January 10, 2019

Bethel McDonald’s employee diagnosed with hepatitis A 

BETHEL, Ohio – For the second day in a row, Clermont County Public Health has identified a case of hepatitis A in an employee of a Clermont County restaurant. The latest is an employee of the McDonald’s at 625 W. Plane Street in Bethel.

Hepatitis A is one of several diseases in which a restaurant or other food facility is required by law to report to their local health department if it is discovered in one of their employees. The restaurant remains open while the employee is off recovering from the illness.

The risk to patrons is extremely low. However, as a precaution, Clermont County Public Health is asking anyone who has eaten at the McDonald’s in Bethel from December 16 – December 29 to monitor for symptoms of the virus for up to 50 days. Symptoms of hepatitis A include:

  • Fatigue
  • Low appetite
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Jaundice (yellowish color to the skin and eyes)

The disease, which affects the liver, can be spread through eating or drinking contaminated food. Food can get contaminated if a person who has the virus does not wash their hands properly after using the bathroom and before preparing or touching food. Illness from hepatitis A can range from a mild case that lasts a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months.

“We are in the middle of a statewide outbreak of hepatitis A,” said Health Commissioner Julianne Nesbit. “While the risk remains low of getting the virus through contaminated food, we are urging anyone who has eaten at the McDonald’s in Bethel during the dates in question to be aware and watch for symptoms.”

A vaccine can protect you from getting sick if received within two weeks of contact with the virus. Patrons should contact their health care provider if they have questions or concerns.

The Ohio Department of Health declared a statewide outbreak of hepatitis A in June. So far, there have been 1370 cases statewide and 42 cases in Clermont County that are linked to this outbreak.

People at the highest risk of hepatitis A during this outbreak include:

  • People with direct contact with anyone who has the virus
  • People who use illegal drugs
  • People who are homeless
  • People who have traveled to other areas of the U.S. that are currently experiencing an outbreak
  • People who have been incarcerated
  • Men who have sex with men

In addition to getting a vaccine, the best way to protect yourself from hepatitis A is to wash your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom and before eating.

For more information on hepatitis A, click here.

# # #
For more information on the statewide outbreak of hepatitis A, visit the Ohio Department of Health’s website here.

For more information on hepatitis A from the Centers for Disease Control, click here.

Clermont County Public Health (CCPH) is dedicated to the mission of striving to improve Clermont County by preventing disease, promoting health, and protecting the environment. For more information, visit http://www.ccphohio.org.

Related: Miami Township IHOP employee diagnosed with hepatitis A

January 9, 2019

Clermont County restaurant employee diagnosed with hepatitis A

MILFORD, Ohio – Clermont County Public Health has identified a case of hepatitis A in an employee at the IHOP restaurant at 5699 Romar Drive in Milford.

The risk to patrons is extremely low. However, as a precaution, Clermont County Public Health is asking anyone who has eaten at IHOP from December 25 – December 31 to monitor for symptoms of the virus for up to 50 days. Symptoms of hepatitis A include:

  • Fatigue
  • Low appetite
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Jaundice (yellowish color to the skin and eyes)

The disease, which affects the liver, can be spread through eating or drinking contaminated food. Food can get contaminated if a person who has the virus does not wash their hands properly after using the bathroom and before preparing or touching food.

“The restaurant management has been very cooperative and we are working with them to review safe food handling techniques,” said Assistant Health Commissioner Tim Kelly.

A vaccine can protect you from getting sick if received within two weeks of contact with the virus. Patrons should contact their health care provider if they have questions or concerns.

“Though it is possible to spread hepatitis A through contaminated food, the risk is extremely low,” said Kelly. “The majority of cases we are seeing during this outbreak are from other risk factors.”

The Ohio Department of Health declared a statewide outbreak of hepatitis A in June. So far, there have been 1370 cases statewide and 42 cases in Clermont County that are linked to this outbreak.

People at the highest risk of hepatitis A during this outbreak include:

  • People with direct contact with anyone who has the virus
  • People who use illegal drugs
  • People who are homeless
  • People who have traveled to other areas of the U.S. that are currently experiencing an outbreak
  • People who have been incarcerated
  • Men who have sex with men

In addition to getting a vaccine, the best way to protect yourself from hepatitis A is to wash your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom and before eating.

Illness from hepatitis A can range from a mild case that lasts a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months.

For more information on hepatitis A, click here.

# # #

For more information on the statewide outbreak of hepatitis A, visit the Ohio Department of Health’s website here.

For more information on hepatitis A from the Centers for Disease Control, click here.

December 7, 2018

We want to talk to you!

Clermont County Public Health is partnering with Wright State University to conduct a Community Health Assessment Survey. The survey will be conducted over the phone and will ask participants several questions about their personal health and healthy behaviors. The results of the survey will be compiled to provide a snapshot of the health of Clermont County and its residents.

In order to get the most accurate representation of the health of Clermont County residents, we need as many people as possible to participate in the survey. So, if you’re phone rings, please take a few minutes to participate and help us improve the health of Clermont County.

When the results of the survey are finalized, they will used to update the Community Health Assessment, which was last updated in 2013. The updated Community Health Assessment will then be used to create a Community Health Improvement Plan. This plan, will be used to address the most important public health issues in Clermont County over the next five years.

November 15, 2018

Felicity IGA employee diagnosed with hepatitis A

BATAVIA, Ohio – Clermont County Public Health has identified a case of hepatitis A in an employee at the Felicity IGA grocery store at 412 Light Street in Felicity, OH.

The risk to patrons is extremely low. As a precaution, Clermont County Public Health is asking anyone who has eaten food from the deli at the Felicity IGA from October 31 – November 13 to monitor for symptoms of the virus for up to 50 days. Symptoms of hepatitis A include:

  • Fatigue
  • Low appetite
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Jaundice (yellowish color to the skin and eyes)

The disease, which affects the liver, can be spread through eating or drinking contaminated food. Food can get contaminated if a person who has the virus does not wash their hands properly after using the bathroom and before preparing or touching food.

A vaccine can protect you from getting sick if received within two weeks of contact with the virus. Patrons should contact their health care provider if they have questions or concerns.

“The grocery store management has been very cooperative and we are working with them to vaccinate their other employees,” said Health Commissioner Julianne Nesbit. “During their most recent inspection the store employees have demonstrated proper knowledge of safe food handling techniques”.

Their most recent inspections have documented proper hand washing and glove use.

Clermont County Public Health will be offering free hepatitis A vaccines on Friday, November 16, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. The vaccines will be given at the Felicity Fire Department, located at 718 Market Street.

The Ohio Department of Health declared a statewide outbreak of hepatitis A in June. So far, there have been 865 cases statewide and 17 cases in Clermont County that are linked to this outbreak.

In addition to getting a vaccine, the best way to protect yourself from hepatitis A is to wash your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom and before eating.

Illness from hepatitis A can range from a mild case that lasts a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months.

People at the highest risk of hepatitis A during this outbreak include:

  • People with direct contact with anyone who has the virus
  • Men who have sex with men
  • People who use illegal drugs
  • People who are homeless
  • People who have traveled to other areas of the U.S. that are currently experiencing an outbreak
  • People who have been incarcerated

For more information on the statewide outbreak of hepatitis A, visit the Ohio Department of Health’s website here.

For more information on hepatitis A from the Centers for Disease Control, click here.

October 25, 2018

Clermont County Public Health receives Auditor of State Award  

BATAVIA – Clermont County Public Health has earned the Auditor of State Award for its recent clean audit report. This is the fourth year in a row that Clermont County Public Health has received the award.

The Auditor of State Award is presented to local governments and school districts after their annual audit. In order to receive the award the agencies must meet certain criteria that show their excellent record keeping and financial accountability.

“We are pleased to have received this award for the fourth straight year,” said Health Commissioner Julianne Nesbit. “Responsibility, credibility, and dependability are three of our core values. This award reflects each of those values and the hard work and attention to detail of our fiscal officer,” said Nesbit.

Clermont County Public Health has a staff of 50 employees and a budget of about $3.5 million. In 2017, approximately 40 percent of their revenue came from local licenses and fees, while about 30 percent came from state and federal grants.

# # #

October 19, 2018

2019 Septic Rehab Program now open

Clermont County Public Health’s (CCPH)  Septic Rehab Program is now open for 2019. The program provides money to low-income homeowners to repair or replace failing septic systems.

To be eligible for the program, applicants must live in Clermont County, meet income eligibility requirements, and own and occupy the home that is attached to the septic system.

If you applied for funding in the past but were denied, we encourage you to apply again.

If your septic system is currently failing, it is important to submit this application before the deadline to avoid additional re-inspections and fees.

Applications should be returned to:
Clermont County Public Health
2275 Bauer Road
Batavia, OH 45103

by Friday, December 28, 2018. Copies of income information for all adults in your household must be submitted with the application. Your application will be considered incomplete and will not be considered if proof of income is not included. Staff is available to help you complete the application anytime during regular business hours.

Once all of the applications are received, they will be reviewed and ranked in order of need. Priority is given to the systems that are considered to be most in need of repairs.

2019 Septic Rehab Program Plan

Septic Rehab Application Packet

October 17, 2018

The flu pandemic – 100 years later

This flu season is the 100th anniversary of one of the deadliest disease outbreaks in modern history. The flu pandemic of 1918 first appeared during March of that year but began spreading faster and wider in October.

While the seasonal flu affects people each year, a pandemic happens when a new type of virus shows up that people haven’t built an immunity to yet. If some people aren’t immune to it, the virus spreads more easily, and more people get sick.

During the 1918-1919 flu season, 300 million people became sick and about 50 million people died from the flu. In the United States, it killed an estimated 675,000 people. The epidemic occurred near the end of World War I, and it is estimated that more American soldiers died from the flu, than were killed in combat during the war.

The war is one factor that contributed to the large number of illnesses from the flu. As many soldiers traveled internationally, some brought the illness with them from home. Military bases and camps which were often crowded, created the perfect environment for the illness to spread to a large number of people very quickly.

Other reasons for the rapid spread of the disease were the lack of a vaccine, no anti-viral drugs, no prevention efforts (such as hand washing, and overall good hygiene), and a lack of communication between hospitals and other health care centers. At the time the flu wasn’t very well understood. Many people believed that it was caused by a bacteria, not a virus.

Locally, the pandemic had a big impact on schools in Clermont County. To prevent further spread of the flu, all schools in Clermont County closed for several weeks during the fall of 1918. Some schools closed for as many as seven weeks, before reopening. The long closures caused concern that seniors wouldn’t have enough days at school to be able to graduate in the spring.

The villages of Milford and Loveland were greatly affected and banned public events from taking place during the height of the pandemic. By the end of October, the village of Milford had reported 24 deaths from the flu just in the village limits. Funeral homes in Milford were so overwhelmed they had to ask for help from other funeral homes in the area.

The village of Williamsburg had six deaths in a one-week time frame in early November. In total, there were more than 100 cases of the flu, just in the village of Williamsburg.

Since the deadly pandemic of 1918, there have been many improvements to public health to help minimize the effects of another worldwide outbreak. The development of the first flu vaccine in 1938, was an important step in reducing the risk of a deadly flu outbreak. The new flu vaccine was widely used a few years later to protect American soldiers during World War II.

As a result of the pandemic, a new Ohio law was passed in 1919 that required all existing health units to combine into 88 general health districts – one for each county in Ohio. By March of 1920, the Clermont County General Health District (now Clermont County Public Health) was formed and had its first meeting of the Board of Health.

Today, each county or city health department works closely with the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control to monitor illnesses, including the flu in the community. Health departments, along with other health care providers, give flu vaccines each year, to help prevent the spread of the flu.

While vaccines can’t prevent another pandemic from occurring, they can help minimize the effects and limit the spread of seasonal flu each year. Other but less severe pandemics have occurred in 1957, 1961, and most recently in 2009.

You can help prevent the spread of flu by getting vaccinated each year and remembering to wash your hands frequently. If you’d like to schedule an appointment for your flu shot, you can call our nursing division at 513-735-8400.

# # #

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and The Clermont Sun archives

September 12, 2018

Public Health Stays Prepared During Preparedness Month

Every September is recognized as National Preparedness Month. It serves as a reminder that disaster can strike anywhere and at any time. The month-long campaign encourages families across the country to take action and have a plan in place for when an emergency does happen.

Clermont County Public Health used Preparedness Month to practice its own emergency plan. On Tuesday, September 11, Clermont County Public Health participated in a full-scale exercise to practice their response to a county-wide emergency. The day consisted of setting up a point of dispensing (POD) location at the Clermont County Fairgrounds.

A POD is a location where medicine can quickly be given out to people who may have been exposed to a biological threat, such as anthrax. POD’s can also be set-up to quickly vaccinate lots of people from a disease such as the flu, during an epidemic.

“We hope we never have to set up a POD in a real situation,” said Health Commissioner Julianne Nesbit. “But, we do practice routinely, so that if we ever need to open a POD, we can do it as quickly and efficiently as possible”.

Once the POD was set up, 19 Clermont County Public Health staff members simulated giving out large amounts of vaccine to the public.

“While it is difficult to plan for every possible situation or scenario, our emergency response plan is constantly revised and updated to allow us to stay prepared for the emergencies that are most likely to affect public health in Clermont County,” said Nesbit.

In addition to the fairgrounds, Public Health has eight other POD locations throughout the county that can be used during an emergency. The last time a POD was opened in a real scenario in Clermont County was during the 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak.

For more information on preparedness tips and how to set up your family’s own emergency plan, visit www.ready.gov.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 24, 2018

West Nile Virus rates increasing in Clermont County mosquitoes

As summer comes to a close, West Nile Virus activity in local mosquitoes is increasing. Clermont County Public Health has been trapping mosquitoes this summer and has had 10 positive tests for West Nile Virus.

Statewide, there have been 1,984 positive tests for West Nile Virus in mosquitoes. The virus has been found in mosquito populations in 51 of Ohio’s 88 counties.

West Nile Virus is a disease that can spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Anyone who is bitten by an infected mosquito can get sick, but in Ohio, the highest risk is to people over the age of 50. Only about 20 percent of the people infected with the virus will have symptoms of the illness that includes:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Vomiting and nausea

“With a higher number of mosquitoes carrying the virus this year, the chances of being bitten by an infected mosquito are higher too,” said Health Commissioner Julianne Nesbit. “We encourage everyone to protect themselves from being bitten, and get rid of places for mosquitoes to lay their eggs.”

The type of mosquito that most commonly carries West Nile Virus likes to lay eggs in small areas of standing water like ditches, clogged rain gutters, flower pots, buckets, or other containers that can hold rainwater.

Mosquito season increases near the end of summer and continues into October. Usually, the first hard frost of the year will kill most adult mosquitoes.

To protect yourself from mosquito bites

  • Use an EPA-registered insect repellent when going outside
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants
  • Treat your clothes with permethrin to repel mosquitoes
  • Avoid being outside during peak biting times – early morning and evening
  • Get rid of any containers that can hold water
  • Use a mosquito dunk or larvicide for areas of standing water that can’t be drained
  • Keep grass in your yard cut short
  • Make sure your doors and windows have screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house

For more information and the most up-to-date numbers of mosquitos trapped visit the Ohio Department of Health’s website.

# # #

Photo: Tyler Braasch, a sanitarian with Clermont County Public Health checks a mosquito trap

Clermont County Public Health (CCPH) is dedicated to the mission of striving to improve Clermont County by preventing disease, promoting health, and protecting the environment. For more information, visit http://www.ccphohio.org.

August 21, 2018

Fast food worker in Clermont County diagnosed with Hepatitis A

BATAVIA, Ohio – Clermont County Public Health has identified a case of hepatitis A in an employee at the Taco Bell restaurant at 889 S.R. 28 in Miami Township.

The risk to patrons is extremely low. As a precaution, Clermont County Public Health is asking anyone who has eaten at the Taco Bell on State Route 28 in Miami Township from August 15-17 to monitor for symptoms of the virus for up to 50 days. Symptoms of hepatitis A include:

  • fatigue
  • low appetite
  • stomach pain
  • nausea
  • clay-colored stools
  • jaundice (yellowish color to the skin and eyes)

A vaccine can protect you from getting sick if received within two weeks of contact with the virus. Patrons should contact their health care provider if they have questions or concerns.

“The restaurant management has been very cooperative and we are working with them to review safe food handling techniques,” said Health Commissioner Julianne Nesbit.

The Ohio Department of Health declared a statewide outbreak of hepatitis A in June. So far, there have been 256 cases statewide that are linked to this outbreak.

The disease, which affects the liver, can be spread through eating or drinking contaminated food. Food gets contaminated if a person who has the virus does not wash their hands properly after using the bathroom and before preparing or touching food.

In addition to getting a vaccine, the best way to protect yourself from hepatitis A is to wash your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom and before eating.

Illness from hepatitis A can range from a mild case that lasts a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months.

People at the highest risk of Hepatitis A during this outbreak include:

  • People with direct contact with anyone who has the virus
  • Men who have sex with men
  • People who use illegal drugs
  • People who are homeless
  • People who have traveled to other areas of the U.S. that are currently experiencing an outbreak

For more information on the statewide outbreak of hepatitis A, visit the Ohio Department of Health’s website here.

For more information on hepatitis A from the Centers for Disease Control, click here.