The Kosciusko County Board of Health gave several updates Monday, including for Hepatitis A, opiates and vaping.

Dr. William Remington Jr. said the Hepatitis A outbreak is starting to trail off, and maybe the county has seen the worst of it. Remington said the health department has been in the jail a couple times during the past three months to immunize inmates against Hepatitis, and that 51% of the outbreak is tied to illicit drug use. There  are more than 2,000 cases in Indiana, with four deaths, but there have been no deaths in Kosciusko County, he said.

There have been nine deaths reported in 2019 in Kosciusko County related to opiate overdoses, which holds steady to the nine reported in 2018.

“It’s hard to have a finger on the pulse to know how many ER visits are related to opiate overdoses,” Remington said, but that he trusts the coroner to report any related overdoses as well.

“I hope we don’t repeat 2017,” he said. That year the county saw 24 people die due to opiate overdoses.

Remington also touched on vaping-related deaths and said there has not been a verified case in Kosciusko County.

“It’s a growing issue. As of today, 33 deaths have been confirmed in 24 states,” he said. Remington also said the Center for Disease Control has not produced a statement saying all vaping should cease.

The eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus was not something Remington’s office made a report about, but he said there’s not a single human or equine case that he knows about in the county. Health Board Administrator Bob Weaver said the state does testing on the mosquitoes and they didn’t find any cases.

Deputy Administrator Neal Brown showed the board his new piece of equipment that uses a sensor eye and bluetooth to locate septic systems within 16 inches of accuracy. Brown said he is going to try to start building a database through the county’s GIS system and add an existing layer of information. He said with the information, his office will be able to tell people where a well is, be it contractors or homeowners.

“For generations behind us, it’ll be very helpful,” he said. “We’re still trying to decide who’s going to have the ability to look at this. We haven’t quite decided how we’re gonna handle that.”

The 2020 board of health meeting dates were set to remain the same – at 6 p.m. the third Monday of January, April, July and October, in the old courthouse.

The next board of health meeting is 6 p.m. Jan. 20.