West Nile Virus Confirmed in Champaign County

The Ohio Department of Agriculture recently confirmed the first positive case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in a Champaign County horse for 2018. The horse had not been vaccinated. The spread of WNV in horses is preventable with proper vaccination and horse owners are urged to ensure their animal’s vaccine and boosters are up to date. 
West Nile Virus is transmitted to horses and humans via bites from infected mosquitoes. Clinical signs for WNV include flu-like symptoms, where the horse seems mildly anorexic and depressed. Changes in mentality, drowsiness, driving or pushing forward (often without control) and asymmetrical weakness may be observed. Mortality rate from WNV can be as high as 30-40 percent in horses. Infection with WNV does not always lead to signs of illness in people or animals. WNV is endemic in the United States and Ohio has reported positive cases in horses each of the last few years. There were 14 confirmed cases of WNV in Ohio in 2017.

Clinical signs in humans include headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. More severe symptoms include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis.

If you have any questions, please contact the Champaign Health District at 937-484-1605. For further information on West Nile Virus, please click the following link:




August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month!

August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month in Ohio and Aug. 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week (WBW).  Research suggests that breastfeeding is a key modifiable factor for disease for both mothers and infants.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that Ohio’s 2016 breastfeeding initiation rate of 77.7 percent ranks 38th in the nation.  For this year’s Breastfeeding Awareness Month, Ohio will adopt the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) theme: Breastfeeding, Foundation of Life. This theme focuses on breastfeeding as a key to preventing hunger and malnutrition by ensuring food security for babies. By decreasing the burden on household income, breastfeeding provides a low-cost way to feed babies which contributes to poverty reduction.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and continued breastfeeding with the addition of appropriate solid food for the first year and beyond. 

“In light of the monetary and life saving benefits of breastfeeding, all elements of the community, must cooperate and support breastfeeding” said Gabe Jones, Champaign county health commissioner.  “Ultimately, our whole society benefits from having healthier mothers, babies and children when breastfeeding is promoted, protected and supported.”

One of the most important things businesses and the community can do is to allow mothers to feel comfortable nursing in public. Hungry babies need to eat and Ohio law (Section 3781.55 of the Ohio Revised Code) allows breastfeeding in public. Businesses can show their support by placing the “Breastfeeding Welcome Here” universal sign for breastfeeding in their windows and educate their staffs on the acceptance of breastfeeding in their establishments. They can also encourage their employees and provide a private space (other than a bathroom) to pump. This will increase employee retention and reduce medical costs.

Hospitals can adopt the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding as an indication that they are dedicated to supporting new mothers who choose to breastfeed. By eliminating formula gifts to breastfeeding mothers, they send the message that they believe mothers can make enough milk to breastfeed exclusively. 

Educational institutions can support breastfeeding by presenting age appropriate education on the anatomy and physiology of the human body. Local county fairs can teach young children about how other mammals feed their young with milk that is made just for them.  Child care providers and libraries can also stock children’s books that show breastfeeding as a normal part of family life. 

Social media can also provide support to breastfeeding mothers through Facebook and Twitter. Breastfeeding mothers can reach out through groups and chatrooms and get the support they need to feel normal in a formula feeding culture.  

Breastfeeding is a personal choice, but communities play a vital role in informing and supporting a mother’s decision to breastfeed her baby. Returning our communities back into a breastfeeding supportive culture will take efforts by family, friends, employers, educational institutions, hospitals and businesses. 

For more information about breastfeeding in Champaign county, please call the Help Me Grow Helpline at      1-800-755-GROW or Champaign county WIC at 937-484-1667.

It's Time for Back-To-School Vaccines!

The fall is rapidly approaching! Don't forget kindergarten, 7th and 12th grade immunizations!

Beginning Monday July 2nd, Champaign Health District Immunization Clinic will be available to walk-ins from 8:30-3:30 every day. We also will accept walk-ins during our late nights, the first and third Thursday of each month, until 6:30pm.

If you have any questions about what shots your child needs, please call the immunization department at 937-484-1671.

We will be closed Wednesday July 4th in observance of the holiday.