. If you meet a girl with an interest in a male-dominated field, please encourage her! With all of our efforts I think we can truly make a difference!

- Angie Eischeid, Halbur