The flu “is still here. I heard people saying last week they knew somebody who tested positive,” reported Franklin County Health Department nurse Angie Ruther.
“It’s not too late for a flu shot,” she advised. A flu clinic is open every weekday between 8:30-9:15 a.m. and 2:30-3:45 p.m. at FCHD’s office, Room 210 of the government center, 1010 Franklin Ave., Brookville. Vaccines cost $25, although some insurance policies are accepted by FCHD, which lessens the expense. Vaccines are free for children through 18 if they don’t have health insurance or are on Medicaid.
After the clinics started Oct. 7, 462 vaccines were dispensed during 2013’s fourth quarter, according to registrar Mary Burk’s report, which was detailed at a Feb. 4 quarterly meeting. Flu vaccine clinics took place at Laurel, Brookville and Mount Carmel schools; the Laurel Library; and Fairbrook Manor apartments, Brookville, which houses seniors and the disadvantaged. Ruther explained, “We do that every year. Some of them can’t get out. A lot of our patients live there.”
Ruther and FCHD supervisor Diane Turney, R.N., organized a clinic to give flu and childhood vaccines to Oldenburg Academy foreign exchange students Nov. 21. “Eight Chinese students came here. They don’t do their vaccines the same way we do” and some were lacking necessary immunizations. “Half of them will be here next year, too.”
In the past quarter, the pair also administered 14 free pregnancy tests during the twice-a-day clinic hours. If results are positive, “we do follow up with them” to see if they have already seen physicians or have appointments. The nurses encourage smokers to quit and all pregnant women to take prenatal vitamins to help prevent birth defects and have healthier babies.
Ruther called the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Dec. 9, 2013, to investigate the case of a county resident who had campylobacter, a bacterial infection. “The person worked at Kopp’s Turkey Sales, Harrison, Ohio, but he lived here,” which is why FCHD was called in. “You can get it from undercooked poultry.”