Highland County Health Department

Remember with autumn's ever changing weather to dress appropriately and stay hydrated.



Notice #1. Volunteers needed: The Highland County Health department will be conducting an exercise on October 29th 8:00 am. to 1:00 pm. We are in need of volunteer’s from the public that drive to participate in this drill. Participants will be asked to drive to the new Fire station on North East Street, Hillsboro then will be asked to drive through a distribution line to receive simulated medication. The infection is from anthrax exposure.  If you can participate or if you have questions please contact the Health Dept. at 937-393-1941 or Emergency Management Office at 937-393-5880.



Notice #2.  Ebola information: The Ohio Department of Health has activated a 24-hour-a-day call center to answer Ohioans’ questions about Ebola and the recent events in Ohio in an effort to ensure Ohioans get accurate, timely information.

  • Citizens Health Info: 866-800-1404
  • Media number to call for JIC: 614-799-6480
  • Ohio Department of Health's Ebola webpage also offers a great deal of information and fact sheets.


  • Another great website to visit is the Summit County Health Department's home webpage which offers a wide variety of information on Ebola that is very easy to follow including frequent updates that pertain to what is happening in Ohio.



Notice #3. Halloween and other harvest day activities are happening in many places this month.  The CDC's Halloween Safety webpage has great information for adults and children on how to participate in safe activities.



Notice #4. The Highland County Health Department would like to encourage everyone to vote at the next general election.  This office would appreciate Highland County residents voting in support of our renewal levy.  Election Day will be held November 4, 2014 - polls will be open from 6:30am to 7:30pm.  Information regarding candidates and issues on the ballot as well as voting information can be found at the Highland County Election Board's website:


Notice #5. The Highland County Health Department accepts the following types of payment for various services offered: Cash, Money Orders, Corporate checks, and Personal checks issued in Ohio with the account holder's drivers license number or state ID number written on the check. *** This office is currently unable to accept debit or credit cards. Effective 9/19/2013 out-of-state personal checks will no longer be accepted.

Notice #6Effective January 1st, 2014 you must have the following for your child to receive immunizations at the clinic or on the Care-A-Van: Most current shot record  AND the most current Medicaid Card and or Insurance Card. *** If you do not have these with you, your child will not be seen at the clinic. Shot records WILL NOT be "looked-up" during the immunization clinic.  If you do not have a current shot record for your child, you may obtain one, if available, during non-clinic hours.


HOT TOPICS: With autumn having arrived and area schools back in session - below are 6 things that may be of interest to you.   (Additional topics, codes, fees, etc. can be found under the above tabs for Nursing, Environmental Health, Vital Statistics, etc.)

  1. Calendar of Events
  2. School News
  3. Measles - Some important facts
  4. Food Safety - including link to current recalls
  5. Bed Bug - Facts & links
  6. Special interest sites


 1. Check out our Calendar of Events located under the Resource tab.
  • Our calendar has listings for many different upcoming events and services such as Board meetings, shot clinics & the Care-A-Van schedule.
  • The Highland County Health Department would like to thank everyone who stopped and visited our fair booth.



2. School News
  • All students entering 7th grade in the fall of 2014 are required to receive a TdaP vaccination.  It is strongly recommended that children this age also receive a Meningitis vaccine and begin the series of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccine known as Gardasil.
  • All children entering kindergarten in the fall will need to be up-to-date on their immunizations.

The Ohio Dept. of Health's Back to School webpage  http://www.odh.ohio.gov/features/odhfeatures/backtoschool.aspx has many topics related to school

  1. According to the Ohio Dept. of Health "Children who adopt healthy behaviors now can decrease their  risk of developing chronic disease in the future. Eating nutritiously, engaging in physical activity and choosing not to use tobacco are lifestyle choices that affect both current and future health. Simply put, children can’t learn if they’re not safe and healthy. And the habits children form now are what they carry into the future. "

During this busy time of year, the Ohio Department of Health reminds you of the following:

Prevent Illness
Prevention is the best way to protect your child from illness. Instruct your child on proper hand washing, covering their cough, not touching their eyes, nose and mouth and not sharing personal items with others.  If your child is sick or becomes sick at school, make plans on who will be able to pick your child up and who will your child stay with. Remember, children should be free from symptoms of illness and fever for 24 hours before returning to the classroom. If your child becomes ill with a communicable disease, please notify the school. Remember to update your child’s emergency contact information or changes in health issues throughout the year.


Children should be up to date on immunizations when they enter kindergarten. Immunizations are required for all Ohio students. Parents should be prepared to provide a list of immunizations your child has had to your school’s nurse or principal. Remember your older children who received vaccines during the year. Even if your child meets the requirements for school entry, they may need additional vaccines (e.g., Tdap booster, second dose of varicella, meningococcal). If you are unsure if your child is up to date with their immunizations, contact your doctor or local health department. Click here to see the Ohio's current immunization requirements for school children.


If your child will require medication during school hours, please contact the school nurse or principal for their policy.  Common requirements include physician order/signature, medication in original bottle and a method to regularly provide the school with medication. If your district has a school nurse, plan to meet with him or her to discuss the health issues your child has so the nurse can be prepared to provide the healthiest and safest environment possible.


If your child wears glasses or complains of vision problems, visit your eye doctor to make sure your child is able to see well and has needed visual aids for the beginning of school. Most Ohio schools offer vision screenings at selected grade levels during the year. Contact your school nurse to determine when screenings will occur and at what grades or visit the ODH School Vision and Hearing Screenings program page to learn more.


Take the Back to School Safety Pledge from Safe Kids USA.




The American Academy of Pediatrics has the following tips for a safe, healthy and happy school year:


Backpack Safety  - Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.  Pack light. Organize the backpack to use all its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the pack. The backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of the child's body weight.  Always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles.  Consider a rolling backpack. This type of backpack may be a good choice for students who must tote a heavy load. Remember that rolling backpacks still must be carried up stairs, and they may be difficult to roll in snow.


Traveling to and from School Review these basic rules with your youngster:


    • School - If your child’s school bus has lap/shoulder seat belts, instruct your child to use one at all times when in the bus. If your child’s school bus does not have lap/shoulder belts, encourage the school to buy or lease buses with lap/shoulder belts.  Wait for the bus to stop before approaching it from the curb.  Do not move around on the bus.  Check to see that no other traffic is coming before crossing.  Make sure to always remain in clear view of the bus driver.
    • Car - All passengers should wear a seat belt and/or an age- and size-appropriate car safety seat or booster seat.  Your child should ride in a car safety seat with a harness for as long as possible and then ride in a belt-positioning booster seat. Your child is ready for a booster seat when he or she has reached the top weight or height allowed for the seat (usually at 4 years old and 40 pounds), his or her shoulders are above the top harness slots or the child’s ears have reached the top of the seat.  As of Oct. 7, 2009, Ohio’s children are required to use belt-positioning booster seats once they outgrow their child safety seats. Your child should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they are 8 years old, unless they are at least 4 feet, 9 inches (57 inches) tall.  All children under 13 should ride in the rear seat of vehicles. If you must drive more children than can fit in the rear seat (when carpooling, for example), move the front-seat passenger’s seat as far back as possible and have the child ride in a booster seat if the seat belts do not fit properly without it.  Remember that many crashes occur while novice teen drivers are going to and from school. You should limit the number of teen passengers to prevent driver distraction. Do not allow your teen to drive while eating, drinking or talking on a cell phone.
    • Bike - Always wear a bicycle helmet, no matter how short or long the ride.  Ride on the right, in the same direction as auto traffic.  Use appropriate hand signals. Respect traffic lights and stop signs.  Wear bright colored clothing to increase visibility.  Know the "rules of the road."
    • Walking to School - Make sure your child's walk to a school is a safe route with well-trained adult crossing guards at every intersection.  Be realistic about your child's pedestrian skills. Because small children are impulsive and less cautious around traffic, carefully consider whether your child is ready to walk to school without adult supervision.  Bright-colored clothing will make your child more visible to drivers.


Eating During the School Day  - Most schools regularly send schedules of cafeteria menus home. With this advance information, you can plan on packing lunch on the days when the main course is one your child prefers not to eat.  Try to get your child's school to stock healthy choices such as fresh fruit, low-fat dairy products, water and 100 percent fruit juice in the vending machines.  Each 12-ounce soft drink contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar and 150 calories. Drinking just one can of soda a day increases a child's risk of obesity by 60 percent. Restrict your child's soft drink consumption.


Bullying - Bullying is when one child picks on another child repeatedly. Bullying can be physical, verbal or social. It can happen at school, on the playground, on the school bus, in the neighborhood or over the Internet.

When Your Child Is Bullied

Help your child learn how to respond by teaching your child how to:
1. Look the bully in the eye.
2. Stand tall and stay calm in a difficult situation.
3. Walk away.

  • Teach your child how to say in a firm voice.
    1. "I don't like what you are doing."
    2. "Please do NOT talk to me like that."
    3. "Why would you say that?"
  • Teach your child when and how to ask for help.
  • Encourage your child to make friends with other children.
  • Support activities that interest your child.
  • Alert school officials to the problems and work with them on solutions.
  • Make sure an adult who knows about the bullying can watch for your child's safety and well-being when you cannot be there.

When Your Child Is the Bully

Be sure your child knows that bullying is never okay.

  • Set firm and consistent limits on your child's aggressive behavior.
  • Be a positive role mode. Show children they can get what they want without teasing, threatening or hurting someone.
  • Use effective, non-physical discipline, such as loss of privileges.
  • Develop practical solutions with the school principal, teachers, counselors and parents of the children your child has bullied.

When Your Child Is a Bystander

Tell your child not to cheer on or even quietly watch bullying.

  • Encourage your child to tell a trusted adult about the bullying.
  • Help your child support other children who may be bullied. Encourage your child to include these children in activities.
  • Encourage your child to join with others in telling bullies to stop.


From the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (www.fsis.usda.gov) website:

  • Keeping "Bag" Lunches Safe:

"Whether it's off to school or work, millions of Americans carry "bag" lunches. Food brought from home can be kept safe if it is first handled and cooked properly. Then, perishable food must be kept cold while commuting via bus, bicycle, on foot, in a car, or on the subway. After arriving at school or work, perishable food must be kept cold until lunchtime.

Why keep food cold? Harmful bacteria multiply rapidly in the "Danger Zone" — the temperatures between 40 and 140 °F (4.4 °C and 60 °C). So, perishable food transported without an ice source won't stay safe long. Here are safe handling recommendations to prevent foodborne illness from "bag" lunches.

Begin with Safe Food - Perishable food (refrigerated), including meat, poultry and eggs, must be kept cold at all times. Eggs should be purchased cold at the store and kept cold at home. In between store and home, transport perishable food as fast as possible when no ice source is available. At home, refrigerate perishables promptly. Food should not be left out at room temperature more than 2 hours — 1 hour if the temperature is above 90 °F (32.2 °C).  
Prepackaged combos are sometimes packed for lunch. These combos often contain perishable foods such as luncheon meats, cheese, and cut fruit that must be kept refrigerated, even though they may be cured or contain preservatives.

Keep Everything Clean - Before beginning to pack lunches, make sure to wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and countertops with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item and before you go on to the next item. A solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach in 1 gallon of water may be used to sanitize surfaces and utensils. Keep family pets away from kitchen counters.

Don't Cross-Contaminate  - Harmful bacteria can spread throughout the kitchen and get onto cutting boards, utensils, and countertops. Always use a clean cutting board. When using a cutting board for food that will not be cooked, such as bread, lettuce, and tomatoes, be sure to wash the board after using it to cut raw meat and poultry. Consider using one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for meat and poultry.

Packing Lunches  - Pack just the amount of perishable food that can be eaten at lunchtime. That way, there won't be a problem about the storage or safety of leftovers. After lunch, discard all leftover food, used food packaging, and paper bags. Do not reuse packaging because it could contaminate other food and cause foodborne illness.  It's fine to prepare the food the night before, but pack lunch bags right before leaving home. Freezing sandwiches helps them stay cold. However, for best quality, don't freeze sandwiches containing mayonnaise, lettuce, or tomatoes. Add these later.  Insulated, soft-sided lunch boxes or bags are best for keeping food cold, but pack at least two ice sources with perishable food in any type of lunch bag or box you use.

Keeping Cold Lunches Cold  - Prepare cooked food, such as turkey, ham, chicken, and vegetable or pasta salads, ahead of time to allow for thorough chilling in the refrigerator [40 °F (4.4 °C) or below]. Divide large amounts of food into shallow containers for fast chilling. Keep cooked food refrigerated until time to leave home.   To keep lunches cold away from home, include at least two cold sources. You can use two frozen gel packs (not smaller than 5x3-inches each) or combine a frozen gel pack with a frozen juice box or frozen bottle of water. Freeze gel packs overnight. When packing your bag lunch, place them on top and bottom of the perishable food items to keep them cold. Of course, if there's a refrigerator available at work or school, store perishable items there upon arrival. If you place your insulated bag in the refrigerator, leave the lid or bag open so that cold air can keep the food cold.   Some food is safe without a cold source. Items that don't require refrigeration include whole fruits and vegetables, hard cheese, canned meat and fish, chips, breads, crackers, peanut butter, jelly, mustard, and pickles.

Keeping Hot Lunches Hot - Use an insulated container to keep food like soup, chili, and stew hot. Fill the container with boiling water, let stand for a few minutes, empty, and then put in the piping hot food. Keep the insulated container closed until lunchtime to keep the food hot — 140 °F (73.9 °C) or above

Microwave Cooking/Reheating - When using the microwave oven to reheat lunches, cover food to hold in moisture and promote safe, even heating. Reheat leftovers to at least 165 °F (73.9 °C), making sure to use a food thermometer to be sure a safe temperature has been reached before consuming the food. Cook frozen convenience meals according to package instructions."

    • The Fight BAC campaign also has a good flyer on lunch box safety: BAC to School - Safe lunch



3. Measles - some important facts: 
  • What is Measles?
    • Measles is an infectious, viral respiratory disease caused by the measles virus.
  • How can I catch measles?
    • Measles is highly contagious and is spread easily. The measles virus resides in the mucus in the nose and throat of infected people. When they sneeze or cough, droplets spray into the air and the droplets remain active and contagious on infected surfaces for up to 2 hours. Infected people are usually contagious from about 4 days before their rash starts to 4 days afterwards. Thus, an infected person can spread the disease before knowing he or she is infected.
  • What are the symptoms of measles?
    • Measles symptoms begin with fever, runny nose, cough, loss of appetite, and red, watery eyes for about four days, followed by a rash. The rash usually lasts 5-6 days and begins at the hairline, moves to the face and upper neck, and proceeds down the body.
    • The disease can also cause severe illness and complications, such as diarrhea, ear infections, pneumonia, encephalitis (brain infection), seizures, and death. These complications are more common among children under 5 years of age and adults over 20 years of age.
  • How long does it take to show signs of measles after being exposed?
    • It takes an average of 10-12 days from exposure to the first symptom, which is usually fever. The measles rash does not usually appear until approximately 14 days after exposure, 2-3 days after the fever begins.
  • How is measles diagnosed?
    • Measles is diagnosed by a combination of the patient’s symptoms and by laboratory tests.
  • Is there a treatment for measles?
    • There is no specific treatment for measles. People with measles need bed rest, fluids, and control of fever. Patients with complications may need treatment specific to their problem.
  • Can someone get measles more than once?
    • No.
  • Is measles common in other parts of the world? What is the risk to U.S. residents?
    • Measles is a common disease in many countries throughout the world. It is possible that people from other countries who visit the United States could be ill with the measles. To prevent getting measles from overseas visitors and to prevent getting measles when traveling internationally, U.S. residents should make sure they have been appropriately vaccinated. Before any international travel, infants 6 months through 11 months of age should have one dose of measles vaccine; children 12 months of age or older should have two doses separated by at least 28 days; and adolescents and adults who have not had measles or been vaccinated should get two doses separated by at least 28 days.
  • How can I protect my child and myself against measles?
    • The best protection against measles for individuals and the community is through routine immunization with MMR vaccine. This is a combined vaccine that protects against measles, mumps and rubella.
    • In almost all cases, people who received the MMR vaccine are protected against measles. However, in rare cases, people who get the vaccine can still become infected with the measles if exposed to the virus. Two doses of MMR vaccine provide full protection against measles to 99 out of every 100 persons vaccinated.
  • At what age should children get the MMR vaccine?
    • Children should receive the first dose of MMR vaccine at 12-15 months of age and the second dose at 4-6 years of age (or no earlier than 28 days after the first dose). Older children who have not been vaccinated should receive two doses of MMR vaccine at least 28 days apart. The recommended age for receiving MMR vaccine might change if there is a measles outbreak in your community, or if you will be traveling to a foreign country. In such cases, check with your child’s health care provider to ensure that your child is properly vaccinated to protect against measles. Additional information about MMR vaccination can be found on the CDC website at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/measles/default.htm
  • Do adults need to be vaccinated against measles?
    • All U.S. adults born during or after 1957 should also get at least one dose of MMR vaccine unless they can show they have either the vaccine or had a blood test that showed they were immune to measles. Healthcare workers should have two doses of MMR vaccine. More specific recommendations for vaccinating adults can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/combo-vaccines/mmrv/vacopt.htm
  • Are there people who should not get the MMR vaccine?
    • Yes, some people should not get MMR vaccine or should wait before getting it. This includes persons with allergies to components of the vaccine and those with medical conditions that preclude vaccination. If you have further questions, discuss them with your health care provider. Additional information can be found on the Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) found on the CDC website at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/
  • Is the MMR vaccine safe?
    • The MMR vaccine has been in use for more than three decades in the U.S., and reports of serious adverse events following vaccination have been extremely rare. As with all vaccines, there can be minor reactions from the MMR vaccine. These reactions might include pain and redness at the injection site, headache, fatigue, rash, or a vague feeling of discomfort.
    • It is important to know that the risk of MMR vaccine causing serious harm or death has been extremely small and that being vaccinated is much safer than getting any of the three diseases (measles, mumps and rubella) the vaccine protects against.
    • Vaccine safety experts, including experts at CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), agree that MMR vaccine is not responsible for recent increases in the number of children with autism. In 2004, a report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) concluded that there is no link between autism and MMR vaccine, and that there is no link between autism and vaccines that contain thimerosal as a preservative.
    • Information about measles vaccine safety can be reviewed on the CDC website at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Vaccines/MMRV/Index.html
  • Another excellent immunization site to visit is: http://www.immunize.org/
  • For more information, please contact the Highland County Health Department at (937)393-1941.



4. Food Safety:
  • This time of the year brings many activities (school starting, sporting events, birthday parties, reunions, holiday events, etc.) that involve food.  Planning ahead to incorporate safe food handling practices can help minimize the chance of foodborne illnesses. Although food safety includes various aspects it can generally be accomplished in 4 simple steps:

#1 CLEAN Wash hands: Handwashing is especially important before eating, before/during/after food preparation, after coughing/sneezing/blowing your nose, after using the restroom, etc.

Wash surfaces, utensils, cutting boards: To prevent the spread of bacteria, use hot soapy water on counters, utensils & cutting boards.  Wash these items thoroughly after each use to help minimize the chance of cross contamination.

#2 SEPARATE Keep raw meats/poultry below or away from other foods.  Store in trays, bags to help contain juices.

#3 COOK Make sure to thoroughly cook foods.  Use a thermometer to verify temperatures. Food charts can be found at the Foodsafety.gov site.

#4 CHILL - Refrigerate foods within 2 hours.  Don't overfill refrigerators.

Foodsafety.gov provides a expanded safe food handling information regarding these 4 simple steps.

  • Also visit the above "Environmental Health" tab to access our Food Safety program that provides tips on food safety, handwashing, food storage etc.
  • Kitchen & Cooking Fire Safety
5. Bed Bugs
  • Currently there is little to no assistance available to help get rid of bed bugs.
  • Bed bugs can be very hard and costly to eradicate.

The following web links offer good information on the prevention, inspection and eradication of bed bugs:

6. Special interest sites 



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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Contact Us

1487 N. High St.
Suite 400
Hillsboro, OH 45133
Phone: 937-393-1941
Fax: 937-393-4694
Email: highcohd@odh.ohio.gov

Hours of Operation:

Monday and Wednesday:
8:00 am to 5:30pm

Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday: 8:00am to 4:00pm

Closed holidays and weekends