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Mount Vernon, Knox County, Ohio


Artist David Stowell's Gay Street mural complete

MOUNT VERNON - The new downtown mural is complete on S. Gay Street. The project was completed thanks to artist David Stowell and the Knox County Renaissance Foundation. The design is based on a postcard depicting South Main Street in the early 1900's.

Mural Gay Street

Mural on Gay Street - KnoxPages.com photo by Marty Trese

Fredericktown students educated on the effects of drug and alcohol use


FREDERICKTOWN - On Wednesday, FPD Patrolman Matt White informed students at Fredericktown Local Schools of the effects drug and alcohol can have on the human brain, organs and their judgment.

Students were also given an opportunity participate in Standard Field Sobriety Testing, with and without Impaired driver goggles to illustrate how being impaired can affect their perception.

FPD in schools sobriety test

Student participates in field sobriety test at Fredericktown High School - submitted photo

With 1.7 million Ohioans depending on food assistance, Sen. Brown calls for action to prevent a government shutdown


WASHINGTON, D.C. – With more than 1.7 million Ohioans depending on food stamps through the SNAP program in 2014 – more than 60 percent of whom are children, the elderly, or Americans with disabilities – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today called on his Republican colleagues to pass a clean spending bill. Brown was joined by Ohio Association of Foodbanks Executive Director Lisa Hamler-Fugitt.

“Another shutdown would hurt all Americans, but would be particularly hard on those that need the help the most: children, older Americans, and those with disabilities,” Brown said. “It’s time to stop the partisan stunts, and pass a clean continuing resolution, so that these Ohio families don’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from.”

While the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) was able to use remaining Recovery Act funds to continue Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in 2013, there are no contingency funds to cover the cost of SNAP benefits if the government shuts down on Oct. 1, 2015. This could result in the loss or interruption of food assistance for nearly 45 million Americans. In 2014, 1.75 million Ohioans utilized SNAP to put food on the table.

Chickenpox outbreak confirmed in Knox County


MOUNT VERNON - With outbreaks of measles and mumps in Central Ohio during the past year, it shouldn’t be too surprising that there is now an outbreak of chickenpox. The Knox County Health Department has confirmed an outbreak of chickenpox among an Amish community in the south-eastern portion of the county.

Similar to the measles and mumps outbreaks which came from unvaccinated individuals coming in contact with someone with active disease, this chickenpox outbreak is comparable, yet different, stemming from an unvaccinated population being exposed to someone with shingles.

“This is a unique situation because we are dealing with a single virus that can cause two different types of illness”, said Adam Masters, an epidemiologist with the Knox County Health Department. The virus in question is varicella-zoster (VZV) and it follows a progression, first causing chickenpox and then lying dormant and possibly reactivating later in life to cause shingles.

A person with active virus, either chickenpox or shingles, will be contagious to those with no protection and those individuals, if exposed, can develop chickenpox. “Shingles is considered to be less contagious than chickenpox but poses a threat especially among a population of unvaccinated people once the first case of chickenpox develops from exposure to someone with shingles. Once chickenpox emerges, it can spread rapidly among those with no protection,” Masters said.

This is the second time in the past year that an Ohio Amish community has experienced an outbreak of a communicable disease. “This is a group that usually does not get vaccinated, because of holistic reasons. But, anyone who has never had the chickenpox or has never been vaccinated is at risk to catch the chickenpox from someone with shingles,” Masters said.

Most people get chickenpox from exposure to other people with chickenpox. It is most often spread through sneezing, coughing, and breathing. It is so contagious that few non-immunized people escape this common disease when they are exposed to someone else with the disease.

When people with chickenpox cough or sneeze, they expel tiny droplets that carry the varicella virus. If a person who has never had chickenpox or never been vaccinated inhales these particles, the virus enters the lungs. From here it passes into the bloodstream. When it is carried to the skin it produces the typical rash of chickenpox.

People can also catch chickenpox from direct contact with a shingles rash if they have not been immunized by vaccination or by a previous bout of chickenpox. In such cases, transmission happens during the active phase when blisters have erupted but not formed dry crusts.

“On the other hand, a person with shingles cannot transmit the virus by breathing or coughing,” said Masters. “Unvaccinated people can only catch chickenpox from someone with shingles when they come in contact with the actual rash or blisters.”

The health department offers vaccine for both the chickenpox and shingles. Two doses of chickenpox vaccine are recommended for children, adolescents, and adults. Children should receive the first dose at 12 through 15 months old and a second dose at 4 through 6 years old. Individuals who are 13 years of age and older who have never had chickenpox or received the chickenpox vaccine, should get two doses at least 28 days apart.

People 60 years of age or older should get the shingles vaccine. They should get the vaccine whether or not they recall having had chickenpox. Studies show that more than 99% of Americans aged 40 and older have had chickenpox, even if they don't remember getting the disease. There is no maximum age for getting shingles vaccine. Even if you have had shingles, you can still receive shingles vaccine to help prevent future occurrences of the disease.

For more information or to schedule an appointment to receive the chickenpox or shingles vaccine, contact the clinic at the health department at 740-399-8009.


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