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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.

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


CDC Confirms Cases of Enterovirus D68 in Oklahoma-September 2014
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) has received confirmation through laboratory testing conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is circulating and causing respiratory illness in Oklahoma.  Although enteroviruses are a common cause of respiratory illness, EV-D68 is a relatively rare type of enterovirus in the United States. To date, EV-D68 has been confirmed in 11 other states, including Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado.

The CDC laboratory has reported seven of 24 specimens submitted from Oklahoma hospitals and laboratories tested positive for the virus which has been associated with an increase in pediatric admissions at hospitals in the central region of the state. EV-D68 infection looks very similar to the common cold with most persons showing symptoms of cough, runny nose, body aches, and possibly a fever. However, in some children the illness can rapidly progress to something more serious where the child has wheezing, difficulty breathing, and difficulty getting enough oxygen into their lungs.

“Children less than 5 years old and children with underlying asthma appear to be at greatest risk of having medical complications from EV-D68 requiring hospitalization,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley. “If a child develops a cold or a cough, parents and caregivers should just watch the child a little more closely to ensure the respiratory infection is running a normal course. If wheezing or asthma-like symptoms develop, medical care should be accessed immediately.”

Medical providers are not required to report suspected cases of the virus to state public health authorities. Therefore, the number of actual cases in the state cannot be tracked. Officials are, however, monitoring the trend of hospital admissions for acute respiratory illness, and requesting that any outbreaks of respiratory disease in daycares or schools be reported to the OSDH.

There are no specific treatments or vaccines to prevent EV-D68 infections.

People can protect themselves from respiratory illnesses by:
• Washing hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
• Avoiding touching the eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoiding close contact and sharing cups and eating utensils with people who are sick.
• Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces such as toys, doorknobs and light switches, especially if someone is sick.
• Staying home when sick.

Find more information about enteroviruses contact the Comanche County Health Department at 580-248-5890 or go to www.health.ok.gov or www.cdc.gov.

Tdap Requirement 
Beginning with the 2011-12 school year Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis) vaccine will be required for students in the 7th grade in Oklahoma schools.

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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