Winnebago County Health Department

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Visits to the emergency room for asthma vary widely across Illinois. One reason could be how it's treated.

Asthma is an inflammatory lung condition that can cause bouts of coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. In severe cases, a patient's airways swell shut, requiring a visit to the emergency room.

The Illinois Hospital Report Card tracks these types of visits. Between 2015-2017, Stephenson County had among the highest rates of visits in the state.

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Winnebago County’s Health Department is doing its part to try to control the mosquito population. 

 

Last weekend, the department held its fourth free tire drop off event.  They collected close to two thousand tires from the community. 

 

Ryan Kerch is the department’s environmental health supervisor.  He says tires are more than a nuisance and an environmental pollutant.

 

IDPH

The Winnebago County Health Department is warning people to avoid all synthetic cannabinoids. It has identified four cases of severe bleeding connected to their use in the county. Many more have been reported across the state.

The Health Department said there are many different chemicals, including one used in rat poison, in the various synthetics available. The department’s Director of Health Protection, Todd Kisner, said the effects can be unpredictable and dangerous, and people shouldn’t wait to act.

wchd.org

Leaders in education, social services, and government in Winnebago County are trying to work together on a common thread they see running through their community’s biggest challenges – trauma. 

Influenza Cases On The Rise Across State

Jan 9, 2018
"Box of Kleenex" by Flickr User m01229 / (CC X 2.0)

The number of flu cases is spiking across the state.

Health officials say the spike is happening early in the season. 

Todd Kisner is with the Winnebago County Health Department. He says he’s seen reported cases nearly quadruple over the past month.

“As far as the number of flu cases this early, it’s a little early for us," he said. "But that hopefully means it will end early.”

He says the flu season typically runs through April.

Influenza Cases Peaking In Northern Illinois

Mar 7, 2017
"Box of Kleenex" by Flickr User m01229 / (CC X 2.0)

Spring is right around the corner, but the end of flu season is not.

The Winnebago County Health Department says it’s seeing a high volume of influenza in the region; a recent report showed more than 300 new cases within a week. 

But that isn’t unexpected this time of year.

Todd Kisner, with the health department, says more than 60 percent of the new cases were among children and the elderly.

So this led to hospitals tightening certain age groups from visiting.

STD Cases Spike In Winnebago County

Nov 28, 2016

The Winnebago County Health Department released its annual report for 2015, which includes the number of reportable diseases in the county.

There were more than 1,700 cases of Chlamydia in Winnebago County last year, compared to 339 the year before

Gonorrhea also rose by several hundred cases, compared to 2014.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

There’s a significant increase in reported gonorrhea cases in Winnebago County, according to the county’s health department.

The number of reported gonorrhea cases in the first half of this year increased by 50 percent from the number of cases reported in the first half of 2015. Todd Kisner, who is with the Winnebago County Health Department, says that’s a difference of more than 100 cases.

A licensed practical nurse is suing the Winnebago County Health Department over allegedly violating her religious conscience.

Number Of Shigella Cases Spikes In Rockford

May 9, 2016
cdc.gov

The number of cases of shigella in Rockford has exceeded 300.

The Winnebago County Health Department predicts the number will surge this summer.

Todd Kisner, with the Department’s Center for Health Protection, says the outbreak can’t be pinpointed to one place.

“Typically, when we see an outbreak of shigella, it’s usually confined to a daycare or a school," Kisner said. "But what we’re seeing with our community outbreak is – it’s going across the community."

Kisner says strict hygiene is the best defense against the bacteria.

  With temperatures slowly rising, so too will mosquito populations.

Last summer, the Winnebago County Health Department handled nearly 300 calls related to mosquitoes and the diseases they carry. With all the worry of mosquito-borne disease like West Nile, encephalitis and Zika, some residents wonder what can be done.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Time is running out for people who haven’t signed up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act

Whooping Cough Case Identified At Auburn High School

Sep 15, 2015

Pertussis, or whooping cough, has made its presence into the Rockford public school district.

Last Friday, a letter was sent out regarding an Auburn High School student with a confirmed case of pertussis.

Families of West View Elementary and West Middle School also received letters about probable cases that have been reported.

Pertussis is easily mistaken as a bad cold, but its symptoms are more severe and can last up to 100 days.

Learning Health Insurance-Speak

Nov 6, 2013
WNIJ/Mike Moen

Despite technical obstacles, navigators are still helping people enroll into health-insurance marketplaces. In many communities, that includes helping those who speak little or no English. The northern Illinois region is no exception.

What may be the first case of measles in two decades in Winnebago County is being investigated by the Winnebago County Health Department.

Sue Fuller, a spokesperson for the health department, reported that a physician confirmed the presence of a measles predecessor rash on a four-year-old child on June 30. The child also exhibited other symptoms consistent with the onset of measles, according to the physician’s report.

The last confirmed case of measles in Winnebago County was prior to 1994.