County Public Health Report ~ 8/08/22

The following is a summary of the presentation during the Public Health briefings at this week’s Board of County Commissioners meeting made by Jefferson and Clallam County Public Health Officer Dr. Allison Berry. Also Willie Bence, Director of Emergency Management, gave a report. The summary below was provided by and used with the permission of Jefferson County Government.

COVID-19 cases in Jefferson County are experiencing a downturn, Health Officer Dr. Allison Berry reported to Commissioners Monday. The case rate is 547/100, with a 17% positivity. She said that suggests approximately a 40% case ascertainment rate. One person remains hospitalized from last week and “has been quite ill and remains ventilated.” It is reported this person was unvaccinated. “We still are only catching about less than half of the cases that we have,” she explained. “The COVID-19 front is starting to improve and that is very hopeful on our end. It’s unclear yet how much longer that trend will continue but we are hopeful that we’re seeing numbers turn around in the right direction.”

For those who have been concerned about vaccine formulations for COVID-19, the CDC has published an ingredients list for Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, Novavax and J&J Janssen.

For example, here is a link to the Novavax vaccine ingredients. The site explains, “All COVID-19 vaccines are manufactured with as few ingredients as possible and with very small amounts of each ingredient. Each ingredient in the vaccine serves a specific purpose…” This page also show links on the left side of the page to the other vaccines.

Dr. Berry reported 166 cases of Monkeypox (MPV) in Washington State. No cases have been diagnosed in Clallam or Jefferson Counties. Monkeypox is a painful rash that usually starts out as red bumps that then scab over. It can happen on any part of the body. It can be spread through any skin-to-skin contact, most commonly though sexual contact. “At this point it is disproportionately affecting men in the gay community,” Dr. Berry explained. “Men who identify as gay, bisexual, or men who have sex with men. We are not seeing broad transmission in the community as a whole at this point. To protect yourself, she suggests to limit exposure with new sexual partners. If you have a new rash, get checked. Symptoms for Monkeypox include fever and chills, and can present prior to the rash. For those who have been exposed, Public Health has limited access to the Jynneos vaccine which is in short supply and is not readily available in Jefferson County.

Submit your Public Health questions to Dr. Allison Berry and Willie Bence by emailing contactus@kptz.org. Note: The weekly deadline for these to be submitted is on Fridays at noon, to be answered at the following Monday’s BOCC meeting.