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Comanche County Health Department
Current Topics of Interest

OSDH Warns to Protect Health and Property During Upcoming Wildfire Season

As cooler weather, frost advisories and strong winds are predicted for the state later this week, the risk for wildfires also poses a threat to Oklahomans. Aside from property damage, wildfires may also cause health concerns for those with respiratory conditions such as asthma, emphysema, bronchitis or chronic heart disease.  The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) recommends limiting outdoor activity for people living in close proximity to a fire-stricken area to avoid inhalation of smoke, ashes and other pollutants. Children and older adults have an increased risk of suffering complications from smoke caused by a wildfire as it often contains a mix of gases and fine particles from burning vegetation, building materials and other pollutants.

OSDH Emergency Manager Darrell Eberly encourages families to have a plan for evacuation in the event they are forced to leave their homes quickly.  “Wildfires can occur anywhere,” said Eberly. “They can start in remote areas, or even in your own backyard.”

In effort to protect homes and property, OSDH encourages homeowners to make a few minor adjustments to prevent the risk of fire. This becomes increasingly important as a growing number of housing additions are being developed near wooded areas.  Homeowners are encouraged to trim all branches that overhang the house. Branches around the chimney and driveway should be trimmed within 15 feet. Lower branches should be pruned 6-10 feet up to prevent ground fires from spreading to the top.  Other tips to protect a home from wildfire include:

  • When temperatures are above freezing, place a hose (at least 100-feet long) on a rack and attach it to an outdoor faucet.
  • Remove leaves and other debris from the roof and gutters.
  • Avoid placing firewood piles too close to the home.
  • Plant low-flammable plants in areas next to the home. Avoid coniferous plants when possible.
  • Install a metal shield between the home and an attached wood fence.

For more information about preparing for a wildfire or other event, visit www.ready.gov.

Comanche County Health Department Schedules Flu VaccinationsAD-Flu Vaccine Bottle.gif
The Comanche County Health Department began its seasonal influenza vaccination schedule for the upcoming flu season on October 12th.  The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) and Comanche County Health Department recommend flu vaccination every year for everyone 6 months of age and older. The more people vaccinated, the less the chance that flu will spread in families and communities.  Each year in the United States, flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths. The flu vaccine is the best defense against getting the flu. Flu season usually starts in September or October and runs through April or May.

“It takes about two weeks after vaccination to become fully protected so get everyone in your family vaccinated as soon as possible,” said Brandie O’Connor, administrative director for the Comanche County Health Department. “Protection from the flu vaccine lasts about six months, so people vaccinated in October should be protected through April of next year.”

Immunization is the safest and best way to protect people at high risk from the flu such as pregnant women, children, and people with chronic heart and lung diseases. In addition to getting a flu vaccination, persons 65 and older, and those with chronic health conditions, should ask their doctor about being vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia. Pneumococcal pneumonia is a common and potentially serious complication of the flu. Unlike the influenza vaccine, the pneumococcal vaccine does not need to be given every year.

The Comanche County Health Department will be providing flu vaccine using the following fee schedule:

  • There will be no charge for families whose income is less than 185 percent of the federal poverty level. However, those with health insurance should bring their card. The insurance company will be billed for the vaccine and an administration fee.
  • There will be no charge for adults 65 years of age and older. These adults should bring their Medicare Card or other health insurance card.
  • There is no charge for children 18 years of age and younger who have no health insurance, whose health insurance does not cover flu vaccine, who are eligible for SoonerCare, or who are Native American or Alaskan natives.
  • All others will be charged a fee of $25 to cover the cost of the flu vaccine and the cost of administering the vaccine.

Vaccines will be available as a walk-in service at the Health Department from 8 am-5 pm, Monday-Friday.  The Comanche County Health Department will accept SoonerCare, Medicare, all private health insurance, cash, checks, or credit cards as payment for flu vaccine.  For more information about flu vaccinations at the Comanche County Health Department, call (580) 248-5890.  Other sites for immunization information:

Chase Morris Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act
Senate Bill 239, the Chase Morris Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act goes into effect July 1. Under the new law, every coach associated with an athletic activity must complete the sudden cardiac arrest training course from Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) approved providers. In addition, a student participating in or desiring to participate in an athletic activity and the student’s parent or guardian will need to review and sign the Athlete/Parent/Guardian Sudden Cardiac Arrest Symptoms and Warning Signs Information Sheet developed by the OSDH and the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE). OSDH-Chase Morris

The full bill, overview of the legislation, direct links to the Athlete/Parent/Guardian Sudden Cardiac Arrest Symptoms and Warning Signs Information Sheet and links to approved provider Sudden Cardiac Arrest training courses can be found below.

Approved Providers for Sudden Cardiac Arrest training courses for coaches

Provider: National Federation of High Schools
Course: Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Provider: Sports Safety International
Course: CardiacWise 2.0

Comanche County Health Assessment and Survey 2015
The data collection for the 2015 Comanche County Health Assessment was completed the first part of June, 2015.  We will post the results as soon as they are analyzed.   Should you have any questions regarding this survey, please don’t hesitate to call Comanche County Health Department at (580) 248-5890.  Without input from Comanche County residents, there is no guarantee the health issues most important to our community are being addressed.  Together we can make a difference in our world, Comanche County.

Mosquito Information

CDD - MosquitoWest Nile virus (WNV) is a reportable disease in Oklahoma. Cases and deaths for 2015 have been confirmed in Oklahoma.  Persons are at greatest risk of exposure to infected mosquitoes from July through October in our state. Persons of any age can become ill after being bitten by an infected mosquito, but those over the age of 50 are at greater risk of developing serious illness involving the nervous system. Over 80% of people infected with the virus never become ill. If people do become ill, most cases are mild with symptoms such as a fever, headache, tiredness and body aches that go away on their own. Some people may develop a rash on the trunk of the body. In more severe cases, persons can develop meningitis or other neurologic disease.

There are over 60 species of mosquitoes in Oklahoma, some of which may carry disease.  The species differ in how they look. They also differ in how they act, such as how aggressive they are when they bite, where they breed, and when they are the most active.  The mosquito population boom that has resulted from the excessive recent rainfall does not foretell a more severe WNV season.  The type of mosquitoes that hatch after severe flooding are primarily the species of mosquitoes classified as “nuisance mosquitoes”. They bite aggressively and cause lots of itchy bites, but they are not typically involved with transmission of diseases.  Floodwater mosquito populations tend to die out 3 weeks after the rains stop and the sun dries out affected low lying areas.  The following are links for more information regarding mosquitoes:

Severe Weather Alerts
Severe weather impacts every part of the country. One of the best ways to prepare is to know the hazards for our area.  The Ready - Prepare, Plan, Stay Informed website is a great place to start - www.Ready.gov/.

E-Cigarettes & Other Vapor Products

_Ecig.jpgE-cigarettes and vapor products have become increasingly popular and accessible in Oklahoma, which has raised many questions about these currently unregulated products. These links provide information about the public health perspective regarding e-cigarettes and resources to support state agencies in implementing the Governor’s Executive Order prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes and vapor products in state property.

Frequently Asked Questions About E-Cigarettes (PDF)
OSDH Tobacco Prevention Program
Smoking and Tobacco Use - CDC


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