Important Board of Health Alert: rise in COVID-19 cases, campylobacter in Wendell

Rise In Covid-19 Cases: This morning the CDC reported a 7% increase in COVID-19 cases across the country. This is reflected locally by a surge in cases among towns in the North Quabbin area, including Athol and Orange. As of yesterday, 33 new cases were reported in Orange over the previous six days. The majority of cases were among the 25-49 age group, but there were cases among all ages in adults and children.

There appear to be a number of factors contributing to this increase. "COVID fatigue" is causing less compliance with safety protocols. Easing of restrictions by state government has allowed more interaction among people from different households and led to more gatherings and events. The highly contagious B variants are now spreading in communities. People are also traveling more.

To date, Wendell cases are still at 11 total, but to maintain our current good health status, we must maintain adherence to the protocols that have kept us safe so far. While more people are being vaccinated, we are far from "herd immunity" vaccination levels. We must also remember that no vaccine is 100% effective, and science is still determining whether those fully vaccinated are capable of transmitting the disease. We must not let a false sense of security lead us into abandoning the safety strategies that have proven so effective:

  • Wear a multilayered mask in public and with non-vaccinated people.

  • Keep 6 feet away from non-household members.

  • Wash hands frequently.

  • Limit gatherings to people you live with as much as possible.

  • Avoid unnecessary travel and eating indoors in restaurants.

We must all do our part to stop the spread and prevent a return to more restrictive conditions.

Campylobacteriosis Alert: The BOH received a report that this infection was identified in Wendell. Caused by the Campylobacter bacterium, it infects the bowel of people and animals. While not usually serious, it can spread to other parts of the body, including the blood, and can be dangerous to those with other medical conditions.

To cause disease, this germ must be swallowed. This happens most often from consuming raw unpasteurized milk from cows and goats, from contaminated hands after working with or cleaning up after animals, from improperly washing hands after using the bathroom, and from uncooked food products from animals. It can spread among people from contaminated hands.

For more information on symptoms, treatment, and prevention measures, visit the following websites:

Barbara Cradock for the Wendell Board of Health