GALION — The winter weather in Ohio can bring unwelcome problems that most would prefer to live without.
For many people, including the elderly or very young, the rise in exposure to illness this time of year can be life-threatening.
While local hospitals have not seen a rise in illness — above what is normally expected during cold and flu season — less common issues such as pertussis or “whooping cough” are on the increase in Richland County.
Although no cases of whooping cough have been confirmed in Crawford County, it is not unreasonable to recognize that the transmission between individuals could easily occur and make its way here.
Most children are protected from an occurrence of whooping cough thanks to the Dtap vaccine, which is administered in early childhood. But with the recent trend for some parents — who choose not to vaccinate their children — means the risk of spreading some illnesses becomes greater to the general public.
Also, even children in their pre-teen years, who have been vaccinated, may have an increased susceptibility to whooping cough as the effectiveness of their vaccine may decrease as the years go by.
Booster shots are recommended for older children and are available at most local health departments.
According to the Galion Health Department, three cases of Influenza A have been confirmed in Galion, but that number doesn’t account for influenza tests done outside of Galion.
While school absences are no doubt higher in the Crawford County area right now as well, the absences are the product of a wide variety of illness, and have not been attributed to any one virus in particular.
At the same time, a number of school districts in the central Ohio have closed their doors for days in order to clean their buildings due to concentrated cases of influenza or strep throat.
The Galion Health Department still has a supply of flu vaccines available. Immunization Clinics are held every Wednesday, with appointments available by calling 419-468-1075. Call to schedule your appointment and have all insurance information ready. Medicaid and many private insurance cards will be accepted and must be provided by the time of service. Those with multiple insurance carriers must bring all cards. No VFC eligible child will be denied immunizations due to an inability to pay.
Contact Erin Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-468-1117 x-2049.