The Iroquois County Board Health Committee got its monthly report from Iroquois County Public Health Department Administrator Dee Schippert.
At Tuesday’s meeting she went over the summary of the programs.
One issues of concern was the number of hepatitis C cases.
In 2017 there were 17 cases. In 2018 there were 41. So far this year there have been 28.
Schippert said there’s a growing number because it’s being tested for more, especially in older adults. “The more you test for things, the more likely you’ll find them.”
She explained to the group that one of the reason there’s quite a few older adults who have been found to have the disease is because it was easily spread in the military through airguns in the ’60s-‘80s.
There’s also the spread through drug use, too, she noted.
Other communicable diseases Schippert talked about were sexually transmitted diseases in general.
In 2019, to date, there have been three syphilis, 10 gonorrhea and 14 chlamydia cases. In 2018 there were two syphilis, 10 gonorrhea and 39 chlamydia cases. In 2017 there were three syphilis, four gonorrhea and 25 chlamydia cases.
The goal for the ICPHD is to do more outreach in the schools, she said.
Relating to school-age children, she said there have been cases of whooping cough — four last year and five so far this year. This is a disease which has a vaccine.
“These diseases are still out there,” Schippert said. “That’s why we’re pushing vaccines.”
She said the diseases are coming back, because of people from outside the country unvaccinated as well as because of parents choosing to not vaccinate their children.
Another matter mentioned was mosquito collection.
Schippert said there have been no samples collected which have had West Nile Virus. Last year there was only one sample which had the virus, and it came from a bird.
She noted that this year there are just three mosquito collection sites rather than the six there have been in previous years. She said this is because the travel time and miles to gather the samples added up, and there hadn’t been any positive samples.
Schippert noted adult protective services within the ICPHD has had more reports this year.
This department handles the concerns of those 60 years of age and older who report abuse, neglect or financial exploitation.
Last year there were 40 new reports, and the year prior there were 36. This year, to date, there have been 47.
Finally, Schippert also told the committee Ryan Wheeler, “has jumped in as our new LEHP (licensed environmental health practitioner) and has gotten to work”. Wheeler replaced retired Terry Eimen last month.