Vilas County Public Health - Home

Cooling Facilities in Vilas and Oneida Counties

The National Weather Service says the combination of heat and high humidity this week and into the upcoming weekend may result in hazardous health conditions.

Oneida County and Vilas County Emergency Management Offices and Public Health Departments have identified the following facilities that are open for business 24-hours a day/7 days a week in the event citizens need to cool down from the heat and humidity.

Eagle River Area:

  • Trig’s Store (925 East Wall Street) Mezzanine Area, 715-479-6411
  • Eagle River Memorial Hospital (201 Hospital Road) Main Entrance, 715-479-7411

Rhinelander Area:

  • Trig’s Riverwalk Centre Mall (232 S. Courtney Street)  Seating in Mall Area, 715-369-1470,
  • Wal-Mart Supercenter (2121 Lincoln Street), 715-362-8550

Minocqua/Woodruff Area:

  • Trig’s Mall (9750 HWY 70 West) Seating in Mall Area, 715-356-9456
  • Wal-Mart Supercenter (8760 Northridge Way), 715-356-1609

Please contact the utility company you are serviced by, to report a power outage or a downed power line:

  • Wisconsin Public Service: 1-800-450-7240
  • Price Electric Cooperative: 1-800-884-0881
  • Xcel Energy: 1-800-895-4999
  • WE Energies: 1-800-242-9137

Remember These Tips:

  • Never leave children, disabled persons, or pets in a parked car-even briefly: Temperatures in a car can become life threatening within minutes. Temperature inside a car, even with windows cracked, can rise 20-30 degrees above outside temperature in 10 to 20 minutes. Air conditioning is no guarantee to be safe.
  • Stay Cool: Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible and avoid direct sunlight.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water and do not wait until you are thirsty to drink. Pets should have their water refilled often and given more water than usual.
  • Stay Informed: Watch your local weather forecasts so you can plan activities safely when it is hot outside. Watch for any extreme heat alerts.
  • Do not stop taking medications unless your doctor says you should: Take extra care to stay cool and ask your doctor or pharmacist for any special heat advice. Consult with Veterinarians if your pet is on medication as well.
  • Taking a cool shower or bath will cool you down: A shower or bath will actually work faster than an air conditioner. Apply cool-wet rags to neck, head and limbs to cool down the body quickly and, apply cool-wet rags to your pets head, neck, chest and belly to help cool them down.
  • Monitor weather and heat conditions before planning outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day.

People at Higher Risk of Heat-Related Illness Include

  • Infants and young children.
  • People 65 years of age and older.
  • People who are overweight.
  • People with chronic medical conditions.
  • Pets exposed to extreme heat and humidity even in the shade, are at risk for heat stroke.

Where You Are Most At Risk

  • Homes with little or no air conditioning.
  • Cars.

Many victims of heat-related deaths are socially isolated, maintaining little contact with family and friends. This is why it is important to check on family, friends, neighbors, pets and livestock during extreme heat.

Tips for Food Safety in a Power Outage:


 It's Tick Season!

The weather is becoming warmer and the deer ticks are beginning to become more active. Ticks live in wooded, brushy areas that provide food and cover for small animals and deer. Ticks are unable to jump or fly and usually attach to a host at ground level.

Common Tick Diseases

Some people can develop two or more of these diseases at the same time.

Lyme Disease

Symptoms include a bulls-eye rash, fever, headache, chills, muscle pain and joint pain. The bulls-eye rash, one of the earliest symptoms, typically appears between 3 and 30 days after the tick bite. Not everyone with Lyme disease develops the rash.

Human Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis

Symptoms include a sudden onset of a high fever (102 degrees or more), chills, severe headache and muscle aches. These symptoms appear between 1 and 3 weeks after an infectious tick bite. However, not all people have symptoms.

Although people of all ages can get anaplasmosis, it is most severe in the elderly.  If left untreated, it can result in organ failure and death.


Symptoms include high fever, muscle aches, beign tired, headache and loss of appetite. Symptoms usually appear between 1 and 6 weeks after a deer tick bite, but may take longer in some individuals. Most people infected with the babesiosis parasite will have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. People who are immune compromised may develop severe illness. Babesiosis can be fatal.

Powassan (POWV) Virus

Steps to Protect Yourself from Tick Diseases

  1. Know when you’re in tick habitat—brushy, wooded areas—where you will need to take precautions.
  2. Use a good tick repellent, such as a product containing permethrin or DEET, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Wear clothes that will help to shield you from ticks. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants are best. Tuck your pants into the top of your socks or boots to create a “tick barrier.”
  4. Check frequently for ticks and remove them promptly.  This is an important step in preventing disease.
  5. Remove the tick slowly and gently using a pair of tweezers. Folk remedies like Vaseline, nail polish remover, or matches are not safe or effective methods of tick removal.

If you develop signs or symptoms of a tick-related illness after spending time in areas where deer ticks are found, you should seek medical attention right away.

Not all deer ticks carry the organisms that cause Lyme disease, human anaplasmosis, or babesiosis. If an infected deer tick bites you, it needs to be attached at least 12-24 hours to transmit the human anaplasmosis bacteria and 24-48 hours to transmit the Lyme disease bacteria. Not every person who is infected with these organisms will develop symptoms.

Useful Resources:


Blastomycosis is caused by a fungus that may cause disease in people and animals, particularly dogs.  The fungus grows in nature and is typically found in:

  • Acidic, sandy soils;
  • Decaying wood and other vegetation; and
  • By waterways with changing water levels. 

It produces microscopic spores under certain conditions of temperature and humidity, typically in the spring and fall of the year.  These spores become airborne when the soil or debris becomes disturbed.  Blastomycosis develops when you breathe in the disturbed spores.  Symptoms, however, do not typiclaly occur until 1 - 3 months later.  Blastomycosis is not known to spread from person to person.

Although anyone can be infected with Blastomycosis, the risk of getting this infection is low.  Your chance of getting Blastomycosis may be higher if you are in construction, farm, log, hunt, or camp in areas with moist soils containing rotting leaves and wood.

As there are currently no effective ways to prevent Blastomycosis, it is important to know the symptoms of the disease:

  • Fever and dry cough which may progress to weight loss, chest pain and a persistent cough with thick sputum. 

Other symptoms may include:

  • Muscle aches,
  • Night sweats,
  • Coughing up blood,
  • Shortness of breath and
  • Chest tightness.

Blastomycosis symptoms look like pneumonia and other lung conditions, but it can affect other parts of the body, including skin and bone.  People with health conditions, such as a weakened immune system, asthma or other chronic lung conditions, smoking or diabetes, and the elderly may have severe illnesses. And some people may not have any symptoms. 

Contact your health care provider if you experience any of the symptoms listed above. 

Parents Who Host, Lose the Most

April is Underage Alcohol Use and Abuse Awareness Month 

In recognition of the health and social costs of underage drinking, Governor Scott Walker has proclaimed April 2017 as Underage Alcohol Use and Abuse Awareness Month (PDF) .

Adults play a big role in shaping young people's opinions about drinking.  Drug Free Action Alliance created the Parents Who Host, Lose The Most campaign to encourage everyone, especially parents, to send a joint message that teen's drinking alcohol is unhealthy, unsafe and unacceptable. 

Underage drinking is hazardous to health and safety

Children who drink alcohol are more likely to:

  • Use drugs.
  • Get bad grades.
  • Die (due to alcohol poisoning, motor crashes and homicide).
  • Make bad decisions.
  • Have health problems.

Learn more about the risks of underage drinking and ways to protect the health and safety of youth and young adults.

Ideas for Alcohol-Free Parties:

  • Host a themed party.  Have teens dress up in costumes.  Give a prize to the best or most unique costume.
  • Have a food-tasting party.  Serve exotic types of food or foods that would go with the dance theme. 
  • Hold a sports or game tournament.  Teens can challenge one another to play basketball, cards, dance/music/singing video games, or other games.

No matter what you plan with your teen, make sure you are there to chaperone.



Strong Women Program

The instructors who are trained in the Strong Women Program are listed below.  Please contact them for more information and when classes will be held:

  • Contact Pines Community Wellness Center (Northland Pines High School): 715-479-4473
  • Contact Lando Center: 715-547-6333
  • Contact Diane Erdman (Woodruff): 715-277-2368
  • Contact Donna White (North Lakeland Community Education): 715-543-2159