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Health department reveals most communicable diseases in Medina County

  • HOLD041315wasowski-jpg

    Medina County Health Commissioner Krista Wasowski

    NICK GLUNT / GAZETTE FILE

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MEDINA — A common sexually transmitted disease was one of the top communicable diseases treated in 2018 by the Medina County Health Department.

Health Commissioner Krista Wasowski presented the organization’s 2018 annual report Tuesday to Medina County commissioners, which featured statistics on how chlamydia — the most-reported bacterial STD in the United States — is also prevalent in Medina County.

In Medina County, the health department treated 365 cases of chlamydia in 2018, Wasowski said. The number represents 38.1 percent of all communicable disease cases the health department treated in the year.

While the number is down from 2017’s 383 cases (45.8 percent of cases), chlamydia is still a top communicable disease, the health department reported.

It’s estimated that nationwide one in 20 sexually active young women aged 14-24 have had chlamydia in 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC.

It is the most common STD among those aged 14-24.

Wasowski said the health department staff monitors and investigates diseases that are required by Ohio law to be reported to local agencies. Disease control and prevention measures help protect the public’s health, she said.

Chlamydia was just part of the 958 communicable diseases treated in 2018 by the health department.

“We topped our 2017 numbers,” Wasowski said.

The health department treated 837 cases of communicable diseases in 2017.

The second-highest communicable disease treated in 2018 was influenza-associated hospitalizations with 248. That represented 25.9 percent of the cases the health department treated. It was a steep incline from the 123 cases of flu in 2017.

The two other highly ranked communicable diseases were hepatitis C with 89 cases (9.3 percent) and gonorrhea with 49 (5.1 percent).

There were 124 cases of hepatitis C in 2017 and 68 cases of gonorrhea.

“Communicable disease nurses continue to follow every single case to make sure there is proper treatment,” Wasowski said.

The health department closely follows the mandate of the Ohio Department of Health and the CDC for reporting and control of communicable diseases.

Nurses monitor the number of cases and types of communicable diseases and illnesses in the community, to identify trends and patterns in the population.

The nurses educate individuals and the general public regarding communicable diseases and how to prevent transmission, in order to minimize or halt the spread of illness.

Wasowski said it was a big year for the health department, which is celebrating its 100th year.

In August, it reached Federally Qualified Health Center Lookalike status. It met certain requirements of the federal Human Resources and Services Administration health center program.

“That was a federal process that took us five years,” Wasowski said.

The health department also finished its renovation and unveiled its new logo and website.

According to the report:

  • There were 1,671 total births in Medina County in 2018. Forty-one residents were born in the county and 1,630 outside of the county borders;
  • There were 5,771 death certificates issued in 2018. The leading causes of death were heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, unintentional injuries and stroke.
  • The health department conducted 5,000 dental visits and more than 5,000 medical visits.
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.
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