It’s been a busy summer. As we head into fall, we have several updates to share. Please reach out to email@example.com if we can be of assistance.
In healthcare and public health, the fall marks the start of respiratory virus season. As we prepare for the annual fall/winter increase in respiratory illnesses, please note we are anticipating RSV, flu and COVID to be circulating concurrently. Please remember healthy habits can provide a boost to your immune system:
- get your sleep,
- take time to de-stress,
- eat lots of fruits and vegetables,
- stay physically active,
- don’t touch your eyes, nose and face,
- wash your hands with soap and water often and for at least 20 seconds, and
- stay up to date on vaccines
Updated COVID Shots for 2023-2024
On Sept. 11, the FDA authorized updated COVID-19 vaccines formulated to more closely target currently circulating variants and to provide better protection against serious consequences of COVID-19. On Sept. 12, the CDC released recommendations that everyone age 6 months and older get an updated COVID-19 vaccine.
PLEASE NOTE: The Union County Health Department intends to order the updated COVID shot for the 2023-2024 season once ordering opens. We do not yet have a timeframe on when ordering will be available and thus don’t have a timeframe on when we’ll have it in office for administration. Once we receive the updated COVID vaccine, we will send out an email notice, update the www.unioncountycovid.org and our social media accounts.
Vaccination remains the best protection against COVID-19-related hospitalization and death. Vaccination also reduces your chance of suffering the effects of Long COVID, which can develop during or following acute infection and last for an extended duration. If you have not received a COVID-19 vaccine in the past 2 months, get an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect yourself this fall and winter.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is always changing, and protection from COVID-19 vaccines declines over time. Receiving an updated COVID-19 vaccine can restore protection and provide enhanced protection against the variants currently responsible for most infections and hospitalizations in the United States. Last season, those who received a 2022-2023 COVID-19 vaccine saw greater protection against illness and hospitalization than those who did not receive a 2022-2023 vaccine. To date, hundreds of millions of people have safely received a COVID-19 vaccine under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history.
Flu Vaccine Clinics Scheduled
SAVE the Date! The Union County Health Department is planning to hold a drive thru flu vaccination clinic on Oct. 13. More details and a link to online appointment booking will be sent once we receive our flu vaccine shipment.
We are also planning to provide vaccination opportunities in Richwood on September 22 and Oct. 14 at the Richwood-North Union Library. Please call (937) 645-2058 to make an appointment. Please request the Richwood location when making the appointment.
An annual flu shot is recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older. Flu vaccination is one of the best tools we have to protect against serious complications associated with the flu. In Union County, reported flu hospitalizations typically peak in January or February.
RSV Expected to Circulate Soon; New Vaccine & Prevention Medications
In early September, the CDC notified healthcare providers and public health officials that RSV activity was beginning to increase in some parts of the Southeastern U.S. Historically, such regional increases have predicted the beginning of RSV season nationally, with increased RSV activity spreading north and west over the following 2–3 months. RSV can cause severe disease in infants, young children, and older adults.
A newly approved RSV vaccine is available for people age 60 and older. The determination to receive the vaccine should be a discussion with your healthcare provider. For infants and young children, new prevention medications are available. Talk to your pediatrician to see if one is right for your young child.
Check out this 20 second video to see the emergency warning symptoms.
Almost all children get RSV at least once before they are 2 years old. For most healthy children, RSV is like a cold. But, some children get very sick with RSV. Some babies with RSV will experience breathing distress. Chest wall retractions occur when a baby must use muscles between the ribs or in the neck to breathe. It is a sign that baby is having to work harder than normal to breathe. Watch your child’s rib cage as he or she inhales. If you see it “caving in” and forming an upside-down “V” shape under the neck, then they are working too hard. If their skin turns blue or purple, they are not getting enough oxygen. On darker skin, look for changes to lips, tongue, gums and around the eyes.
COVID Home Tests Still Available
COVID-19 home test kits are available for pick up at the Union County Health Department. Kits can be picked up Monday through Friday from 8am-4pm. If you are sick and need a kit, please call (937) 642-2053 when you arrive in the parking lot and we can bring kits curbside. These test kits have expiration dates extended to October 2023.
Mosquito Surveillance Indicates Presence of West Nile Virus
The Union County Health Department is part of Ohio’s vector-borne disease surveillance program. As part of the surveillance program, each summer we trap mosquitoes throughout the county and submit them to the state lab for West Nile Virus testing. This year we have had more than 20 mosquito pools test positive for West Nile Virus. While this is not atypical, as we have received positive results for the past several years, we are seeing a greater number of mosquitoes in many traps that we have previously. The most recent positive was trapped in September. Please continue to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites until the first frost of the fall season. Precaution include dumping or eliminating standing water near your home (including regularly changing the water in bird baths and animal water bowls; filling in ruts that hold water; emptying or turning over pots and containers that can hold rain water); wearing long sleeves and pants when outside; using insect repellent; and create bat and toad friendly areas on your property.
Oct. 03 – Walk to School Day for North Union Schools
Oct. 12 – Walk to School Day for Marysville Elementaries & Creekview
Oct. 14 – Community Tire Round Up
Oct. 14 – Breast & Cervical Cancer Outreach in Richwood