Four Suspected Dead in St. Joe County From H1N1; Get Vaccines Now

Health officials in St. Joseph County suspect four people have died from the H1N1 flu virus, and with the peak of the flu season approaching in February, it is becoming increasingly important to get those vaccinations. Frank Lynch, health nurse in Starke County, said it’s never too late to get the flu vaccine and more people have been getting vaccinated this year.

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Starke County Health Dept. Holding Flu Clinic Oct. 23

Flu season is approaching and the Starke County Health Department is getting a head start on flu clinics. Adult and children flu vaccinations will be offered at the health department on Oct. 23 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Health Nurse Frank Lynch explained anyone who is uninsured can visit the health department during that time to get their vaccines before the flu season really hits.

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Enforcement of the Smoke-Free Air Law Has Not Been an Issue

The Smoke-Free Air Law will soon celebrate its one-year anniversary since it was enacted, ensuring clean air to Hoosiers who visit just about any business in the state. When it was first proposed, however, many citizens and business owners expressed displeasure at the idea, fearing it would adversely affect business and cause unnecessary complication and interference.

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Flu Shots Recommended as the Virus Spreads through the State

Indiana is experiencing a high level of influenza-like activity early in this flu season with seven deaths reported since November.

Craig Felty, Executive Director of Patient Care at IU Health Starke Hospital said the hospital’s Emergency Room had 59 positive cases in December 2012. No cases of the flu were reported in December 2011. Pulaski Memorial Hospital has seen a big increase in positive influenza cases since Dec. 1.

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No Smoking Violations Reported in Starke County

Starke County Health Nurse Frank Lynch

Since the smoking ban took effect July 1, Starke County Health Nurse Frank Lynch has received no complaints of any businesses not complying with the law.

Lynch suggested that the information received by all businesses before the law took effect and the public meetings held to inform the businesses and public about the impending law change helped everyone come together to work to be compliant with the law. He has given out packs to all businesses that contained signage and information regarding the change and all seems to be working so far.

Lynch said that if you need to complain about a business that is not complying with the no smoking law, call his office at 772-9137.

Students Return To School Soon – Are They Immunized?

Starke County Health Nurse Frank Lynch

Students will be returning to the classroom in mid-August, so now is the time to schedule immunizations for your child.

Starke County Health Nurse Frank Lynch talks about immunizations needed for Kindergarten students.

“They will need their Kindergarten shots,” Lynch explained. “If they’re up to date on everything else, then they should be looking at only having to come in and get their tetanus and their polio boosters, their second MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and a second Varicella (chicken pox) if they haven’t had it already.”

Students in grade six and up also need certain immunizations.

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No Complaints Burning Over Statewide Smoking Ban

The state-wide smoking ban has been in effect for 11 days now and there have been no complaints issued to the Starke County Health Department or the Pulaski County Health Department. The county health departments are responsible for enforcement of the smoking law for all businesses, while the State Excise Police enforces businesses that sell alcohol and tobacco.

Starke County Health Nurse Frank Lynch said he’s been to a few businesses to check on their smoke-free status and he has received a few phone calls with questions concerning the law. For those businesses that have not received a business kit, there are kits available in Lynch’s office.

Terri Hansen from the Pulaski County Health Department says that her department has gotten a few calls, but she feels the two informational meetings held in June prior to the law change helped inform business owners and residents. If you have questions, you can view the smoking ban information on the state’s website at

Pulaski County Health Department Offering Walk-In Clinic Today

Today, the Pulaski County Health Department will be offering a walk-in clinic for school children who need their immunizations for school.

The walk-in clinic is open today from 3 – 7 p.m. ET at the Health Department for children in Kindergarten through 12th grade. The Health Department is charging $8.00 per shot. If you are on Medicaid, you will need your Medicaid card and the Health Department will bill Medicaid directly. Parents should also present immunization cards when at the clinic.

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Week in Review for December 6th-10th, 2010

Here is just some of the news that made the news in the Kankakee Valley this week.

Diana Jedynak, 67, died of fire related injuries after her home caught fire early Monday morning in Washington Township. Indiana State Fire Marshal, Fred Sumpter, said the investigation into the cause of the fire was postponed due to the weather conditions and the integrity of the structure.

Northwest Indiana Forum, Inc.

The Northwest Indiana Forum’s Board of Directors have voted to acknowldge the organization’s service territory to extend beyond Lake, Porter, LaPorte and Starke Counties to include Newton, Jasper and Pulaski Counties.

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Number of Influenza Cases Down in Starke and Pulaski Counties

Influenza has not been a big scare yet in Starke or Pulaski Counties.

Starke County Health Nurse, Frank Lynch, said that flu numbers are down right now and no cases of H1N1 have been reported. Whooping cough has been a great concern around the state this season but no cases have been reported in Starke County. Lynch would like to remind Starke County residents that flu shots are available at his office, both adult and child doses. He also recommends that residents wash their hands frequently to avoid getting the flu and spreading germs. Call the Health Department at (574) 772-9137 to make an appointment to get your flu shot.

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