Oneida County Health Department

This Year's Flu Vaccines Available

Sep 21, 2015

  Flu clinics are available for the public to get this year’s flu vaccine. The Oneida County Health Department is offering standard and high-dose vaccines. Health Specialist Marta Koelling says the higher dose vaccines have more antigen than the standard, and are meant for people 65 years and older.  She says the best way to fight the flu is to vaccinate yourself.  

Statewide Precautions Emphasized as Cucumber Recall Continues

Sep 17, 2015

  Extra precautions are being advised by The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture as cucumbers from Andrew and Williamson Produce Company are still under a nationwide recall. Oneida County Health Department Sanitarian Jody McKinney says anyone with cucumbers from the produce company should throw them away.

 The sidewalks will be crowded with area school kids who make their daily walks to and from school. Oneida County Health Department Nurse Rob Deede warns kids to pay special attention to pedestrian safety as they make their way to school.

 “For the students walking to and from school, pay attention, be aware of your surroundings. Be on the lookout for vehicles and make eye contact with drivers as you’re walking on the sidewalk. Always yield for drivers and use the crosswalks and wait for the ‘good to cross signs.’”

Visitors to Northwoods beaches are cautioned to be aware of the annual 'swimmers itch' you can get while splashing in the water.

Maria Skubal of  the Oneida County Health Department says its caused by a microscopic parasite that if it finds a human will attach to the skin. It causes an intense burning or itching sensation. She says avoid areas where geese, gulls or ducks frequent or marshy areas...

An Oneida and Vilas County chronic disease prevention and management coalition called "Northwoods LEAN"  is hosting a free worksite wellness summit on Tuesday, April 21  at Ministry Saint Mary’s Hospital in Rhinelander.

Kyla Waksmonski of the Oneida County Health Department says they're hoping business owners come to the summit. She says having a wellness program on the job saves money long term..

A group dedicated to chronic disease prevention in the Northwoods says grant money is available for schools, afterschool programs and summer programs to increase awareness of good food nutrition.

Northwoods LEAN(Linking Education, Activity and Nutrition) is accepting grant applications. Spokesperson Maria Skubal says the grants are awarded within Oneida and Vilas counties. She says Garden Based Nutrition is designed to give students more access to fresh fruits and vegetables...

While exposure to second hand smoke has dropped dramatically in the past decade, health advocates are focusing in on the plight of people in apartment complexes who smell their neighbors smoke.

Corie Zelazoski from the Oneida County Health Department says a recent study found 58 million Americans are still exposed to second hand smoke...

"....those who are affected are a lot of non-smokers, two out of every five children ages three to eleven, including seven out of every ten black children in that age group...."

Only a small percentage of teenagers in the Northwoods have received the vaccination that could prevent them from getting a sexually-transmitted cancer.

The human papillomavirus can cause cervical, anal and oral cancers. It affects both boys and girls. A vaccine can prevent the virus from turning into cancer in teens. Only 3 in 10 girls and one in 10 boys ages 13 -17 in the Northwoods has had the full three doses of the HPV vaccine.

Health officials are cautioning parents to think about the safety aspects of the toy you purchase for children.

Oneida County Public Health Nurse Dawn Klink says make sure you buy age appropriate toys and that the toys have been tested so it meets safety standards. She says be especially careful concerning toys for the youngest children...

"....anything that can be swallowed or have pieces that can come off and be swallowed and therefore be a choking hazard. Balloons are not good either. because when they pop they become small and become a choking hazard...."

Oneida County school districts are hosting a series of flu vaccine clinics open to the community…and free for kids. 

As Oneida County Public Health Nurse Rob Deede explains, flu shots are recommended for adults and kids alike. 

“If anyone wants to reduce the chances of getting the flu, getting vaccinated is the best way to do that.  Especially folks that are at higher risk of getting the flu, such as children six months to 18 years old, pregnant women, those folks 50 years or older, someone with a medical condition, or someone who’s living in a nursing home.”


Public health officials have made a strong impression that pregnant women should not drink or possibly harm their unborn child. Now an effort to have women cut out smoking during pregnancy is also underway.
Called "First Breath",  health workers hope to get the nearly one-in-four Oneida county women who smoke while pregnant to stop.

Public health nurse and program coordinator Dawn Klink says both mother and child feel the results of smoking...

Even with our cool summer, kids will want to head to the beach for some water fun.
Marta Koelling is a Community Health Specialist at the Oneida County Health Department.
She says freelance swimming is less safe than being in a designated swim area....

".....number one rule: make sure you're not diving or swimming in unfamiliar water. That can lead to come potential dangers there. Making sure you're swimming with a buddy, especially with children and inexperienced swimmers, making sure they are supervised at all times...."

Car seats are required for youngsters but an expert says most parents don't properly install the seats.
The Oneida County Health Department is collaborating with Safe Kids Worldwide for a free car seat inspection this afternoon at the Rhinelander  fire department.

Oneida County Public Health Nurse and certified car seat technician Dawn Klink....

Natalie Jablonski

Oneida County's Public Health Department is ranked among the elite few following an accreditation process.

In an annual report to the county board, Assistant Director Carl Meyer said the health department is only one of 31 agencies to get this type of national accreditation. He says the department had to meet rigorous standards to achieve the designation, something that is rare...

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The Oneida County Health Department celebrated earning national accreditation Wednesday. 

Only five health departments in the state have successfully gone through the process…that shows a department is adhering to high public health standards.

Oneida County Health Department Director Linda Conlon says a lot of it was documentation.  The application filled ten three-inch binders.  But she says it also involved improving actual services.