Richland Public Health (RPH) recommends everyone age 6 months and older get an influenza (“flu”) vaccine. This recommendation follows Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

In October, RPH hosted two walk-in flu clinics. Flu vaccine is available on a walk-in basis at our Clinic. You may also limit wait times by calling 419-774-4700 to schedule.

Influenza is a contagious disease that spreads about the United States every year, usually between October and May. Flu is caused by influenza viruses and is spread mainly by coughing, sneezing, and close contact. Anyone can get the flu. Flu strikes suddenly and can last several days. Symptoms vary, but generally include: fever/chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache, and runny or stuffy nose.

There are so many good reasons to get your flu shot — but just consider these two examples:

  • During 2016-2017, flu vaccinations prevented an estimated 5.3 million influenza illnesses, 2.6 million influenza-associated medical visits, and 85,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations.1
  • A 2018 study showed that among adults hospitalized with flu, vaccinated patients were 59 percent less likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) than those who had not been vaccinated. Among adults in the ICU with flu, vaccinated patients on average spent 4 fewer days in the hospital than those who were not vaccinated.2

Getting vaccinated may also protect people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies (grandchildren) and young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions.

Flu is not the only infectious disease making headlines. A massive measles outbreak is currently spreading through Europe — the largest such outbreak the continent has ever seen, according to the World Health Organization. Already, 72 individuals have died.

As of November, 142 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 26 states and the District of Columbia. The biggest outbreak is in Rockland, New York, with 46 cases reported.

Meanwhile a rare, polio-like illness continues to spread across the United States, puzzling and concerning health officials who are investigating the mysterious condition.

So far this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a total of 72 confirmed cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) in 24 states, including clusters in Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Colorado. 90% of confirmed diagnoses were in children younger than 18 years old. According to the CDC, the agency is investigating another 119 patients in connection with the disease.

While measles and AFM have not yet been detected in Ohio, rest assured that Richland Public Health and its public health partners across Ohio remain vigilant about these and other emerging health concerns in order to protect all of our Richland County citizens.

You can best help us by assuring that you and all your family members are up-to-date with their immunizations. Getting your flu shot is a big step in keeping everyone healthy. Oh … and wash your hands. Simple handwashing decreases the spread of bacteria and viruses. See more on that here:

Yours in health,

Martin Tremmel,

Health Commissioner