Prevent, Promote, and Protect your Health with the Lake County General Health District
(440) 350-2543
5966 Heisley Rd
Mentor, Ohio 44060

Press Releases

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Please see the most current press release by date released.

2018

  • September 19, 2018PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                                                                        CONTACT: Chris Loxterman (440) 350-2551 September 18, 2018                                                                                                                                                       LAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICTSEPTEMBER IS FOOD SAFETY MONTHSeptember is Food Safety month and the Lake County General Health District would like share some information regarding food safety that can be overlooked at times. Nearly half of restaurant-related foodborne illness outbreaks are caused by sick food workers. Managers and owners of restaurants must communicate with their employees about their symptoms so they can make sure sick workers don’t spread foodborne illness. Managers need to know if a worker is sick so a decision can be made if they should handle foods or stay home.Did you know?The Food Code encourages employees to report to their managers about their illnesses and talk about foodborne illness in general. The food code is a science-based model code published by the United States Food and Drug Administration. Ohio has adopted these codes and developed rules to help prevent illness and outbreaks. The rules say that employees should tell managers about their illness symptoms. The manager is responsible for making sure the employees are aware of these reporting policies. While the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) does set privacy standards for protected information, it does not prevent managers from asking ill employees about their symptoms and diagnosis. Most foodborne illnesses are mild, short term, and do not fall under a disability. The food code allows for managers to work with employees regarding their symptoms and decide when to exclude them so they may work together to prevent the spread of foodborne illnesses.Food allergiesAccording to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 15 million Americans have food allergies. Food-allergic reactions are responsible for about 30,000 emergency room visits and 150-200 deaths per year. Many food-allergic reactions occur in restaurants with one in three people having had a reaction in a restaurant. The Health District recommends that managers provide food allergy training for all staff. Use dedicated food equipment and areas for preparing and cooking meals for customers with food allergies when possible. Areas and equipment should be cleaned per the food code when dedicated food preparation areas are not an option. Lastly, prepare ingredient lists and recipes for menu items that are available to the customer to view and decide whether or not to order an item in question. In working with staff and customers, you may be able to prevent a life-threatening reaction.For more information about Food Safety, visit www.lcghd.org or contact Chris Loxterman, Environmental Health Supervisor at 440-350-2551 or cloxterman@lcghd.org.  ###

  • July 27, 2018PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                  CONTACT:  Jessica McCarthy (440) 350-2875July 26, 2018                                                                                                       LAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICTThis Labor Day, and Every Day: Drive Sober or Get Pulled OverEach year, Americans mark the end of summer with the Labor Day holiday weekend, a time to celebrate the hard work and many accomplishments of our country. Friends and families eagerly await pool parties, backyard barbecues, and other occasions to enjoy the last days of summer sunshine. Sadly, the Labor Day holiday has also become one of the deadliest, with drunk drivers endangering themselves and others on their way home from these holiday festivities. This year, Geauga Safe Communities Coalition is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to get drunk drivers off the roads and help save lives. The high-visibility national enforcement campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, runs from August 17 through September 3, 2018. During this period, local law enforcement will show zero tolerance for drunk driving. Increased state and national messages about the dangers of driving impaired, coupled with enforcement and increased officers on the road, aim to drastically reduce drunk driving on our nation’s roadways.Geauga Safe Communities Coalition will be hosting a Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Kickoff event on August 18, 2018 at the Claridon Woodlands Opening Celebration from noon until 9:00 p.m. Come enjoy the live music, food trucks, and a special presentation put on by the Geauga Safe Communities Coalition.Sadly, statistics prove that we have a lot of work to do to put an end to drunk driving. According to NHTSA, 10,497 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2016. On average, 10,000 people were killed each year from 2012 to 2016, with one person being killed every 50 minutes in 2016. That is the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing each year with no survivors. This is why Geauga Safe Communities Coalition is working with NHTSA to remind drivers that drunk driving is not only illegal, it is a matter of life and death. As you head out to Labor Day festivities, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.Over the 2016 Labor Day holiday period (6:00 p.m. on September 2 – 5:59 a.m. September 6), there were 433 crash fatalities nationwide. Of the fatal crashes, more than one-third (36%) involved drivers who were drunk (.08+ blood alcohol concentration [BAC]), and one-fourth (25%) involved drivers who were driving with a BAC almost twice the legal limit (.15+ BAC). Age is a particularly risky factor: Among the drivers between the ages of 18 and 34 who were killed in crashes over the Labor Day holiday period in 2016, 47 percent of those fatalities involved drunk drivers with BACs of .08 or higher.The Geauga Safe Communities Coalition recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving:Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride sharing service to get home safely.Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, available on Google Play for Android devices: (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nhtsa.SaferRide&hl=en), and Apple’s iTunes Store for iOS devices: (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/saferride/id950774008?mt=8). SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.Use your community’s sober ride programIf you see a drunk driver on the road, call #677Do you have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely. For more information about the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact Jessica McCarthy at 440-350-2875 or jmccathy@lcghd.org. ###

  • July 23, 2018NEWS RELEASE                                                          CONTACT: Tara Perkins MSN, RN (440) 350-2453July 23, 2018                                                               LAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICTLAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICT CONFIRMS FIRST HUMAN CASE OF WEST NILE VIRUS IN 2018The Lake County General Health District (LCGHD) announces that Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has confirmed 2018’s first human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Lake County, Ohio. This is the first human case of WNV in Ohio in 2018, and Lake County’s first case since 2017. This new case involves a Willoughby resident who is currently under the care of a physician.WNV is most commonly spread by infected mosquitoes. While most people who become infected do not have symptoms, a small percentage of people will develop mild symptoms such as:FeverHeadacheBody achesJoint painVomitingDiarrheaRashMore severe symptoms include encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord). Serious illness can occur in people of any age; however, people over 60 years of age and those with preexisting medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and transplant recipients are at the highest risk for serious illness.WNV is native to Lake County and Ohio since 2001, and will continue to be a long term, public health threat.  While there are no vaccines or medications available to treat WNV, over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol, may be used to alleviate symptoms such as fever. To reduce your chances of getting infected:Use insect repellent registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on exposed skin and clothing. Always follow the package directions when using repellents.Wear long sleeves and pants after dusk through dawn when mosquitoes are the most active.Wear permethrin-treated clothing to repel and kill mosquitoes.Install or repair screen doors or windows or use air-conditioning when available.Empty standing water from containers such as flower pots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, old tires and bird baths. For more information on WNV, please call LCGHD at (440) 350-2543, or visit LCGHD’s website at www.lcghd.org . ###

  • July 17, 2018NEWS RELEASE                                                                                     CONTACT: Bert Mechenbier, (440) 350-2453July 17, 2018                                                                                          LAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICTLAKE COUNTY WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) NEWS:  FIRST POSITIVE WNV MOSQUITOES OF THE 2018 SEASONThe Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has confirmed one positive mosquito pool for West Nile Virus (WNV) in Lake County.  A “pool” is a collection of no more than 50 mosquitoes. Although this particular positive pool was collected at a Madison trap site on June 26, 2018, it is likely that positive WNV mosquitoes are present throughout the county.Identifying a positive pool is confirmation that the WNV threat is present and will likely increase for the rest of the summer.  Positive WNV mosquitoes have also been reported in 14 Ohio counties this season. To date, there have been no human cases of WNV reported in Ohio.Approximately 80 percent of people who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms, but there is no way to know in advance if you will develop an illness or not.  Those who do develop symptoms usually do so between two and 14 days after they are bitten by the infected mosquito.Up to 20 percent of people who become infected will have symptoms that can last for a few days to as long as several weeks. Symptoms can include:FeverHeadacheBody achesNauseaVomitingSwollen lymph glandsRash on chest, stomach or backAbout one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness.  The severe symptoms may last several weeks and neurologic effects may be permanent.  Symptoms of severe illness can include:High feverHeadacheNeck stiffnessStuporDisorientationComaTremorsConvulsionsMuscle weaknessVision lossNumbnessParalysis Death from infection with WNV is 10 percent for those diagnosed with severe illness, but is much higher for patients diagnosed with WNV encephalitis and acute flaccid paralysis.The Lake County General Health District Mosquito Control program is a locally funded program to protect our residents from mosquito borne disease. The mosquito control program tracks the mosquito population, monitors disease levels in the mosquitoes, applies larvicides, and conducts nighttime adulticiding. The mosquito population is monitored through the use of specialized traps placed throughout the county and calls from the public. The trapped mosquitoes are counted and sent to ODH for WNV testing. The Mosquito Program employs two full-time crews that inspect areas of standing water for mosquito larva and, if needed, treat the area to kill the larva. The adulticide program consists of spraying areas of the county in the evening when the mosquitoes are active. Information about the spray routes and schedule are available at: https://www.lcghd.org/?page_id=3926 or by calling 440-350-2088.Please call the LCGHD at (440) 350-2543 with questions concerning mosquito control or WNV.  Additional WNV and mosquito information can be found at:Ohio Dept. of Health:   http://www.odh.ohio.gov/odhprograms/bid/zdp/diseases/wnv.aspxCDC:   http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htmLCGHD:   http://www.lcghd.org/ ###

  • July 13, 2018PRESS RELEASE                                                               CONTACT: HALEY RUSSO (440) 350-2844 July 13, 2017                                                                    LAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICTLAKE COUNTY TRAFFIC FATALITY UPDATEThe Lake County Safe Communities Coalition (LCSCC) reports that there have been seven fatal deaths due to crashes in 2018 in Lake County, six of which occurred in the 2nd quarter (April-June). The causes of the crashes were:• Operating in negligent manner (2) • Improper crossing • Failure to stop at a stop sign • Failure to yield • Improper lane change • Lying illegally in roadwayOf the crashes reported, three are suspected to be alcohol and/or drug related. The Ohio State Highway Patrol is reminding drivers to be safe whenever they are behind the wheel, and that all motorists can play a role in keeping the roadways safe by never driving while impaired and designating a sober driver.According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 10,497 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2016. On average, 10,000 people were killed each year from 2012 to 2016—one person killed every 50 minutes in 2016. That’s the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing each year, with no survivors. This is why the Lake County Safe Communities Coalition is working with NHTSA to remind drivers that drunk driving is not only illegal, it is a matter of life and death. As you head out for your night, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.The LCSCC and NHTSA recommend the following safe alternatives to drinking and driving:• Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you have had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation to get home safely. • Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app available on Google Play for Android devices: (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nhtsa.SaferRide&hl=en), and Apple’s iTunes Store for IOS devices: (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/saferride/id950774008?mt=8). SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up. • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact your local police department • Do you have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.For more information about the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov. ###