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Comanche County Health Department
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Winter Preparedness Tips
Link: Winter can be a killer - simple steps to stay safe

OKFlu View: Influenza Activity Summary
The purpose of the influenza statistics page (Link to Page) is to provide summaries of influenza information obtained from the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) Acute Disease Service (ADS) influenza sentinel surveillance system and influenza test results from the OSDH Public Health Laboratory (PHL).  The 2014-2015 influenza season begins on the week ending October 4, 2014. The OSDH will partner with healthcare providers and hospital laboratories throughout the flu season to conduct influenza and viral respiratory sentinel surveillance. Beginning on October 9, 2014, OSDH will produce a weekly report, and updated influenza statistics will be posted each Thursday by 10:00 a.m.

Measles – 2015

In the wake of a recent measles outbreak, in California and thirteen other states, the Comanche County Health Department is underscoring the importance of being vaccinated against the disease.  The disappearance of many childhood diseases has led some parents to question whether vaccines are still necessary and if they are safe. Some parents choose to delay vaccines or withhold them altogether from their children. This inaction places not just their own children but other children at risk of getting serious diseases, even while scientific evidence overwhelmingly shows these vaccines are safe.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing. Measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat, and is followed by a rash that spreads all over the body. About three out of 10 people who get measles will develop one or more complications including pneumonia, ear infections, or diarrhea. Complications are more common in adults and young children.  From January 1 to January 30, 2015, 102 people from 14 states were reported to have measles. Most of these cases are part of a large, ongoing multi-state outbreak linked to an amusement park in California.

Ninety-four percent of Oklahoma toddlers (19 through 35 months of age) have received one dose of measles vaccine and 97 percent of children entering kindergarten in Oklahoma have received two doses.  Measles is extremely contagious. The small number of unvaccinated children won't be protected if the measles virus gets into the community. Public Health officials consider the six percent of Oklahoma toddlers who haven’t received the vaccine to be at risk.  For more information, contact Comanche County Health Department at (580) 248-5890.  Information is also available on the following websites:

OSDH - Acute Disease Service

CDC - Measles

Syphilis Outbreak in Comanche County
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) and Comanche County Health Department announced today that they have identified an outbreak of syphilis in Lawton and the surrounding areas.  From 2013 to 2014, there has been a 300 percent increase in reported syphilis cases in Comanche County.  Health officials are alarmed because syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) which can have significant health outcomes if undiagnosed and untreated. Officials are also concerned that the outbreak may spread to counties beyond the outbreak area.

“The good news is syphilis can be identified by examination and testing, cured with antibiotics, and through disease investigation, the spread of syphilis can be stopped,” said Comanche County Health Department Regional Director Brandie O’Connor.  “We want to encourage people to seek testing and treatment if they have been having unprotected sex. Free confidential testing and treatment are available at local county health departments.  The people at high risk for syphilis due to this specific outbreak include men who have sex with men, people who have multiple sex partners, IV drug users and people who have sex with anonymous partners, including those met online.”

IgnoringSyphiliswebart.jpgA person can contract and spread syphilis through:

  • Oral sex;
  • Anal sex;
  • Vaginal sex, or
  • Through other intimate contact including kissing (when a syphilis sore is present in the mouth).

Symptoms of syphilis include:

  • A painless lesion, called a chancre, during the early stages of the disease,
    • Can be on or in the penis, or inside the vagina, anus or mouth;
  • Rashes
    • Appear rough, red or reddish brown spots on palms of hands and bottoms of feet or on the torso;
  • Swollen lymph glands;
  • Sore throat; and
  • Fatigue.

Left untreated, syphilis can cause damage to major organs, including the brain and blood vessels and cause serious birth defects or infant death.  Early detection and treatment prevent further damage that syphilis may cause to the body, and may also reduce the risk for HIV transmission.  For information about prevention, risk factors, testing and treatment please call the Comanche County Health Department at (580) 248-5890.  For more information about syphilis and other STDs, visit these Web sites: http://hivstd.health.ok.gov and click on “Handouts/Fact Sheets” on the left side of the page, or www.cdc.gov/std and click on the STD you want information at the top of the page.

Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever   EBV-Infographic-SMALLer.jpg
Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) is one of numerous Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers, which are reportable diseases in Oklahoma. EHF is a severe, often fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates (such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees). EHF is caused by infection with a virus of the family Filoviridae, genus Ebolavirus. The first Ebolavirus species was discovered in 1976 in Sudan and in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo near the Ebola River. Since then, outbreaks have appeared sporadically.

The disease is native to equatorial Africa and is caused by infection with one of the ebolaviruses (Ebola, Sudan, Bundibugyo, or Taj Forest virus). Confirmed cases of EHF have been reported in: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Gabon, South Sudan, Ivory Coast, Uganda, Republic of the Congo (ROC), and an imported case in South Africa. With the exception of several laboratory contamination cases (one in England and two in Russia), all cases of human illness or death have occurred in Africa; no case has been reported in the United States.

The reservoir of ebolaviruses is unknown. However, on the basis of available evidence and the nature of similar viruses, non-human primates and/or bats may have a role in the chain of transmission to humans. When an infection does occur in humans, there are several ways in which the virus can be transmitted to others: direct contact with the blood or secretions of an infected person; or exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions. The viruses that cause EHF often spread to families and friends because they come in close contact with infectious secretions when caring for persons ill with ebola.

Symptoms of EHF include fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Skin rash, red eyes, and internal and external bleeding may be seen in some patients.  ( OSDH - Acute Disease)

Surveillance and Preparedness for Ebola Virus Disease in Oklahoma

OSDH Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever Fact Sheet

CDC Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever Information

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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