PHMDC Header

Featured Topics

Image: Featured Topic


EV-D68 is a virus that causes respiratory symptoms. Its spread through parts of the Midwest has been reported in the news. Its symptoms may be similar to the common cold or may be more severe. Most people will recover without treatment but people with a more severe form of the disease may need to seek health care and possibly be hospitalized.

The virus likely spreads from person to person when someone with the virus coughs or sneezes or when someone touches a contaminated surface. Without extensive lab testing, there is no way to tell whether someone's symptoms are due to EV-D68 or a different virus. This testing will only be offered to patients that meet specific criteria set by the Wisconsin Division of Public Health. Health providers are not required to report EV-D68 to their local health department, so we don't know if EV-D68 is circulating in Wisconsin. There is no vaccine for EV-D68.

Respiratory viruses often spread in the fall when children return to school. Prevention of EV-D68 is the same as prevention of other respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often (Alcohol hand-sanitizer gel can be used if hand washing is not possible)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Don't share drinks or eating utensils with people who are sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Stay home if you're sick

If you have questions about symptoms you or your child are having, call your doctor. If someone is having trouble breathing, call 911 and seek medical care right away.

Image: Featured Topic


A four person creative team of Mount Horeb High School students produced a 30 second TV spot using an innovative and entertaining approach to delivering a strong message on the health effects of skipping breakfast. The team members are Ryan Epping, Evan Moris, Calvin Skalet and Alex Thompson. The team faculty advisor was Mr. Bart Leibfried. The Fit2Film Video Contest was organized by the Dane County Youth Commission and Public Health Madison & Dane County with the goal of engaging young people in the development of short, powerful video messages supporting health. The prize was free enrollment for each winner in The ABC's of Video Production - a three day high school camp conducted by the Madison Media Institute where students get to develop video production skills including camera, lighting, audio, video editing and directing.

Winning Video: Breakfast Builds Champions

Image: Featured Topic


Badger Care

Adults with income under 100% of the federal poverty level (FPL), as well as pregnant women and most children up to 300% FPL, are eligible for Badger Care (Medicaid in Wisconsin) and they may apply at any time throughout the year. Many low income adults without dependent children are unaware that they are now eligible.

People with income below or slightly above those levels should apply for Badger Care and other benefits at:

  • Call the Capital Consortium (Dane County Department of Human Services) at 1-888-794-5556.

HealthConnect – Additional Help to Pay for Health Insurance

Dane County residents with household income under 150% FPL who signed up for a cost-sharing silver plan through the Marketplace are probably eligible for additional help to pay their monthly premiums. They should call United Way of Dane County at 2-1-1 and ask about HealthConnect.

Getting a Marketplace Plan After the Open Enrollment Period

People can still sign up for health coverage through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace plan for 60 days after certain "qualifying events" or special circumstances.

Sign up at:

Cognosante (phone 608-826-7309), a federally-funded organization that provides in-person enrollment assistance, will continue to help Dane County residents to sign up throughout the year.

Next Open Enrollment Period

For everyone else who needs coverage, the next open enrollment period to sign up for insurance plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace will be November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015. Most people are eligible for financial assistance to help lower their costs.


If people are disabled, they should apply for Social Security disability, which includes health coverage. They should call the Social Security office at 866-770-2262. The Dane County Aging and Disability Resource Center (phone 608-240-7400) provides assistance with that process.

Health Coverage for Immigrants and Refugees

Image: Featured Topic


There are now 12 permanent MedDrop sites across Dane County to get rid of unwanted and unused medicines in a safe and environmentally manner. Between July 2012 and May 2013, MedDrop collected 18,870 pounds or 4.4 tons of medications from the MedDrop sites and delivered them to a hazardous waste incinerator in Sauget IL, to ensure complete destruction.

Why Get Rid of Unused Medications

In Dane County, poisoning is the leading cause of injury death and the rates have dramatically increased over the past decade, surpassing motor vehicle crashes. There is also a concern for poisoning related hospital visits. The majority of these poisonings are due to prescription, over-the-counter, and illicit drugs. In addition, there are over three thousand people a year that visit the hospital for abuse and dependence of drugs.

Drug poisoning can occur when consumed by children and others, but unwanted medications are also used deliberately for non-medical reasons. Therefore, it is important to securely store medicines away from family and friends and get rid of expired and unused medicines. MedDrop is a key strategy to reduce access to drugs.

County-Wide Efforts to Reduce Access to Drugs

Safe Communities is leading a county-wide Drug Poisoning Initiative: Stop the Drug Overdose Epidemic, which is supported by Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, County Executive Joe Parisi and many other community partners, including Public Health. More information on this important initiative can be found at:

Other Resources