Comanche County Health Department
Current Topics of Interest
CDC and OSDH Monitoring Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
||For the latest COVID-19 Information and Resources click on the COVID-19 tab on the left.
Heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable. Despite this fact, more than 600 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year. The CDC website provides helpful tips, information, and resources to help you stay safe in the extreme heat this summer. Learn more about extreme heat.
School, Childhood, and General Immunization Guidance during a Pandemic
Stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders have resulted in declines in outpatient pediatric visits and fewer vaccine doses being administered, leaving children at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases. Please call your provider or the health department to schedule an appointment for your infants and children - 2020 Immunization Schedule and Resources for Parents and Adults.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused healthcare providers to change how they operate to continue to provide essential services to patients. Ensuring immunization services are maintained or reinitiated is essential for protecting individuals and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases and outbreaks and reducing the burden of respiratory illness during the upcoming influenza season. This link leads to a collection of federal resources designed to guide vaccine planning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
District 5 Counties are offering special back to school immunization clinics this month.
COVID-19 seems to have consumed our attention the last several months. As parents and students prepare to return to school, the county health department will be providing dedicated times beginning Aug 3 – Aug 7 for children to get up to date on their required childhood immunizations. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the wide-reaching impact of a disease that is not easily treated or prevented without a vaccine.
Parents must bring a valid ID, insurance if applicable, and accompany all children under 18 years of age. Precautions are being taken to protect both patients and staff, including; using masks, screening patients and taking temperatures onsite as well as practicing physical distancing in the waiting areas.
Childhood immunizations remain a vital measure of public health. For specific school immunization clinic hours the week of August 3rd to August 7th, please see below. Call 580-248-5890 to schedule your appointment.
Lung Injury Associated with E-Cigarette Use or Vaping
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is participating in a national investigation of an outbreak of severe lung injury associated with e-cigarette product (devices, liquids, refill pods, and/or cartridges) use. We are asking health care providers to report suspected cases based on symptoms and a history of e-cigarette use. Providers are encouraged to visit the information for health care professionals page for recommendations, reporting instructions, and clinical resources.
For more background information from OSDH on this topic see this link.
What are e-cigarettes:
- E-cigarettes come in many shapes and sizes. Most have a battery, a heating element, and a place to hold a liquid.
- E-cigarettes produce an aerosol by heating a liquid that usually contains nicotine—the addictive drug in regular cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products—flavorings, and other chemicals that help to make the aerosol. Users inhale this aerosol into their lungs. Bystanders can also breathe in this aerosol when the user exhales into the air.
- E-cigarettes are known by many different names. They are sometimes called “e-cigs,” “e-hookahs,” “mods,” “vape pens,” “vapes,” “tank systems,” and “electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).”
- Some e-cigarettes are made to look like regular cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Some resemble pens, USB sticks, and other everyday items. Larger devices such as tank systems, or “mods,” do not resemble other tobacco products.
- Using an e-cigarette is sometimes called “vaping.”
- E-cigarettes can be used to deliver marijuana and other drugs.
The OMMA was established to oversee the medical marijuana program for the State of Oklahoma. It is responsible for licensing, regulating, and administering the program as authorized by state law. Operating under the Oklahoma State Department of Health, the primary goal is to ensure safe and responsible practices for the people of Oklahoma. Click on this link for more information
Natural Disasters and Severe Weather information
CDC has a lot of information relating to disasters. Use this link for the main page or some of the individual topics listed below.
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/ and information from Emergency Preparedness and Response.
OSDH Warns to Protect Health and Property During Wildfire Season
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 Ready.gov and CDC.gov.
West Nile Virus
West Nile virus (WNV) is a reportable disease in Oklahoma. Cases and deaths for 2016 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:
In 2017 the Acute Disease Service (ADS) of the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) received confirmation that an Oklahoma resident had acquired Zika during international travel to countries experiencing local transmission of the virus.
- Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus). These mosquitoes bite during the day and night.
- Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. More information from CDC
- There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.
- Local mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission was last reported in the continental United States in 2017. Learn More
Zika is a reportable disease in Oklahoma as an “unusual disease or syndrome”. Zika is a mosquitoborne viral disease. Outbreaks of Zika virus have been reported in multiple countries including tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands, and Brazil. On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika Virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Since that time, local transmission has been identified in numerous countries and territories in the Americas. Specific areas where Zika virus is spreading are often difficult to determine and are likely to change over time. Visit the CDC Zika Travel Information to find where Zika is occurring.
Zika virus is primarily transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person already infected with the virus. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people through bites. Zika virus is most often spread to people by Aedes aegypti, and might be spread by Aedes albopictus mosquitoes as well. These are the same mosquitoes that transmit dengue and chikungunya. They most frequently bite during the daytime, both indoors and outdoors. They are most active during the early morning and late afternoon. Transmission has also been found through blood transfusion, sexual transmission, and perinatal (mother-to-fetus) transmission. For these updates and more information regarding Zika see the CDC link or the OSDH Link.
Chase Morris Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act
Senate Bill 239, the Chase Morris Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act went into effect July 1, 2015. Under this 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