woman with coronavirus

Coronavirus: What Oklahomans Need to Know

Concerning health news broke in late December as coronavirus, discovered in Wuhan, China reached the public’s ears. The number of those affected rose swiftly, reaching several countries because of international travel. As of today, January 28th, more than 4,600 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in China with 106 deaths reported. 1

 

Why is China so greatly affected? 

 

The virus is a novel coronavirus – a member of the coronavirus family previously unknown. Coronaviruses originate in animals. Many of those infected in China frequented the wholesale seafood market in Wuhan. This market sells both live and freshly slaughtered animals. New viruses that raise concern among health experts often start with an animal host. Examples of such illnesses include Ebola and flu.

 

What is a coronavirus?

 

Coronaviruses cause common colds and other upper respiratory infections. These viruses are called zoonoses. Certain animals are affected, and they spread the virus to other animals. Coronaviruses have the potential to affect humans. This occurs more commonly when a mutation in the virus occurs. 

 

The particulars of how this form of coronavirus spreads are not fully known. However, coronaviruses usually spread through droplets of large particles that can only be suspended in the air for three to six feet before dissipation. Varicella (chickenpox) or measles spread through smaller droplets and over much greater distances. Some coronaviruses have also previously been discovered in the stool of certain patients.

 

Given this knowledge, coronavirus is likely spread through sneezing and coughing. At this time, we do not know whether another route of transmission such as fecal-oral contact could spread the virus.

 

What are the symptoms of this new coronavirus from China?

 

From those affected in China, we can confirm that the virus can cause pneumonia. Symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Some early cases reported non-respiratory symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. 

 

Most affected recover in a few days. Those at risk for experiencing pneumonia and other complications include the very young, elderly and those with compromised immunity. Many of the fatal cases of the virus occurred in patients who were already in poor health.

 

How do I prevent coronavirus?

 

All the typical steps to preventing illness apply to preventing this virus: 

Wash your hands regularly. 

Cover coughs and sneezes with your inner elbow. 

Avoid touching your nose, mouth or hands. 

Stay clear of those with symptoms such as coughing, sneezing and a runny nose. 

Stay home if you have a fever.

 

At what point should I go to the doctor if I have coronavirus symptoms?

 

Treat any normal, minor respiratory symptoms at home unless you have recently traveled to China or come in contact with someone who has. It is not necessary to visit a doctor unless you have a persistent cough or additional symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pains, or feel very unwell.

 

How is coronavirus treated?

 

Chinese health authorities have added the virus’s full genome in international databases so scientists can study it further. There are no approved antivirals for this type of coronavirus. 

 

When needed, care in an intensive care unit (ICU) can be lifesaving for seriously ill patients. Such patients receive fluids and support for their lungs. 

 

How does coronavirus compare to other viruses?

 

It is unknown how serious coronavirus is at this time. Based on numbers from China alone, the mortality rate is less than 1%. Even 1% is likely an overestimate since data may not include cases that are unreported from those who recovered without seeking medical care. 

 

To compare, flu typically also has a mortality rate less than 1% worldwide. The death rate of Sars, another coronavirus from the early 2000’s, was more than 10%. 

 

Should I be concerned about coronavirus? 

 

Oklahomans, as with all US residents have a very low risk of catching this form of coronavirus. Two Oklahoma residents who recently traveled to China are among the more than 100 being tested for the virus in the US. The results have not yet been made available to the public. 

 

We are much more likely to come down with the flu. Consider receiving the flu vaccine if you have not done so. Reducing flu cases will reduce the burden on health services should the outbreak turn into a larger problem. Although you are not guaranteed to remain flu-free, studies demonstrate that hospitalization, complications, ICU admission, and death are less likely to occur in flu patients who received the vaccine. 

 

Healthcare professionals may be at risk if they treat a patient who traveled to China recently. 

 

Soon, we will learn exactly how contagious the coronavirus is. Cases of death due to coronavirus will likely climb due to travel and the rapid spread the illness has seen, but this does not mean we should panic. 

 

As more information becomes available from public health organizations like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), we will share this information to help you and your family remain healthy. 

 

Travel to China has greatly decreased to help stop the spread, and New Year’s celebrations in the country have mostly been canceled. The city of Wuhan, Hong Kong, and some other Chinese cities are on lockdown.

 

As always, our CCMH Providers are here for you if you have any concerns.

 

Source

1 Helen Regan, Steve George, Adam Renton, Amy Woodyatt and Meg Wagner. CNN. Hong Kong closes China borders as Wuhan coronavirus spreads. 28 Jan. 2020.

 

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.

 

 

Yellow Dot Program Launch

First Responders and Lawton Community Leaders launched the first Yellow Dot program in Oklahoma on Thursday. 25,000 dots and forms are making their way into the community. The program is sponsored by Lawton Community Health Center and BancFirst, and is FREE to everyone. Pick up your packet at one of the locations listed, complete the form, attach your picture, put the form in a zip lock baggie and put it in your glove box. Then attach the Yellow Dot to the back window of your vehicle. That’s it! If you are in a car accident, first responders will see the Yellow Dot on your back window and know to look in the glove box for your medical information. Having this crucial information during the first hour following a traumatic event could be the difference between life and death. Get your Yellow Dot packet here at CCMH today!

Thanksgiving Dinner dishes on a table

Thanksgiving Food Safety by Meagan Garibay, RN-BSN, CIC, Infection Preventionist Comanche County Memorial Hospital

With Thanksgiving not too far away, everyone is beginning to have visions of turkey legs and mashed potatoes dancing in their heads. Unfortunately, that Thanksgiving meal can come back to haunt you if it is cooked or stored improperly. Here are some tips to keep you on the couch with a full belly instead of a sick one!

 

THAWING A TURKEY SAFELY

  • Always keep your turkey in the freezer until you’re ready to thaw it, and in the fridge until you’re ready to cook it.

  • When you’re ready to thaw it, there’s a few different methods you can follow for safe thawing:

    • The refrigerator is the safest and most recommended method for thawing your bird. The rule of thumb is to allow 24 hours for every 4–5 pounds. Once it is thawed, it will keep just fine in the fridge for an additional 1–2 days before it needs to be cooked. It is recommended you place the turkey in a large dish on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator to prevent raw turkey juices from leaking over other foods. Example: A 20 pound turkey needs at least 4 days to thaw in the fridge, and is safe in the fridge for up to a week. This turkey is safe to go in to the fridge on the Friday before Thanksgiving.

    • Using cold water to thaw a turkey is a bit more labor intensive, but it’s faster than the fridge method. Submerge the frozen turkey in cold water and change the cold water every 30 minutes. Thawing times will vary based on how large your turkey is. A turkey thawed using this method must be cooked immediately after thawing is complete. Do not use lukewarm, warm, or hot water for this method — it may thaw the bird faster, but it will also increase the danger of food-borne illness.

    • Using the microwave to thaw the turkey is the fastest method and is acceptable, but it is the least recommended method. To use this method, you would place the frozen turkey in the microwave (if it fits!) and use the defrost setting, based on weight of the turkey (in general, it will take about 6 minutes per pound). A turkey thawed using this method must be cooked immediately after thawing is complete.

  • Other methods, such as thawing the turkey on the countertop, are not recommended — the risk of food-borne illness goes up considerably when using these methods.

  • Can you cook a frozen turkey? Absolutely! If your turkey is just a little frozen on Thanksgiving morning, it will take just a little longer to cook. A frozen solid turkey will take about 50% longer to cook than a thawed turkey. 

  • Turkey should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the temperature at the innermost part of the thigh, the innermost part of the wing, and the thickest part of the turkey breast. 

 

GENERAL FOOD SAFETY GUIDELINES

  • The “danger zone” for food is between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. When perishable food (cooked or uncooked) sits out for longer than 2 hours in this temperature range, your risk of getting a food-borne illness from eating that food goes up. Stick food in the refrigerator within 2 hours to keep everybody safe from getting sick!

  • Ensure food, especially meats, are cooked to the recommended internal temperature.

  • Wash your hands frequently — especially when handling raw foods, and after using the bathroom.

 

What is Oklahoma Yellow Dot?

The “Yellow Dot” Program is a free service. It helps save lives during a car crash by alerting first responders to a yellow decal on the driver’s side rear window. The decal signals first responders to check in the glove compartment for the corresponding “Yellow Dot” form. This form contains crucial emergency information to help the victim.

Oklahoma Yellow Dot helps citizens of all ages in the event of a car crash or other medical emergency. It improves communication between first responders and car accident victims at a time when victims may be unable to communicate for themselves.

OK Yellow Dot is currently in Comanche County and other surrounding counties. The program is sponsored by Lawton Community Health Centers and BancFirst.

You can pick up your Oklahoma Yellow Dot window cling and form at: Lawton Community Health Center locations, BancFirst branches and CCMH Front Desk.

Please go to our Facebook page and like our page Oklahoma Yellow Dot. For more information, please visit our website: www.okyellowdot.org.

Dr. Velury and Dr. Kochenower speaking at Peripheral Artery Disease Lunch & Learn

Peripheral Artery Disease Lunch & Learn

Dr. Velury and Dr. Kochenower were special guest speakers at a lunch and learn last Thursday at CCMH on Peripheral Artery Disease or PAD to nearly 50 people. They talked about how they work together across a continuum of care, from awareness, to early detection, to wound treatment, and ongoing management, to help reduct the chances of amputation and improve the quality of life for patients.

Dr. Velury (left) and Dr. Kochenower (right)

Dr. Velury (left) and Dr. Kochenower (right)

crowd at PAD Lunch & Learn

red meat hamburger

Swapping Red Meat for Chicken May Lower Cancer Risk 

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women aside from skin cancer. It affects around 1 in 8 women in the United States during their lifetime. 1

 

However, many factors influence the chance of a woman developing breast cancer. Due to the variety of these factors, some which are environmental and lifestyle choices, causes can be difficult to pinpoint. 

 

That is to say, recent research often focuses on factors that lead to cancer which we can control such as nutrition. 

 

A recent study in The International Journal of Cancer reports that consuming poultry instead of red meat may lower breast cancer risk after gathering data from over 40,000 women. 2

 

Red meat and breast cancer?

 

The data, derived from the Sister Study, included participants from the U.S. and Puerto Rico who were 35–74 years old. Participants also provided information that included their lifestyle factors, medical history, height, weight, diet, and other demographic information.

 

The participants also reported details about their food consumption, including type of meat consumption, portion sizes and level of “doneness” of meat. 

 

Throughout the study, the research team reported 1,536 cases of breast cancer.

 

At the end of the study, the scientists concluded that women who ate more red meat had a 23% higher chance of developing breast cancer. 2

 

However, previous studies have not produced similar results. Some researchers have found no association, whereas others have shown a weak relationship between meat consumption and cancer. 

 

Poultry and breast cancer risk?

 

The scientists calculated that those who ate the most poultry had a 15% lower risk of developing breast cancer compared with those who ate little poultry. 

 

The scientists also controlled for a range of factors, including level of physical activity, household income, family history of cancer, race,  vegetable consumption, dairy consumption, body mass index (BMI), birth control usage, and also alcohol consumption. Even with these factors considered, the results were still significant.

 

The effects of cooking methods on cancer risk 

 

An earlier study discovered high consumptions of fried chicken increased breast cancer risk while intake of skinless chicken reduced risk.

 

A further study concluded that chicken cooked by any method was “significantly protective” against breast cancer. 3 The researchers in the latest study, however, found no link between the way people cooked meat and breast cancer risk.

 

However, other researchers report no links between meat consumption and breast cancer. 

 

As always, research must continue before we reach a solid conclusion about the role of meat in breast cancer.

 

 

 

Limitations of the study

 

Although the study had a large number of participants, limitations, of course, exist. For example, the study was observational. It cannot easily explain cause and effect.

 

Furthermore, dietary information was only recorded at the beginning of the study. Participants may have had dietary changes throughout the nearly seven years of the study. 

 

CCMH is proud to offer cancer care right here on our campus at the Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma. To learn more, visit their website at ccswok.com

 

Sources 

1 American Cancer Society. How Common is Breast Cancer? 18 September 2019.

2 International Journal of Cancer. Jamie J. Lo, Yong-Moon Mark Park, Rashmi Sinha and Dale P. Sandler. Association Between Meat Consumption and Risk of Breast Cancer: Findings from the Sister Study. 2019.

3 Science Direct. Alacro L. Ronco, Eduardo De Stefani, Alicia Fabra.White meat intake and the risk of breast cancer: a case-control study in Montevideo, Uruguay. 20 May 2oo2.

 

Disclaimer 

 The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital also 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.

Content is frequently updated, however, 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.

Alan Riddle, Project Manager with IT receives his yearly flu shot during our Annual Flu Vaccination and PPD Clinic.

International Infection Prevention Week — October 13 – 19

The 2019 theme for the International Infection Prevention Week is Vaccines are Everybody’s Business.

There are many different germs inside and outside of the healthcare setting. These germs spread in many different ways. For example, germs can spread from person to person and from objects to people. To stop germs from infecting people, healthcare professionals, patients and families need to work together to stay healthy.

It takes a chain reaction of events for infections to spread to others. The way to stop germs from spreading is by interrupting the chain. When you go into a hospital or other healthcare setting to receive care, you become vulnerable to catching infections. But the good news is that patients, their families and visitors can take steps to prevent infections by simply knowing the top infection prevention basics.

• Speak up for your care

• Keeping your hands clean

• Ask about safe injection practices

• Ask to have your room or equipment cleaned

• Ask questions about your medications

• Ask about vaccines you need to stay healthy

• Become familiar with healthcare-associated infections

 

man suffering from head injury

Traumatic Brain Injury: Latest Research, Causes & Treatment

Approximately 2.87 million Americans will receive a traumatic brain injury (TBI) this year. 1 Many think of this as a problem faced by those in combat situations. However, many traumatic brain injuries are due to motor vehicle accidents, falls, and sports injuries. Traumatic brain injury can affect anyone in any season of life. Thankfully, recent research has given us a hopeful look into the future of diagnosing, preventing and treating TBI. 

 

Traumatic brain injury and children 

 

72% of TBIs that occur in childhood are caused by consumer products according to a recent study published in the Journal of Brain Injury. 2 These products include items such as floors, beds, stairs, bicycles, chairs, walls and tables. Injuries during sports such as soccer, football, and basketball are also common causes. 

 

Infants and young children may be unable to communicate possible TBI symptoms. Signs you should watch for include change in eating or nursing habits; sensory problems; irritability;  confusion; persistent, inconsolable crying;  inability to pay attention; change in sleep habits; seizures; sad or depressed mood; drowsiness and loss of interest in favorite activities or toys. 

 

To prevent TBI among children, the study suggested parents improve lighting; remove area rugs; avoid hard surface playgrounds; increase use of safety devices such as stair gates; and use stairway handrails without sharp edges.

 

The latest research in TBI diagnosis 

 

One study tested a new blood test which specifically measures two types of proteins –UCH-L1 and GFAP. 3 These proteins release from the brain and into the blood after the brain receives an injury. This test may be as effective or more so than a CT scan. Researchers are excited that this test could be easily utilized in places where CT scans are not possible such as on the field for the military and in underfunded healthcare facilities worldwide. 

 

The latest research in TBI treatment 

 

A new study involving rats suffering from TBI may lead to promising TBI treatment. 4 Researchers will present their findings at the American Chemical Society Fall 2019 National Meeting & Exposition. Their study reports a self-assembling peptide hydrogel that increased blood vessel regrowth and neuronal survival when injected into the brains of rats with TBI. These researchers hope to regrow new blood vessels in TBI patients to restore oxygen exchange which is reduced after TBI. 

 

 

If you have had a traumatic brain injury, we know that recovery can be extensive. We are proud to offer our team of medical professionals to help you regain a normal life as much as possible. From neurological services to our inpatient rehab facility, we’re here for you! Find a physician today by visiting our online directory.

 

Sources 

1 Center for Disease Control and Prevention.TBI: Get the Facts.  11 March 2019.

2 Journal of Brain Injury. Ali, Bina; Lawrence, Bruce A.; Miller, Ted; and Allison, Jennifer. Products and activities associated with non-fatal traumatic brain injuries in children and adolescents – United States 2010-2013. 29 July 2019.

3 Forbes. Fisher, Nicole. Study Finds New Blood Test Could Help Detect Brain Injury In Minutes. 24 August 2019.

4 American Chemical Society. Peptide hydrogels could help heal traumatic brain injuries. 27 August 2019.

 

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.

school aged child with backpack

Back-to-School Illnesses

Back to school means back to the doctor for many children. It can be very stressful for many families to deal with what seems to be never ending illnesses. School is, unfortunately, a hot spot for viruses and bacteria to flourish including common childhood illnesses that attack immature immune systems of young children. You may already be very familiar with some of the illnesses that commonly spread at school such as the cold or flu. What about other school illnesses like lice or pink eye? Here are 4 common illnesses you may encounter this school year. 

 

Lice 

 

Lice are tiny parasites that feed on your blood. They spread especially easily from schoolchildren through close personal contact and by sharing belongings. It is difficult to completely prevent lice among school children because  they commonly store their items so closely together. 

 

To prevent the spread of lice, encourage your children not to share items. Lice spread through items such as brushes, clothing, headphones, hair decorations, combs, towels, pillows, stuffed toys and blankets.

 

Symptoms of lice include seeing nits in the hair. Nits are the eggs or young form of a louse that attach to human hair. Many  mistake them as dandruff, but unlike dandruff, lice do not brush off easily. Your child may complain of intense itching and have small bumps on the neck, scalp and shoulders. 

 

Nonprescription shampoo that’s specifically formulated to kill lice will usually take care of a lice problem, but you should see your doctor if the shampoo doesn’t kill the lice. 

 

Pink eye 

 

Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is an infection of the transparent membrane (conjunctiva). This membrane covers the white part of your eyeball and lines your eyelid. When small blood vessels in the conjunctiva are inflamed, they are  more visible. This causes the whites of your eyes to be pink or reddish. Pink eye is usually the cause of a viral or bacterial infection.

 

Symptoms of pink eye include a gritty feeling in one or both eyes, itchiness in one or both eyes redness in one or both eyes, tearing and discharge that forms a crust during the night that may prevent your eye or eyes from opening in the morning. 

 

If your symptoms don’t begin to improve within 12 to 24 hours, make an appointment with your eye doctor to make sure you don’t have a more serious eye infection.

 

Pink eye can happen along with colds or respiratory infections such as a sore throat. Wearing contact lenses that aren’t cleaned properly or belong to someone else cause bacterial conjunctivitis.

 

To control the spread, teach your children to wash their hands often, use clean towels and washcloths daily and change pillow cases often. They should avoid sharing these items as well as eye cosmetic and eye care items. During a pink eye episode, be sure to throw away eye cosmetics such as mascara too. 

 

Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease 

 

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a mild, contagious viral infection. It is spread through bodily fluids. Young children often spread this illness by touching their diaper area during diaper changes or bathroom breaks. 

 

Symptoms include a rash on the hands and feet and sometimes buttocks, fever and painful sores in the front of the throat or mouth. 

 

Practice proper hand-washing and avoid close contact with people who are infected with hand-foot-and-mouth disease to reduce your child’s risk of infection and disinfect common areas often.

 

Contact your child’s doctor if the discomfort keeps your child from properly hydrating or if symptoms worsen after a few days. 

 

Mono 

 

Mononucleosis (mono) carries the nickname of the “kissing disease.” The virus that causes mono transmits through saliva, so you can get it through kissing, but exposure also occurs through a cough or sneeze, or food or drink sharing. Adolescent or young adults most commonly contract mono. Young children usually have few symptoms, however, and the infection often goes unrecognized.

 

Symptoms of mono include sore throat, fatigue, fever, headache, rash and swollen lymph nodes in the neck and armpits as well as swollen tonsils. 

 

If your symptoms don’t get better on their own in a week or two, see your doctor. It’s important to be careful of certain complications such as an enlarged spleen. Rest and adequate fluids are vital to recovery.

 

Is your child in need of pediatric care? Find a pediatrician in our online 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 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.

Cache Community Health Center Now Accepting Patients

LCHC Cache Clinic Now Open – Accepting New Patients

Lawton Community Health Center is proud to announce the opening of a new clinic in Cache, Oklahoma. The clinic is the result of a huge demand for additional services in area communities to meet the needs of the under served and improve healthcare opportunities for rural residents in Cache. Access to quality healthcare is critical for rural communities in which they reside. LCHC Cache, will provide services for all ages including adult and pediatric primary care.

The new clinic is located at 512 C Avenue in Cache, Oklahoma. For more information or to make an appointment, contact LCHC Clinic at 580.699.7361.

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