(9-29-19) The following email was received from Jason Menchhofer, RS (Interim Administrator) of the Mercer County Health District  on an article posted on 7-23-19 by the Outlook:

Note: The Outlook article referred to –

if they had been swimming in the Huffy’s pond

Not the Eastview Pond as quoted by the Mercer County District in the email below–


On Friday, July 26 the Mercer County Health District office received multiple phone calls from people who had concerns regarding possible illness due to exposure to the water in the pond at Eastview Park in Celina. When asked what led them to be concerned with the pond specifically, some callers referenced your article published July 23, 2019 which pointed to a viral Facebook post which apparently declared that several people had become ill from blue green algae toxin exposure in the pond. I have not been able to view the Facebook post, because it was apparently deleted.

Our Environmental Health Director has contacted the City of Celina about this, and has been assured that the pond is routinely monitored for both Microcystin (algae toxin) and E. Coli. During 2019 no Microcystin has been detected in the pond water, and E. Coli has remained below levels which would present a health hazard to swimmers. Furthermore, our Epidemiologist reports that routine illness surveillance has not shown any abnormal trends in overall occurrence of disease in the county.

When reporting on public health-related issues in the future, we would very much appreciate the opportunity to be used as a resource prior to the publication of articles, rather than reacting to misinformation after the fact. I hope you’ll find the following contacts useful:

Julia Shaffer
Director of Nursing/Communicable Disease Nurse
419-586-3251 ext. 1279

Deb Scheer
Director of Emergency Response/Epidemiologist
419-586-3251 ext. 1298

Michelle Kimmel
Director of Environmental Health
419-586-3251 ext. 1274

Jason Menchhofer
Interim Administrator/Public Information Officer
419-586-3251 ext. 1273

Please feel free to contact any of us if and when we can be of assistance in promoting the distribution of accurate public health information.