smiling girl outside

The Difference Between Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke: When to Sweat It and Seek Care

Overheating is common for those who seek more time in the sun. However, heat exhaustion is a serious concern. If left untreated, it could result in a life-threatening situation known as a Heat Stroke. Heat Strokes occur when your body temperature rises to 103 degrees F or higher. The condition is most commonly experienced during the summer months. This is due to humidity and the sun being high when we spend more time outdoors.

 

Unsure of how to differentiate between heat exhaustion and a heat stroke? Read more to learn about the signs and symptoms of each and how to treat them fast! This action could help save your life or the life of someone you love.

 

 

What is the difference between heat exhaustion and heatstroke?

 

Both heat exhaustion and heat stroke are serious conditions. Heat exhaustion begins with general muscle weakness, sudden excessive sweating, nausea and vomiting, and possible fainting. A heat stroke is when your body’s internal temperature reaches over 103 degrees. You begin experiencing a loss or change of consciousness, agitated, unexplained behavior changes, hot, red, and dry skin.  All of these symptoms should be taken seriously. Call your medical professionals immediately upon onset. According to Healthline, If you experience heat exhaustion for an extended period of time, heatstroke may occur. While many experience heat exhaustion symptoms before heat stroke, it’s not always the case.

 

Signs and Symptoms of Heatstroke:

 

There are many symptoms of a heat stroke. Be mindful if you or someone you know experiences the following while spending large amounts of time outdoors in the summer:

  • Sudden Severe Headache: It may be a migraine or just “any other headache.”  Be aware of any sudden headache onset, however. If you are spending time in the heat and high humidity, this could be a signal that our body is overheating fast.
  • Unexplained confusion or odd behavior. If someone suddenly shows signs of dizziness, confusion or agitation, loss of consciousness or disorientation, call 911. These are all beginning signs of a heat stroke.
  • Sudden rush of feeling cold and chills while sweating: When your body can’t regulate your temperature, it may send chills down your spine, literally. If you’re hot and sweating yet experiencing chills and a feeling of being cold, seek emergency care and take steps to cool down your body temperature fast.
  • Alteration in sweating. The Mayo Clinic states, “In heatstroke brought on by hot weather, your skin will feel hot and dry to the touch. However, in a heatstroke brought on by strenuous exercise, your skin may feel dry or slightly moist.” Pay attention to your skin and how you feel during strenuous activities while in a warm climate.
  • Racing Heart Rate, Rapid Breathing, Nausea, and vomiting. You could feel your heart rate increase rapidly without doing any strenuous activity and the culprit is a heat stroke. You may begin to feel sick to your stomach or physically vomit. If you experience any of these signs, it’s your body telling you to cool down, stat.

 

How to Treat Heat Stroke:

 

If you experience any of the symptoms above and suspect a heat stroke, call 911 and seek help from your local emergency care facility immediately. If you know someone who is experiencing heat exhaustion or who is beginning to show signs of a heat stroke, be sure to take them to a shaded area and apply cool compresses to their head, chest, neck, and/or back. You may also spray them with cool water from a nearby hose or use a sponge to apply cool water directly over their skin. Remove excess clothing.

 

Be careful not to cool off yourself or others too quickly by offering them ice water to drink.  Santosh Sinha, MD at Dignity Health Medical Group – Bakersfield warns that by digesting ice cold water during a heat stroke will actually “constrict the capillaries, cause stomach cramps, and decrease the absorption rate”. The sudden rush of coldness in your body could cause more damage than good with a state similar to “shock”.

 

Who is Most At Risk of Heat Stroke?

 

According to the CDC, the following individuals are most at-risk for a heat stroke:

 

  • Infants and young children
  • People 65 years of age or older
  • People who are overweight
  • Individuals who overexert during work or exercise
  • People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation
  • People traveling from cooler climates to drastically warmer climates

 

How to Prevent Heat Stroke:

 

If you know you will be spending more time outside, be sure to dress in loose clothing made of lighter fabric. Avoid darker colors to prevent heat absorption. Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids. If you feel as though heat exhaustion is coming on fast, grab a sports drink with electrolytes to replenish what has been lost through sweat. Drink plenty of water every day and avoid excessive amounts of alcohol especially when you know you will be spending most of your day out in the heat.

 

If you or someone you know shows signs of extreme heat exhaustion or heat stroke, be sure to call 911 immediately. The Drewry Family Emergency Center at Comanche County Memorial Hospital is ready to help you through any emergency you or a loved one are experiencing.

 

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

woman in sun

How to choose the best sunscreen for your Summer Fun in the sun

Summer is in full swing! The sun is higher, hotter, and bound to bring on a surge of UV rays.  More and more activities also shift to the outdoors. While Vitamin D is a good thing, too much leads to cellular damage in the deeper layers of your epidermis. In fact, according to the University of Berkeley, we only need 15 minutes in the sun to absorb the necessary amount of Vitamin D. Just 15 minutes satisfies our daily needs! Any more than that may lead to long term damage without proper steps to protect ourselves.

 

So go to the store and snatch the first bottle of sunscreen off the shelf with the highest SPF, right? Wrong! Read on to sort through the many myths surrounding SPF and sunscreen options to ensure you get the best protection for you and your loved ones.

 

MYTH: The higher the SPF, the better the protection.

 

You rummage through your cabinets and find a sunscreen marked “SPF 100”. The squeeze bottle beside it is labeled as “SPF 30.” This means you should grab the SPF 100, right? Not exactly.

 

According to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD), people who chose to lather up in 100 SPF did report fewer sunburns. However, those who chose aerosol sprays or non-certified water-resistant lotions showed less protection than those covered in lower SPF full-coverage lotions. Evaluate the factors that make a sunscreen effective, such as application and water/sweat resistance. Then, add in your SPF. Now, you’ve got an equation for the perfect amount of protection.

 

MYTH: If my sunscreen says “Waterproof”, I don’t have to reapply after getting in the water.

 

If you know you will be spending a day in the water, be sure to snag sunscreen that is marked “water-resistant.” Steer clear of those labeled “waterproof”. Why? The FDA confirms “There’s no such thing as waterproof sunscreen”. In fact, as soon as any application on the upper layer of your skin becomes wet, be ready to reapply within the hour.

 

The FDA claims, “All bottles  are required to state whether the sunscreen remains effective for 40 minutes or 80 minutes after swimming or sweating, and all sunscreens must provide directions on when to reapply.” So be sure to read your bottle’s instructions after you take a refreshing dip in the deep end.

 

MYTH: Higher SPF means less Vitamin D absorption.

 

Taking a 15-minute walk during lunch? Chances are you’ve reached your Vitamin D quota for the day. Absorbing vitamin D through sunlight is one of the most wonderful feelings. It increases your natural serotonin level as well as activates your endorphins. But it’s not the only way to get your daily dose of vitamin D. Many different kinds of fish and vegetables can also provide your daily dose of this sought after vitamin.

 

After 15 minutes of sun exposure within a day, however, your body stops absorbing and producing vitamin D. So more time than that in the sun, with or without SPF protection, won’t increase your body’s ability to absorb vitamin D through sunlight. And remember, your body has quite a bit of surface area for the sun to reach, so even if you have 90% of your body coated in sunscreen lotion or heavy clothes, that other 10% will still be catching those rays and accumulating vitamin D. 

 

MYTH: SPF is the most important factor when purchasing sunscreen.

 

While it may seem superfluous to look beyond the SPF number when choosing your block of choice, remember that many different factors will decide its effectiveness. Is it water-resistant? Is it being applied as an aerosol or lotion? Does it contain chemicals or minerals? Is it “broad spectrum”?

 

Like knowing what is in your food and how you prepare it, so is the importance of knowing what is in your sunscreen and how you apply it. Look at the labels to ensure it will guarantee you the protection you are seeking.

 

MYTH: A base tan prevents me from burning more later.

 

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but a tan is nothing more than a tell-tale sign that skin damage has already begun. As soon as our skin absorbs an overwhelming amount of UV rays, it begins to break down on the cellular level and produce more melanin to prevent even further damage. This breakdown will help you achieve that temporary bronze look but lead to permanent skin damage down the road such as fine lines and wrinkles.

 

So while the base tan may seem to help you from getting “burnt” later, just remember- your skin has already been damaged, and more sun exposure on top of these hurting cells will only cause greater damage, leading to a more intense burn if you neglect your sunscreen applications.

 

MYTH: Sunscreen won’t protect you from melanoma.

 

While it is true that melanoma can pop-up unexpectedly due to other factors, the main culprit of melanoma is overexposure to the sun. The Skin Cancer Foundation confirms that 86% of all skin cancers are caused by overexposure to the sun. Much like the correlation of smoking cigarettes to lung cancer, sun exposure is the leading cause of Melanoma in humans.

 

According to the Cleveland Clinic, rare cases have occurred where patients developed skin cancer due to XRay or chemical exposure. But the cause of cancer (UVA rays) can be prevented by using broad-spectrum sunscreen and reapplication throughout the day. The Skin Cancer Foundation also states, “Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent.” So lather up and protect that skin you’re in!

 

MYTH: All SPF is the same

 

If someone told you that sugar-free vanilla ice cream and a hefty scoop of Fudge Ripple from Ben and Jerry’s tastes the same, you’d be fast to call their bluff! Much like our favorite sweet summer treat, all SPF’s are not created equal. SPF can protect against UVA and UVB rays. But unless your bottle specifically states “broad spectrum”, don’t be surprised if you come home a little more toasty than your friends.

 

UVB rays and UVA rays are shining down on your precious skin while you are out in the sun. As both of these are detrimental to our health in many ways, be sure to be mindful of your sunblock labels and find a sunscreen that offers “Broad Spectrum” coverage to block both of those bad boys. 

 

Being out in the sun is one of our favorite summertime hobbies. Whether we are hiking the trails or playing by the pool, pick the best sun protection you can. Your skin will most surely thank you in the long run!

 

If you notice any suspicious spots on your body, you may need an evaluation for skin cancer. To find a CCMH Provider, visit our provider directory.

 

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

summer sunglasses

Summer Habits to Establish and Continue All Year

We have had some incredible weather so far this spring! The official first day of summer will be here before you know it! As you are participating in all the outdoor activities of summer, there are many things to remember to help keep you healthier and enjoying during these warmer months. 

 

Here are our 7 summer health tips to implement this summer and the rest of the year as well. Some of us are better at remembering to do these tasks during the summer, but truly these are great tips to remember year-round!

 

Protect your skin

 

The sun’s rays are strongest during the summer months. Your skin is your largest organ and the first line of defense against the elements, so treat it well! However, summer is not the only time to remember sunscreen!  Your skin is still exposed every day. You probably don’t need to apply sunscreen as frequently as a summer day at the beach, but it is still a good idea to remember a little sunscreen daily, no matter the season or weather. 

 

Stay hydrated 

 

 With heat exhaustion and heatstroke serious summer threats, we tend to be more mindful of thirst in the summer. It’s important to stay hydrated, not just when you feel parched in the heat. Once summer passes, you may not feel as parched. Staying hydrated is still crucial to keeping your body at its best, however.

If you struggle with drinking enough water, buy a big jug you can fill up and keep near you all day. You need to drink approximately half of your weight in ounces of water every day.

 

Protect your eyes

 

Sunglasses are more than shade for your eyes and a fashion statement. Without them, you’re at the mercy of harmful UV rays and “blue light.”  This exposure puts you at risk for macular degeneration, cataracts, and eyelid cancer. Furthermore, sunglasses aid with more comfortable and improved vision from not having to squint. Sunglasses just might keep more than just your eyes safe as well. Good vision is especially important when you’re participating in outdoor sports. 

 

Get moving more 

 

Sunny summer days and evenings beckon us outdoors to soak up the sun, but don’t let dreary days in the fall, winter, or spring keep you from getting some exercise. If you have an office job on top of that, it can seem difficult to get moving. Get a fitness tracker to help you make sure you’re getting your steps in around the office or consider getting a standing desk to get you on your feet to keep exercise in focus year-round. 

 

 

Don’t leave swimming to the kids 

 

Swimming is excellent exercise for the entire family. As a low-impact exercise, anyone can do it. Just thirty minutes of light to moderate lap swimming may burn over 230 calories! Unless you are fortunate enough to live in a very temperate climate though, swimming is not enjoyable for much of the year. However, you may have a good indoor swimming pool available. Many gyms do, such as our local Family YMCA

 

Protect yourself from mosquitoes 

 

West Nile and Zika viruses are mosquito bite spread conditions and are no joke! Insect repellants can help. Also, cover exposed skin whenever possible and avoid going outside during dawn and dusk hours when mosquitoes are active. Remember not to scratch when you do get a bite! It will only make the itch worse! 

 

Eat seasonal foods

 

When you think of eating fresh, seasonal veggies and fruits, you probably think of summertime. In summer months, we tend to eat more fruits and veggies because they’re fresh. This can help us stay away from unhealthy snacks. Strawberries and tomatoes may not always be in season, but don’t forget fall superfoods around the corner. Brussels sprouts, pumpkins, and apples can be just as delicious and are also excellently healthy! 

 

If you are in need of a checkup or to find a new provider, summer is a great time to plan to do so when winter cold germs and the flu are lingering. Check out our list of providers at ccmhhealth.com/providers.

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

men in kitchen

Stroke: a Great Concern for Men’s Health

According to the CDC, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death for men. It kills almost the same number of men each year as Alzheimer’s disease and prostate cancer combined. It is also a leading cause of long-term disability, being more common in men under age 44 than in younger women. Since June is Men’s Health Month, what better time to discuss stroke prevention for men than now!  

 

Although these facts seem concerning, did you know about 4 in 5 strokes are preventable? This prevention starts by knowing your risk for stroke. You can take a self assessment on the National Institute of Health website.

 

What is a stroke?

 

A stroke is a brain attack. It occurs when blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off. Brain cells that are starved of oxygen die. Stroke is a medical emergency. It’s important to seek care for someone experiencing the signs of stroke right away. Seconds truly do count when a stroke occurs, and the damage to the brain is decreased by quick intervention. 

 

What are the signs of a stroke?

 

Signs of stroke include a drooping face, arm weakness, and slurred speech. Other sudden changes that may indicate stroke include sudden numbness, confusion, difficulty walking, and difficulty seeing. 

 

What risk factors should men know about?

 

Hypertension (high blood pressure)  is a main risk factor for stroke, with about 1 in 3 men having stage 2 hypertension. Stage 2 hypertension is having a blood pressure greater than or equal to 140/90 mmHg). More than half of men with stage 2 hypertension do not have it under control.

 

Other risk factors that are common health problems for men include diabetes, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, and obesity.

 

How can stroke be prevented?

 

Healthy lifestyles and keeping health conditions under control are the best methods for preventing stroke. Controlled blood pressure, cholesterol and giving up smoking are all steps in the right direction. Discuss other health conditions or family history with your doctor such as diabetes or heart disease. 

Incorporate healthy foods into your diet such as foods low in salt, or sodium, fruits, vegetables, and foods that are rich in fiber and whole grains. 

 

Learn more about Comanche County Memorial Hospital’s excellence in stroke care at ccmhhealth.com/stroke-care.

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

hiking

Take a Hike for National Physical Fitness and Sports Month!

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. There’s no better time to get moving than now! Many of us do not get 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise that the Department of Health and Human Services recommends we participate in weekly. If sports are not for you, this is not an excuse to be inactive. You may not be competitive or like the organization of team sports; there are still many great activities to partake in that benefit your health.

One activity that is easy to do in our area is hiking. Hiking is a great stress-relieving activity. You can hike alone or with family and friends. You can obtain maps to hiking trails in our beloved Wichita Mountains from the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge Visitors’ Center.

 

What are the dangers of inactivity?

Inactivity may lead to a variety of health issues. Some of these problems include obesity, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease,  coronary heart disease,  diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

 

What are the benefits of hiking?

Besides being a stress-relieving activity, hiking has many other amazing health benefits such as

enhanced mental wellbeing
improved mood
lower blood pressure
reduced risk for heart disease
a healthier weight
lower cholesterol levels
improved bone density
lower body fat
increased flexibility and coordination
improved osteoarthritis outcomes
better quality of life
enhanced relationships with friends and family

Furthermore, during this time of social distancing due to COVID-19, hiking is a great activity that allows you to get some exercise and responsibly distance from others while enjoying the outdoors.

 

How to get started hiking

Before you hit the trail, make sure you study the trail and choose one that will meet your ability level. Also, consider the following questions:

How much time you have?

What is the elevation gain of the hike? For reference, a gain of 1,000 feet in one mile is considered steep.

What type of weather is expected during your trip?

Do you need to make transportation arrangements if your hike ends in a different place than it began?

 

What to take hiking

Here some items you should consider to keep your hike safe and enjoyable:

Think about wearing layers if the weather is changing throughout the hike. You may need warmer or cooler clothing as well as rain gear.

Consider taking a First Aid kit in case of small injuries such as scrapes or insect bites.

Make sure you have proper footwear. This article has some great tips on choosing a good hiking boot type and fit.

Pack healthy, energy-boosting snacks and plenty of water.

Last, but not least, a good hiking backpack is a great help in storing all your needed gear and leaving your hands free to aid in safely moving you along.

 

John Burroughs, American naturalist said, “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put together.” We hope you find the same benefits and improved health from hiking in the great outdoors around this beautiful land we call home!

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

women with covid-19

Do I Need to be Tested for COVID-19?

As new information emerges during the evolving COVID-19 Pandemic, it seems you can find an article with just about any possible symptom pointing to COVID-19. You may begin to wonder, “Do I have COVID-19?” Information you gather from reliable, medically-based sources may be useful. However, research should never replace the assessment of a physician. These are unusual circumstances though. During the time of social distancing when seeking medical treatment may put you more at risk for coming in contact with this novel coronavirus, there are a few questions you can use to self-assess.

 

 

Here are the questions to consider:

 

Do you have any of the following emergency symptoms?

If you have emergency COVID-19 signs and symptoms, such as chest pain or pressure, confusion, trouble breathing, or blue lips or face, seek medical care immediately! A trip to the ER or call to 911 sounds necessary. Let the emergency operator know your symptoms and wear a face covering over your mouth and nose if being transported by ambulance. The phone number for our emergency department is (580) 355-8620.

 

Do you have any of the following symptoms?

New trouble breathing, shortness of breath, or wheezing may all be symptoms that point to COVID-19. Other symptoms include muscle aches, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of smell, change in taste, a cough, and a fever. Generally, patients suffering from COVID-19 have a fever of 100.5 or greater.

 

Consider your contact with others

Have you been within 6 feet of someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19? Did you see him or her for at least 5 minutes, or have direct contact with their saliva or mucus at any point in the past 14 days? Does the person with COVID-19 live with you?

According to the CDC, although we are still learning about how the virus transmits, it is thought to spread mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets. These droplets reach others when the infected person coughs or sneezes. When these droplets land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or the person inhales them into their lungs, they may also become infected.

The incubation period is the time someone comes in contact with the virus until symptoms are present. For COVID-19, the incubation period is typically 2-11 days. To be safe, health professionals are asking patients to consider who he or she has come in contact with within a two week period.

 

If you feel it is possible you may have COVID-19, self isolate if you are not in need of immediate care, and reach out to your medical provider by phone. He or she will advise you how it is best to act.

 

 

Do you have other questions about COVID-19? Check out or resources at ccmhhealth.com/covid-19-resources.

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

 

COVID-19 travel

Traveling During A Pandemic

Traveling during a pandemic is an unnerving thought. There may be instances that make it unavoidable for you such as going to care for a sick loved one or traveling for an essential work trip. What if you have to enter an area where the virus is spreading rampantly? What if you are in the middle of the spread and don’t even know it? Many concerns probably enter your mind at this time. Having a plan to make your travel as safe as possible will help you feel more in control, decrease any anxiety, and accomplish whatever you need to do.

 

Before travel 

Prepare your immune system. Travel is often stressful under good circumstances, making illnesses possible. Take as good of care of yourself as possible in days before leaving. Take your vitamins, eat well, and get adequate sleep.

Traveling internationally? Ensure you are up-to-date on all vaccines. Research any common health concerns for travel within your destination and have over the counter medications in case these illnesses arise. Know the country’s travel recommendations.

Take hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, and sanitizing spray. Pack as many changes of clothes and essentials in a carryon bag as possible if you are traveling by plane including snacks. This helps limit your need to wander within the airport. In fact, if you can avoid checking a bag, this is even better as it helps limit your time within the airport and the germs you come into contact with.

Also, pack items you would be handed in a drive-thru if you plan on purchasing a meal. Having your own utensils, napkins, kleenex, even toilet paper limits your contact with items others have touched.

Have a plan for what you will do if you get sick. Do you have telemedicine available through health insurance? Do you know which clinics are offering care in your destination area? What is the COVID-19 screening protocol for the area?

Research the latest expectations within your destination city as far as shelter in place orders or expectations while being in public.

 

Driving tips

Take as many items as you can with you to limit your need for stops:

Pack meals, snacks, and bottled water.

Frequently clean often touched areas such as your steering wheel, stereo buttons, and door handles.

 

Flying tips

If you can print your boarding pass and check-in at home, do!

Arrive on time, but try not to spend more time in the airport than necessary.

Avoid sitting in crowded areas at the airport. As departure time draws near, consider moving to a nearby, but less busy gate as people tend to crowd near the gate.

Expect your travel to be interrupted. Have contingency plans in case flights are canceled.

Some good news is that because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes, most viruses and other germs do not spread easily. However, still, remember to practice good hygiene and avoid sitting near those who are coughing or appear sick.

 

When you reach your destination 

Shower as soon as possible. Place the clothes you wore during travel into a sealed plastic bag.

If you’re staying in a hotel, wipe down items that are often skipped by cleaning crews such as door handles, light switches, and TV remotes.

You may be in a less affected area with looser restrictions than your home. However, be considerate. You may be unknowingly bringing the virus to that community!

 

After returning home 

Consider quarantining yourself for 14 days if possible. If you know for sure you have come into contact with those who have COVID-19, DO quarantine yourself for sure!

Take your temperature a couple times a day.

If you need to seek medical care, let the medical provider know you have traveled before arriving at the facility.

 

If you have other questions related to COVID-19, check out our COVID-19 resources page.

 

Source 

National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease (NCIRD)

Center for Disease Control (CDC). 

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

COVID-19 family washing hands

Could Your Diet Help Flatten the Curve?

COVID-19 seems to be disrupting every aspect of peoples’ daily lives all over the world. Some of us have lost jobs, some are worried about family members who have to continue to work due to being in an essential business, some are worried about family members who may be high risk or separated from us. At times, it feels overwhelming and like there is nothing we can do to fight this invisible enemy. That is not true, however.

 

Hopefully, you are following the guidelines put in place in your community as well as social distancing, washing your hands well and frequently, and sheltering in place as much as possible.

 

Is there more you can do? Yes, there is. You can take the best possible care of yourself during these uncertain times. Doing your best to eat healthy foods could lessen your chances of getting ill, keep you out of the hospital and from infecting others.

 

How do you boost your immunity to help fight COVID-19?

 

Unfortunately, there is no magical food or pill that is guaranteed to boost your immune system and fight off COVID-19. However, a healthy immune system will help. Nutrients that may help the immune response include selenium, vitamins A, C, D, E, B-6, zinc, iron, and folate; with additional potentially promising effects of whole foods like broccoli, goji berry, green tea, and turmeric. Some of these nutrients may help reduce inflammation and protect from tissue damage due to the virus that can lead to lung injury and failure, and even death.

 

It is too early to know what mixture of nutrients is the best to keep Covid-19 at bay. But we do know that several of these nutrients have shown promising effects for flu, common colds, and respiratory infections.

 

Which foods might keep me from getting COVID-19?

 

We know you may not be able to find just anything in the stores right now due to overbuying, but here are some foods that may help boost your immunity: spinach, berries, bananas, citrus fruits, broccoli,  mushrooms, red bell peppers, shellfish, sweet potatoes, peanut butter, almonds, beans, hazelnuts,  turmeric, and tea. Eggs, cheese, tofu, milk, and mushrooms are also great choices.

 

These foods may be especially important for those who are at high risk for contacting COVID-19.

 

Hydration is also important

 

Even mild dehydration can put stress on the body. A good goal is half your body weight in ounces of water. For example, someone who weighs 150 pounds should drink approximately 75 ounces in water. The water from soups, vegetables, and fruits also helps to hydrate the body.

 

Can I take supplements to protect me from COVID-19?

 

There has not been enough time to conduct significant research on natural alternatives to fighting COVID-19. However, some doctors believe that supplements such as elderberry could help. Elderberry has been shown to be effective in treating upper respiratory infections in some studies. However, you should always discuss supplement usage with your doctor. Elderberry may interact with some medications.

 

 

Even if just a small percentage of the population began eating healthier to help ward off this pandemic, think how much it could help our world! Let’s all do our part. We are all in this together!

 

If you have more questions about COVID-19 in Comanche county, visit our resources page: ccmhhealth.com/covid-19-resources/.

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

covid 19- grocery store

How to Protect Yourself from COVID-19 When you Need to Go Out

Many in the community are practicing social distancing and getting out as little as possible. As the confirmed cases of COVID-19 rise in Comanche County, you may be getting nervous about having to be out for errands you cannot completely avoid such as occasional grocery shopping. Although feeling apprehensive about going out is understandable, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself while you are out. Here are a few:

 

 

Limit going inside businesses as much as possible

 

Many businesses, especially restaurants, are offering curbside delivery or drive-thru options as dining in is not an option right now. If you’re unsure if the business you need to visit is offering such services, it does not hurt to call and ask them if they would mind accommodating you.

Also, consider having essentials delivered or take turns running errands with a friend. The fewer people out on any given day, the better! If you are elderly or in the high-risk category for contracting COVID-19 due to health reasons, you may wish to reach out to a friend or neighbor. He or she would probably love to help you out. If you know of someone who is unemployed due to the outbreak, he or she could probably use some extra cash in exchange for helping you out as well. Lawton Family YMCA is also offering to pick up groceries for seniors who order groceries through the Walmart grocery app.

 

 

Make use of technology

 

You may wish to ask simple things like documents to be mailed or emailed to you instead of visiting a business. Take advantage of video chat options like FaceTime, Skype or Zoom to conduct business whenever possible.

If you have a non-urgent medical need, call your physician first to see what your options are. Many people also have access to free telemedicine services through the insurance provider. Memorial Medical Group is also providing access to telemedicine through many of our clinics.

 

 

Make a protective masks

 

When you do go out, try to wear a protective mask. Please remember our people working on the “front lines” of this epidemic. Our health professionals, restaurant workers, grocery clerks, etc., need masks and gloves more than anyone. Protecting them protects us all as they will likely be exposed to more carriers of COVID-19 than most of us.

However, you can find instructions on how to sew a homemade mask. Even if it isn’t the N-95 masks that provide the best protection, it can still keep you from touching your face which in return could possibly keep you from contracting the virus.

Think outside the box on how to protect your hands. Don’t touch items you don’t intend to buy. Use another type of plastic besides gloves. There have been people using bags used to clean up after their dogs when they take them outside to “take care of business!”

 

 

Sanitize your hands often

 

Sanitize your hands before going in and after leaving a business. If you can’t find sanitizer, you can make your own using alcohol and aloe vera gel.

 

 

Change your clothing as soon as possible

 

Before entering your home, remove your shoes and spray them with disinfectant. Remove clothes as soon as you enter and put them directly into the washing machine. You can wash them later if needed, but this keeps you from having to pick them up again before washing.

 

 

Sanitize items and let them sit

 

The COVID-19 virus can last hours to days on items depending on what material the item is made of. If possible, seal the bag grocery items are in to protect them, spray with disinfectant spray, and let it sit for a few days.

 

 

Wipe down surfaces touched by new items entering your home

 

If you can’t find disinfectant wipes in stores, you can make those too using paper towels and rubbing alcohol to wipe down surfaces.

 

 

Don’t allow anyone else to put items purchased away

To limit exposure to others living in the household, only the person who picked up items should put them away. This will help limit the exposure to any germs lingering on the items from others who have not yet touched them.

 

 

Have other questions about COVID-19? Visit ccmhhealth.com/covid-19-resources.

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

tick

Protecting Your Family and Pets from Ticks

When you think about tick-related illnesses, there is a good chance you think of Lyme disease. However, Oklahoma is consistently one of the least-affected states for Lyme disease while even neighboring states report many cases each year. In Oklahoma, the main tick-borne illnesses include Ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever .

 

 

What are the symptoms of Ehrlichiosis?

 

If a tick carrying the bacterium that causes ehrlichiosis feeds on you for at least 24 hours, you may begin to show symptoms. The symptoms will appear within 14 days of the bite:

 

Headache

Mild fever

Muscle aches

Chills

Cough

Joint pain

Nausea

Rash

Diarrhea

Vomiting

Loss of appetite

Fatigue

Confusion

 

Cases of ehrlichiosis vary in severity. Some patients may have symptoms so mild that they never seek medical attention. In best-case scenarios, the body fights off the illness on its own without medical intervention. If the symptoms are severe, however, hospitalization may be needed if patients put off treatment.

 

What are the symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever?

 

Symptoms usually appear within the first week although it may take up to two weeks. Initial signs and symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted tick fever may mimic other illnesses leaving many without proper treatment initially. The symptoms include:

Chills

High fever

Muscle aches

Severe headache

Confusion or other neurological changes

Nausea and vomiting

Red, non-itchy rash

 

Tick bites become common starting in the spring but can occur year-around during mild winters. As we go into the time of the year when we enjoy more time outdoors, be on the lookout for ticks on your children, pets and yourself. To prevent tick bites, the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following:

 

How do I prevent tick bites?

 

Exercise caution in areas that are grassy, heavily wooded or leaf-filled. Wear protective clothing that covers as much as possible when hiking or walking in these types of areas.

Wear protective clothing and bug repellent containing DEET when hiking or walking through tall grass. When coming inside from outdoors, shower within two hours. Thoroughly wash and check crevices where ticks could hide. Discuss preventative measures with your veterinarian for your pets and thoroughly check their fur on a regular basis.

 

Tricks for tick removal

 

Remove ticks immediately upon finding them on you with tweezers. Avoid squeezing the tick and pull slowly to avoid leaving part behind or causing the tick to go into the skin deeper. Then, dispose of the tick by flushing it down the toilet. Wash the affected area with soap and water. Call your physician if you begin experiencing any tick illness-related symptoms.

Make a practice of tossing your clothes in the dryer for a few minutes before washing them. Ticks are not easy to drown, but they cannot withstand dry environments. Therefore, even a short dryer cycle should be sufficient to suffocate and kill them.

 

If you are concerned due to exposure to a tick and have other questions, reach out to our CCMH Physicians. You can make an appointment today by visiting CCMHHealth.com/Providers. 

 

Disclaimer

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

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