Logan County Health Commissioner Travis Irvan informed Logan County District Board of Health members at their Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 13, meeting that a low cost rabies vaccine clinic is planned for next month to assist area residents with compliance with the new rabies control regulation in the county.
The OSU Veterinary Medical Center conducts the local clinic from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, at the Logan County Fairgrounds. The cost is $10 per vaccine, which can be administered to dogs, cats and ferrets.
“OSU has been great to work with in getting this set up, and they told us to expect about 200 animals coming through the clinic,” Irvan said.
In addition, representatives from the Logan County Auditor’s Office will be in attendance to provide dog licensing information.
The third and final reading of the rabies control regulation approved by the health board during their July meeting, as prompted by concerns brought to the board by the local court system and the Logan County Prosecutor’s Office.
The regulation requires individuals taking a dog, cat or ferret into a place of public accommodation or public facility within Logan County to have the animal previously vaccinated against rabies. If requested at that public facility, the pet owner would need to show proof of vaccination through a rabies vaccination tag attached to the animal’s collar.
During the board’s June hearing on the issue, Logan County Assistant Prosecutor Breanne Parcels said an increasing number of people are taking support animals into the courtroom for hearings.
“Rabies is a 99 percent fatal disease once symptoms are present and we believe this is an important safeguard to have in public places in Logan County.”
According to the regulation, dogs and cats would be required in a place of public accommodation or public facility to be vaccinated: between the ages of 4-6 months; re-vaccinated within 12 months; and vaccinated at least every three years thereafter by an USDA approved vaccine.
For ferrets, the requirements are at three months of age and annually thereafter.
Also during the meeting, the health commissioner reported on an influx of cases of aseptic/viral meningitis in Logan County this year. He said four cases of the illness have been diagnosed in the county so far in 2023, with all of the patients requiring hospitalization, with an average admission length of 14.5 days. Despite the severity of the illness, Irvan said fortunately, all of the patients have recovered.
The first case was reported in January, followed by a second case in March, another case in April and the most recent aseptic/viral meningitis was reported June 20. Two cases were reported in Bellefontaine, along with one case each in Belle Center and Lewistown.
All four of the cases were linked to a herpes virus DNA isolated by PCR from cerebral spinal fluid. According to Johns Hopkins, viral meningitis caused by herpes simplex virus is most often caused by reactivation of the virus from a prior infection.
The CDC reports that common symptoms of viral meningitis in children and adults include: fever, headache, stiff neck, eyes being more sensitive to light, sleepiness or trouble waking up from sleep, nausea, irritability, vomiting, lack of appetite and lethargy.
In other nursing related matters, the health district has temporarily paused its COVID-19 vaccine clinics while it awaits its supply of the newly FDA approved monovalent vaccine targeting variant XBB.1.5. The agency’s current supply of the bivalent vaccine is no longer allowed to be administered, Irvan said.
During the community health director’s report, Megan Bailey said she has begun work on uploading documents for the health district’s accreditation and expressed appreciation to her co-worker’s efforts to help the process go smoothly.
She also noted that the recent Overdose Awareness Event at the Recovery Zone was “very well received and we were happy with the turnout.” Sixty Narcan kits also were distributed at the event.
In addition, the Logan County Health District is a co-recipient alongside the Union County Health District of an Older Adults Falls Prevention grant, Bailey noted, with more details to be relayed at next month’s meeting — 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11.
Irvan said the Logan County overdose/suicide fatality review board also meets next month for their biannual meeting. He noted that four overdose fatalities and two suicide deaths have been reported this year.
In other action, the board:
• ordered Jason Horne, 1598 W. Township Road 37, Huntsville, whose septic system has failed and is discharging sewage wastewater that is creating a foul smell and sewage ponding at the top of the ground, to install a new septic system that meets Ohio Administrative Code requirements within 60 days;
• ordered Eugene M. Herford Sr., who owns a property at 110 Carlisle St., Quincy, who has people living in a shed on the property, to vacate the shed and remove all solid waste to a licensed solid waste facility, all within 14 days; and
• approved a well variance request from Susan O’Malley, 11224 Houser Drive, Lakeview.