Fight the Flu

Flu Vaccine is the BEST way to protect against the Flu

Influenza, commonly called the flu, is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. The flu is a virus that causes respiratory symptoms such as fever, sore throat, headache, nasal congestion, fatigue or weakness and muscle aches (many people mistake stomach illness causing vomiting and diarrhea as the flu). Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently, but millions of people get the flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against flu. Here are some frequently asked questions about the flu vaccine and the flu.

How do flu vaccines work?

Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after receiving the vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against the flu. The vaccine protects against the flu viruses that research indicates will be most common this year.

Who should get vaccinated this season?

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine each year. This recommendation has been in place since February 24, 2010 to expand protection against the flu to more people. Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from the flu such as adults age 65 years of age and older, pregnant women and young children.

When should I get vaccinated?

The CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine before the end of October. You should get a flu vaccine before flu begins spreading in the community. Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later.

Why do I need a flu vaccine every year?

A flu vaccine is needed every season for two reasons. First, the body’s immune response from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccine is needed for continued protection. Second, because flu viruses are constantly changing, the formulation of the flu vaccine is reviewed each year and updated as needed to keep up with changing flu viruses.

Does flu vaccine work right away?

No. It takes about two weeks after receiving the shot for the antibodies to develop and protect you from getting the flu. If you come down with the flu within two weeks of getting the flu shot, then it is not the shot that gave you the flu. This is why it is important to get the vaccine before the end of October when the peak flu season starts.

Can I get seasonal flu even though I got a flu vaccine this year?

Yes. It’s possible to get sick with the flu even if you have been vaccinated, however you will not know for sure unless you get a flu test. This is possible for the following reasons:

  • You may be exposed to a flu virus shortly before getting vaccinated or during the period that it takes the body to gain protection after getting vaccinated. This exposure may result in you becoming ill with flu before the vaccine begins to protect you.
  • You may be exposed to a flu virus that is not included in the seasonal flu vaccine. There are many different flu viruses that circulate every year. A flu vaccine is made to protect against the three or four flu viruses that research suggests will be most common.
  • Unfortunately, some people can become infected with a flu virus a flu vaccine is designed to protect against, despite getting vaccinated. Protection provided by flu vaccination can vary widely, based in part on health and age factors of the person getting vaccinated.

In general, a flu vaccine works best among healthy younger adults and older children. Some older people and people with certain chronic illnesses may develop less immunity after vaccination. Flu vaccination is not a perfect tool, but it is the best way to protect against flu


Hepatitis - A 

There continues to be a growing outbreak of Hepatitis A in Ohio  - Help protect our Community 

Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by a virus. The virus is very contagious and spreading from person to person creating an outbreak.

Hepatitis A is most likely to occur among:

  • People who use recreational drugs in any way
  • People who have direct contact with someone who has Hepatitis A
  • People who have sex with an infected person
  • People who were recently in prison or jail
  • People experiencing unstable housing or homelessness
  • People with chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis, hepatitis B or hepatitis C

Hepatitis A can be prevented with a safe and effective vaccine, but it MUST be given to the at-risk populations above.

We are asking for your help to put an end to this outbreak. Our focus as a community must be on the vaccination of the at-risk populations. Vaccination of individuals not among or not in extremely close contact with these groups will not slow the outbreak.

We need to ensure this message is shared with the right people and that action is taken. The Ohio Department of Health has made vaccination available for these at-risk individuals, who are un-insured or under-insured, at no cost. It is now our duty to educate the public to ensure individuals take advantage of this opportunity. Until we do this, the outbreak can and will continue to grow.

Please contact or encourage someone you know at risk to contact the Health Department at 740-732-4958 for more information today.



Make Sure Your Child is Protected - MMR Vaccine

Measles is a very contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Measles starts with fever. Soon after, it causes a cough, runny nose, and red eyes. Then a rash of tiny, red spots breaks out. It starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body. Cases are being reported to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Texas and Washington.

Measles can be prevented with MMR vaccine. The vaccine protects against three diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella. CDC recommends children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Teens and adults should also be up to date on their MMR vaccination.

The MMR vaccine is very safe and effective. Two doses of MMR vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles; one dose is about 93% effective.

Children may also get MMRV vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (chickenpox). This vaccine is only licensed for use in children who are 12 months through 12 years of age.

Before the measles vaccination program started in 1963, an estimated 3 to 4 million people got measles each year in the United States. Of these, approximately 500,000 cases were reported each year to CDC; of these, 400 to 500 died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 1,000 developed encephalitis (brain swelling) from measles. Since then, widespread use of measles vaccine has led to a greater than 99% reduction in measles cases compared with the pre-vaccine era. However, measles is still common in other countries. Unvaccinated people continue to get measles while abroad and bring the disease into the United States and spread it to others. Visit the CDC's website for more information on Measles Cases in 2019.


After Hours Emergency Protocol

The Noble County Health Department has an after-hours emergency answering service system.  This system gives the caller a prompt in the case of a public health emergency to leave a message in a specified mailbox. Any message left in this voice mailbox will cause the system to contact the Nurse on call, who within the required time-frame shall call in to retrieve the message and follow up as required based on the situation protocol. All calls received after normal working hours that are determined to be a public health emergency will be relayed to the Health Commissioner or Medical Director.  The phone number of the answering service system is the same as the health department and is available 24 hours a day at 740-732-4958.

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