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Archive for the ‘Plain City Health’ Category

September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month. By Our Student Pharmacist, James Wilson.

[Header] SCD Month

September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month. This blog post aims to give some insight into a genetic disease that many may not be very familiar with.

What is Sickle Cell Disease?

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is the most common inherited blood disease in the United States with approximately 100,000 people living with SCD. One in twelve African-Americans carries a sickle cell gene and about 3,000 children are born each year with SCD. The disease is characterized by an abnormal sickle or crescent shaped red blood cell (RBC). This shape makes it difficult for RBCs to flow through blood vessels. These abnormal RBCs also die sooner than they normally should which causes a constant shortage of RBCs.

[Body-Image 2] RBC Shape

Complications Caused by Sickle Cell Disease:

Complications and symptoms usually start to appear within the first year of life. These complications can worsen over time and are caused by the abnormal blood flow of RBCs. The most common complication is called “sickle cell pain crisis” and is a result from abnormal blood flow and oxygen delivery to organs and extremities. It is also the leading reason why people with SCD go to the emergency room. These pain crises can be induced by dehydration, extreme temperature, high altitudes, and intense exercise.

Other complications include:

  • Anemia – Caused by low RBC count.
  • Greater risk of infections – Important that people with SCD remain up to date on vaccination.
  • Blood clots – The abnormal RBC shape can cause blood clots in the extremities and lungs.
  • Vision loss – Caused by blocked blood vessels in the eye.

Sickle Cell Disease v. Sickle Cell Trait:

As mentioned above, SCD is inherited. For someone to have SCD, they must have gotten the sickle cell gene from both parents. However, if they only received one sickle cell gene it is called Sickle Cell Trait (SCT). This means for someone to have SCD, both of their parents must either have SCD or SCT. If both parents have SCT, there is a 50% chance their child will also have SCT and a 25% chance they will have SCD. People living with SCT do not have any of the symptoms or complications associated with SCD.

SCD and SCT can both be determined with a blood test and is usually done at birth. It is important to know whether a child has SCD or is a carrier for the sickle cell gene so doctors can help manage and prevent the many complications caused by the disease.

If you are interested in learning more or about raising awareness of SCD please visit: https://www.sicklecelldisease.org/get-involved/events/national-sickle-cell-awareness-month/

[Body-Image 3] SCD Heredity


The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ Next of Kin Program. By Our Student Pharmacist, Patrick Wang.


In 2007, Linda Wuestenberg’s son, Steven, was involved in a car accident and died from his injuries. Linda was not notified of his death until eight hours later due to police being unable to find her contact information.

Similarly, Carmela A. Wiant’s son, David, also died as a result of a car accident, but was only informed of this three hours later by the hospital chaplain for the same reason.

One of the most heartbreaking ways to lose a loved one is to find out hours after the event due to police and/or hospital staff not having access to a direct family member or loved one’s contact information. That’s why Linda and Carmela took their experiences and worked with state legislators, as well as the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), to initiate the Ohio Next of Kin (NOK) program.

The Ohio Next of Kin program allows Ohioans with a driver license, temporary permit, or state ID to add emergency contact information to their Ohio driver’s license/ID record at no cost. By having this information readily available, law enforcement can quickly locate and/or contact family members should there be any sort of accident or emergency.

Some of the features of this program include:

  • No fee to add this contact information to driver license/permit/ID record.
  • Contact information will be stored in a secure database accessible only by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and law enforcement.
  • For Ohioans 18 and over, the contact person can be a relative, friend, or co-worker.
  • For Ohioans under 18, a parent or legal guardian is required to be the primary contact.
  • Contact person(s) can share your up-to-date medical information with medical professionals providing medical treatment with your approval if you are unable to communicate for any reason.
  • Two emergency contacts can be added to the registry for children under the age of 15 with an ID to be used by law enforcement in the event the child becomes lost or is reported missing.
  • You can also list members of the military as emergency contacts, with their Army Post Office (APO) or Fleet Post Office (FPO) addresses accepted.

If you or a loved one would like to take advantage of this free service, you can submit information:

Once your information is submitted, you are also able to change or remove this information at any time using one of the above methods.

For more information feel free to visit the Ohio Department of Public Safety website at: https://publicsafety.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odps/who-we-are/resources/next_of_kin.



The Delta Variant? And What About the Booster Shot? By Our Student Pharmacist, James Wilson.

[Header] COVID-19 Delta

Have you been having questions about what the delta variant of COVID-19 is and how that may affect your need for a booster shot?

Hopefully I can answer some of your questions in this post.

What are Variants of a Virus?

As viruses spread, they change and mutate over time. These changes in the virus are seen on what are called spiked proteins that exist on the outside of the virus. Many variants can pop-up from a virus; some appear and quickly go away while others may persist for a long time.

The original variant of COVID-19 during the early parts of 2020 is no longer being spread. The alpha variant replaced the original variant as the predominant one near mid to late 2020. Now the delta variant has replaced the alpha variant as the predominant variant.

The delta variant has been found to be two times as contagious as the previous alpha variant and data suggests that it can cause higher rates of severe cases needing hospitalization.

Do the Vaccines Protect Against the Delta Variant?

The current vaccines have been shown to be effective in preventing infections caused by the delta variant as well as preventing serious cases that can lead to hospitalization or death. However, the vaccines are not 100% effective.

The delta variant can cause a breakthrough infection in fully vaccinated individuals.

[Booster] mRNA Vaccines

Do I Need to Get the Booster Shot?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended a booster shot for immunocompromised patients who had received an mRNA vaccine, Pfizer and Moderna.

The recommendation was for moderately to severe immunocompromised patients and includes:

  • Patients receiving cancer treatment.
  • Patients who received an organ transplant and are taking immunosuppressants.
  • Patients who received a stem cell transplant in the last two years.
  • Advanced or untreated HIV.
  • Active treatment with a high dose corticosteroid.

Just recently on 08/18/2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) started plans to provide booster shots to everyone who has received either Pfizer or Moderna. They noted that both vaccines still protect against severe cases, but there has been a decline in efficacy against mild to moderate cases. The decision to approve a booster shot is in anticipation that efficacy against severe cases may start to decline in the coming months; note that efficacy of all vaccines diminish over time. HHS is prepared to supply booster shots to all Americans the week of September 20 and individuals can get theirs eight months after their second dose.

Currently, there is no recommendation of a booster shot for Janssen. However, this could change as more and more data on efficacy comes in over the next few weeks.

I hope this helped clear up some questions you may have had about the latest news on COVID-19. If you have any more questions that need answered, please stop by or call Plain City Druggist and we will be more than happy to answer them for you.


Lyme Disease. By Our Student Pharmacist, Patrick Wang.

black-legged tick

Tick season is currently at its peak and with it comes a growing concern with contracting Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is an infection caused by a bacteria that is most commonly transmitted through the bite of an infected black-legged tick. Both adolescent ticks, known as nymphs, as well as adult ticks can transmit this bacteria to humans.

This tick finds its home mainly in wooded environments throughout Ohio, so individuals who spend large amounts of time in these areas are advised to have increased caution. Individuals of all age groups are at risk of Lyme disease infection, but boys between the ages of 10-14 and girls between the ages of 5-9 are of particularly high risk.

The characterizing symptom of Lyme disease (about 66% of cases) is a “bull’s eye” rash, which typically appears 7-14 days after the initial infected bite. This rash may be warm, but often is not associated with pain or itching.

Other symptoms include headache, fever, and chills which may appear anywhere between 3-30 days after the initial infected bite.

Lyme disease can only be formally diagnosed by a doctor after the appropriate blood tests are done, so if you experience any of these symptoms and suspect that you have potentially been exposed to black-legged ticks, it is recommended to see your doctor as soon as possible.

Lyme disease is curable through the use of antibiotics, but it is important to seek medical help as soon as possible in order to avoid any further health complications such as neurologic Lyme disease, Lyme carditis, and Lyme arthritis.

Preventative measures include:

  • avoiding tick habitats
  • using insect repellent that is labeled for use against ticks
  • removing ticks promptly
  • wearing long-sleeved clothes

tick removal

Removing ticks:

To remove a tick, simply use a pair of fine tweezers to grab the tick as close to the skin surface as possible. Pull away from your skin with a steady, even pressure. Do not twist or jerk the tick, as this could cause the mouth to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, attempt to pull it out using tweezers, otherwise just leave it alone and let the skin heal if you’re unable to do so.

Never crush a tick with your fingers. Instead, place live ticks in alcohol, a sealed container, or flush it down the toilet.

Wash your hands and the bite area with soap and water. “Folk” remedies such as petroleum jelly and lighting a match have been shown to not work and so are not advised methods to use.

bullseye rash

For more information feel free to visit the Ohio Department of Health’s website at:


Photo References:

Bull’s eye rash:
Tick removal:
Black-legged tick:

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. By Our Student Pharmacist, James Wilson.

Header Photo 1

We are one week into August and it is National Immunization Awareness Month. It may feel like all we have heard about in 2021 were the COVID-19 vaccines made by Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson. While being vaccinated against COVID-19 is important for a safer future, let us not forget the crucial role that all the other vaccines have on our health.

How Do Vaccines Work?

The human body has its own way of handling infections and this is known as the immune system. White blood cells are a part of this system and target whatever infectious material enters the body. After dealing with the disease, the immune system develops a memory for the particular infectious agent so it can better handle it the next time your body comes into contact with it.

Vaccines work by imitating a disease, allowing the immune system to respond to it, and building a memory against it. Since the body is responding to the vaccine, minor symptoms such as fever or fatigue may occur after getting a vaccine. However, in contrast to the vaccine symptoms, the diseases being vaccinated for can cause serious complications which could lead to hospitalization or even death.

Vaccines may require multiple doses or even boosters later on and this is because a single dose of a vaccine is not enough to build immunity or immunity starts to wear away as we get older.

Child Vaccine Photo 3

Routine Vaccinations for Children

Vaccines are an important part of a child’s health. Routine vaccination is started at an early age because young children are very susceptible to infections; they also have a much higher risk of developing severe complications due to infection.

Vaccines started early in life include:

  • Hepatitis B
  • DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough)
  • Pneumococcal
  • Polio
  • MMR (measles/mumps/rubella)

Many of these vaccines require multiple doses so it is important to know when your child is due for their next shot.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide an easy-to-read vaccine schedule for your child from birth to 18 years old and you can find it by clicking here.

Missed a Routine Vaccine?

Are you worried that your child may have missed a routine vaccine? Fret not, as your child does not have to restart the vaccine series. Simply follow up with your child’s doctor for the missed shot.

Routine Vaccinations Are Not Just for Kids

Although most of our vaccine series are completed when we are young, there are plenty of vaccines that are recommended for adults. Some vaccines are recommended based on age, health complications, or even if you work in a healthcare setting. Some examples of recommend vaccines are as follows:

  • The two-dose shingles vaccine is recommended for adults over the age 50, even if they have had shingles in the past.
  • Pregnant mothers should get a Tdap dose with each pregnancy to help prevent whooping cough (pertussis).
  • The flu shot is recommended every year for everyone over the age of 6 months old.

Immune System Photo 2

Take the CDC quiz to see what vaccines may be recommended for you. Click here.

Vaccines are an important way of ensuring our health and preventing the spread of dangerous diseases.

Take this month of August to ensure that you and your loved ones have the vaccinations you need. If you have any more questions about vaccines, please stop by and we will be happy to answer them for you.