Bowling Green, OH – Ohio was ranked 49th in the nation for childhood immunization rates according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) National Immunization Survey. In 2013, only 63.4% of Ohio’s children aged 19-35 months had completed the recommended vaccine series. Even though they can be prevented through vaccines, devastating diseases like whooping cough, measles and mumps were widespread in Ohio last year.
According to the CDC, there were 1,465 cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, in Ohio during 2014, which is up from 905 cases reported in 2012.
Before the pertussis vaccine was available, there were hundreds of thousands of cases of whooping cough each year, but as a result of vaccination, by 1976, there were only 1,010 reported cases of whooping cough in the United States. However, since then, it has slowly increased over the years to more than 28,000 cases each year nationwide.
In 2014, there were 383 cases of measles reported during the Ohio measles outbreak, which was the largest measles outbreak since 1996. There were 482 mumps cases during the mumps outbreak in Central Ohio in 2014, the largest outbreak Ohio has seen since 1979. Timely immunization could have helped to reduce these numbers.
“Protecting our children against vaccine-preventable disease is important. We should not risk lives when vaccines are widely available,” said Wood County Health District Director of Nurses, Amy Jones. “Delaying or avoiding immunization can lead to tragic consequences.”
Immunization nurse, Kathy Teeple, urges parents to make an appointment now with their health care provider. “Routine infant and toddler immunizations will protect against serious illness in the future, and it’s something easy all parents can do for their children.”
On April 18-25, more than 2,000 U.S. communities will celebrate National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW). Since 1994, NIIW has celebrated vaccination’s critical role in protecting children. NIIW emphasizes the need to fully immunize children ages two years and younger.
For more information, visit the Wood County Health District website at www.woodcountyhealth.org
The Wood County Health District provides numerous services to the community, including comprehensive medical services for men, women and children. Our Health and Wellness Center welcomes all patients and accepts most third party insurances, including uninsured or underinsured clients regardless of ability to pay. The mission of Wood County Health District is to take the initiative to facilitate opportunities for Wood County residents to lead healthy lives. The Health District is located at 1840 E. Gypsy Lane Rd. in Bowling Green. Normal office hours are 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, with late hours and satellite clinics are available. The Wood County Board of Health meetings are generally held on the second Thursday at 7pm at the Wood County Health District and are open to the public.