August 23, 2019

Local mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus

MIAMI Twp. – A mosquito trapped in Miami Township’s Paxton Ramsey Park recently tested positive for West Nile Virus. The virus can be spread to humans from the bite of an infected mosquito.

West Nile Virus can cause fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and a rash. While it can cause serious illness or even death, about 80 percent of people who become infected with the virus will not show any symptoms.

Clermont County Public Health has been trapping and collecting mosquitoes at several sites throughout the county this summer. The mosquitoes are then sent to a lab where they are tested for West Nile Virus.

Clermont County Public Health has trapped and tested 1,895 mosquitoes in the county this year. Statewide, more than 425,000 mosquitoes have been tested by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). There have been 150 positive tests for West Nile Virus in Ohio.

“We start to see an increase in mosquito activity in our area during late summer,” said Clermont County Assistant Health Commissioner Tim Kelly. “West Nile Virus is nothing new or nothing to be alarmed about, but we like to remind everyone to protect themselves and avoid mosquito bites when they’re outside.”

To avoid mosquito bites, citizens are encouraged to:

  • Use EPA registered insect repellent and follow the label instructions.
  • Wear long sleeves or long pants and cover as much of your skin as possible when you are outside, especially between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Check your window and door screens to make sure there are no holes to allow mosquitoes in your home.
  • Eliminate standing water in your yard where mosquitoes can breed.
  • Use larvicide or mosquito dunks if you have areas in your yard that contain water that can’t be drained.

For more information on West Nile Virus, visit the Ohio Department of Health’s website at

http://bit.ly/ODHWNV.

August 15, 2019

Five straight Auditor of State Awards

For the fifth year in a row, Clermont County Public Health has earned the Auditor of State Award. The award is given annually to local governments and school districts after completing a financial audit. To receive the award, agencies must have a clean audit report.

Some of the criteria to meet a clean audit report include:

  • Filing financial reports on time
  • The audit does not contain any findings of wrongdoing or questioned costs
  • The independent audit contains no comments related to ethics referrals
  • No public meetings or public records issues

“This award goes to our Fiscal Officer, Katrina Stapleton – she is a one-person finance department,” said Health Commissioner Julianne Nesbit. “But, we could not do it without the tremendous help we receive from the Clermont County Auditor’s Office.”

“Three of Clermont County Public Health’s core values are credibility, dependability, and responsibility,” said Stapleton. “Consistently receiving the Ohio Auditor of State Award demonstrates our staff’s dedication to those values.”

“The fact that we have received this award every year Ms. Stapleton has been our fiscal officer shows her commitment to excellence and attention to detail,” said Nesbit.

Clermont County Public Health has a staff of about 50 employees with an annual operating budget of about $3.75 million. In 2018 approximately 40 percent of their revenue came from local licenses and fees and about 30 percent came from state and federal grants. For more information on Clermont County Public Health, visit www.ccphohio.org. The full audit report can be viewed online at www.ohioauditor.gov.

# # #

August 1, 2019

Planning to sell food at your next event? Do it the right way!

Whether it is a community fair or festival, your neighborhood yard sale or a weekend baseball tournament, any person or group that prepares and sells food must get a temporary food license from their local health department.

Why do I need a license to sell food?

In Ohio, it is the law. Just like your favorite restaurant, if you are part of a group that is preparing and selling food – even for a short time, you must get a temporary food license from the health department. This includes events with a required donation or an entry or gate fee at an event.

Clermont County Public Health protects the public by inspecting places that prepare and sell food. They make sure that food sold in Clermont County is safe to eat and prepared in a clean and sanitary manner.

What does a license do?
Having a license to sell food shows your customers that you have been inspected and approved by Clermont County Public Health to sell food. When food isn’t cooked to the proper temperature or people don’t wash their hands or wear gloves before preparing ready-to-eat foods, it can make people sick.

To get a license to sell food, an inspection must first be done. Places that set up a temporary food booth without getting a license run the risk of getting people sick from food poisoning.

What do we look for when we do an inspection?

  • Food is purchased from an approved source
  • Hand washing stations are available
  • Gloves are being worn when handling ready to eat foods
  • Food is prepared at a licensed facility or on-site (where the inspectors can see it) and not in a person’s home
  • Food grade thermometers are being used when cooking
  • Cold food is stored at proper temperatures
  • Hot food is cooked and held at the proper temperatures
  • Roof or tent over the food service operation area
  • Station set up to wash rinse and sanitize utensils and dishes

For more information on our food safety program or how to get a temporary food permit, visit https://ccphohio.org/food-protection/

# # #

June 20, 2019

Protect your septic system when it floods

The excessive rainfall we have had not only this week but also this year can cause problems for homeowners with septic systems. Most septic systems rely on the soil surrounding them to partially clean or treat the wastewater.  When that soil is already too wet, the system may not work as well, or may not work at all.

How the systems work

Septic systems work by treating the wastewater from your home on-site rather than sending it to a local sewage treatment plant. Inside the septic tank liquids are separated from solids and floatable materials (i.e. oil and grease). The organic matter within the system breaks down and the liquid wastewater is then released back into the soil. The release of the water back into the soil can happen either by using a leach field, or a mound system. The surrounding soil acts as a filter to clean the water even more.

What happens when the ground is wet

When the drain field of your septic system is already too wet or flooded it may not be able to handle the water from your septic system. Under normal conditions, soil particles have pockets of air in them or open space that allows the water to slowly flow through it. When it’s flooded, any extra water in the soil has no place to go. When this happens, it can cause your system to back up, or not work properly.

What should you do if a flood occurs?

  • Conserve water inside your house. Take shorter showers, take your laundry to a laundromat, hand-wash dishes instead of using the dishwasher.
  • Don’t pump your tank while the ground is still saturated. An empty tank can float out of the ground when the soil around it is wet.
  • Check your gutters and downspouts. Make sure that your downspouts are draining away from all parts of your septic system. If they are draining toward your system, you are adding extra water to the soil around your septic system.

April 30, 2019

Family Fun Adventure Challenge and Kids Fest

BATAVIA TOWNSHIP – The Family Fun Adventure Challenge is coming back to Batavia Township in May.

The event will take place on Saturday, May 11 at 10 a.m. at Batavia Township Park, 1535 Clough Pike. It is free to participate.

“This is our fourth year hosting this, and each year we’ve seen an increase in the number of people that attend,” said Batavia Township Administrator Rex Parsons. “We have a great park, and love seeing it filled with people.” Last year’s event attracted about 400 people.

The Family Fun Adventure Challenge is a 1.25-mile obstacle course and run/walk geared for people of all ages and abilities. Some of the obstacles include a tunnel crawl, tire run, hurdles and a color station where participants will get splashed with colored dye along the course.

“Adventure races are very popular right now, and this is a very kid-friendly one,” said Tim Kelly who is the assistant health commissioner with Clermont County Public Health, and on the planning committee for the event. “Our main goal of this event is to get people – especially families – outside and get physical activity together in a fun way.”

Everyone who completes the course will be eligible to win one of several raffle prizes.

After the challenge, the Clermont Play, Learn and Grow Kids Fest will take place in the parking lot. There will be music, games, inflatables, food, face painting and information tables with giveaways for children six and under.

Clermont County Public Health will also be giving out approximately 100 free bike helmets to kids thanks to a grant from the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Walk-up registration for the challenge will begin at 9:30 a.m., but advanced registration online is encouraged. Online registration can be found at www.bit.ly/FFAC19.

The adventure challenge and kids fest are hosted by Batavia Township, Clermont County Public Health and the Clermont County Family and Children’s First Early Childhood Coordinating Committee. More information can be found on Clermont County Public Health’s website at www.ccphohio.org.

# # #

April 1, 2019

Celebrating 100 years of public health

How the past has made public health matter

 This year marks the 100th anniversary of two legislative acts that shaped the future of public health in Ohio. The Hughes Act and Griswold Act, both enacted in 1919, established the modern day organization of local health departments and laid the foundation for public health efforts still in effect today.

As part of National Public Health Week, April 1-7, Clermont County Public Health is joining local health departments throughout Ohio to collectively celebrate 100 years of public health with a coordinated promotional campaign themed theme “How the past has made public health matter.”

In the 100 years that have passed since the enactment of Hughes-Griswold, public health has had a significant impact on health and quality of life: People are living an average of 25 years longer; small pox, once a common, deadly occurrence, has been eradicated; motor vehicle fatalities have been reduced by 90 percent and deaths from sudden infant death syndrome has decreased 50 percent.

Also among the accomplishments of public health are: immunizations for children and adults, the control of infectious diseases, reduction of tobacco use, safer and healthier foods; better maternal and infant healthcare; increased preventative screenings, and public health preparedness and response.

The Hughes-Griswold acts were a continuation of public health organization that began with the founding of the state board of health in 1886 and a 1906 law that provided that each city, village and township send a delegate to the state board’s annual meeting. This is where many city health departments got their start.

As a result of the 1906 law, there were 2,158 independent health units in Ohio representing cities, villages and townships.  The variety and quality of services varied greatly. After a statewide smallpox epidemic in 1917 and the nationwide influenza epidemic in 1918, it became clear that a more comprehensive and formalized approach to public health was necessary.

The Hughes-Griswold acts provided that approach and as written in the 1920 Ohio Public Health Journal of the Ohio State Board of Health, it “strengthens the hands of those charged with responsibility for people’s health as nothing else could have done.”

Hughes-Griswold eliminated the village and township units and based local health administration onto cities and counties.  A uniform structure for each health district was established, including boards of health and who should be on the board, plus the creation of the district advisory council which appointed people to the board of health. The process of combining districts was also outlined. A minimum of three full-time employees were required for each district: a health officer, a public health nurse and a clerk. The first board meeting of the newly formed Clermont County General Health District was held in March of 1920.

The legislation also spoke to specific “duties” for each district including basic services still performed today by local health departments. Those services include data collection, control and prevention of communicable disease, food safety, birth and death records, inspection and abatement of nuisances and as written in the original legislation, “all steps necessary to protect the public’s health and to prevent disease.”

While the last 100 years have been filled with much success and progress, the next 100 years promises to show the ever-growing presence and importance of public health in our everyday lives. From the continued emphasis on the importance of immunizations, maternal and child health, food safety and vector surveillance, there are new horizons including dental care, substance abuse, health equity, national accreditation, food deserts and cross-sector partnerships.

####

March 22, 2019

The Family Fun Adventure Challenge is Back!

The fourth annual Family Fun Adventure Challenge will be returning to Batavia Township this May. The one-mile obstacle course run/walk will take place on Saturday, May 11 at 10 a.m. at the Batavia Township Park at 1535 Clough Pike in Batavia Township.

Registration for the event begins at 9:30 a.m. Participants can sign up and register for the event here.

The goal of the challenge is to get families together to get some physical activity in a fun and engaging way. The run/walk is designed for kids and adults of all ages and abilities. The majority of the course will be on the paved walking trail in the park, and any of the obstacles can easily be skipped if they are too difficult.

This year, Clermont County Public Health is partnering with the Clermont Play, Learn and Grow Kids Fest. The Kids Fest will take place after the adventure challenge and will feature music, food, face painting, games and kids activities.

The Kids Fest is hosted by Clermont County Family and Children First and the Early Childhood Coordinating Committee. The Adventure Challenge is hosted by Clermont County Public Health, the Clermont Coalition for Activity and Nutrition and Batavia Township.

2019 Family Fun Adventure Challenge Event Flyer

March 1, 2019

National Nutrition Month

National Nutrition Month is an annual nutrition education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which is celebrated each year during the month of March. The purpose of the campaign is to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

The campaign is comprised of ten key messages which the Academy hopes will help it achieve its vision of “a world where all people thrive through the transformative power of food and nutrition”.

The 10 key messages include:

1. Discover the benefits of a healthy eating style. Healthy eating can reduce your risk of developing certain diseases or health conditions. Eating a healthy diet can help you feel more energetic and think more clearly.

2. Choose foods and drinks that are good for your health. Eat mostly whole foods and limit processed foods which often contain high amounts of sugar, fat, and sodium. Limit sugary drinks like soda, juices, and sports drink and drink water to quench your thirst.

3. Include a variety of healthy foods from all of the food groups on a regular basis. Include lean meats, vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, and healthy fats in most of your meals.

4. Select healthier options when eating away from home. Look at the restaurant’s menu before your visit to check out the healthy options that they offer. Don’t be afraid to make special requests when ordering at restaurants to fit your healthy eating lifestyle.

5. Be mindful of portion sizes. Eat and drink the amount that’s right for you, as MyPlate encourages us to do. Use a small plate or bowl and only eat until you feel full.

6. Keep it simple. Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated. Using canned or frozen fruits and vegetables reduce prep time and are often just as nutritious as fresh produce. Buy pre-cut fruits and veggies to have on hand for a quick and healthy snack option.

7. Make food safety part of your everyday routine. Always wash your hands before prepping, serving, and eating foods. Cook meats to the proper internal temperature to help avoid food-borne illness.

8. Help to reduce food waste by considering the foods you have on hand before buying more at the store. Make a weekly menu and shopping list before grocery shopping each week. Eat leftovers for lunch the next day or have a designated “Leftover Night” each week.

9. Find activities that you enjoy and be physically active most days of the week. The best kind of exercise is the one that you will do consistently and have fun doing. Walking more, like parking farther away at the store or taking the stairs instead of the elevator, is a great way to fit some physical activity into your day.

10. Consult the nutrition experts. Registered Dietitians can provide sound, easy-to-follow, personalized nutrition advice to meet your lifestyle, preferences, and health-related needs. Visit www.eatright.org for more information.

January 22, 2019

We need your input – it could improve your health

Now that the holidays are behind us, it’s time to focus on the new year. For many, the new year comes with new goals and ways to improve our personal health. While we all have our own personal health goals, we at Clermont County Public Health and our community partners have the health of the whole community in mind as we move forward in 2019.

Over the next few weeks, we will be partnering with Wright State University to conduct phone surveys of Clermont County residents. The surveys will ask you about your personal health and the healthy behaviors of you and your family. The goal of this survey is to better understand the health status and behaviors in our community. Your participation, should you be contacted, will help to inform this understanding.

Once the surveys are completed, all of the information will be put into a Community Health Assessment that will tell us about the health of our community members and help identify the biggest health issues in our county.

The 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 three years. The most recent plan identified obesity, tobacco use, drug addiction and mental health as the four most important health issues in our community. As a result, CCPH and other community agencies began working on programs to make improvements in the health of residents in these areas.

In order to continue this important work and 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 your phone rings with a call from Wright State University, please take a few minutes to participate. Your answers are important and will help us work toward improving the health of Clermont County.

If you would like more information about the Community Health Assessment or the programs and services we provide, please visit us online at www.ccphohio.org.

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