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.

 

 

Cervical Cancer Awareness Month Teal Ribbon

Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

Cervical Health Awareness Month is a chance to raise awareness about how women can protect themselves from HPV (human papillomavirus) and cervical cancer. HPV is a very common infection that spreads through sexual activity, and it causes almost all cases of cervical cancer.

About 79 million Americans currently have HPV. Many people with HPV don’t know they are infected. And each year, more than 11,000 women in the United States get cervical cancer.

The good news?

  • The HPV vaccine (shots) can prevent HPV.
  • Cervical cancer can often be prevented with regular screening tests and follow-up care.

Cervical cancer screenings can help detect abnormal (changed) cells early, before they turn into cancer. Most deaths from cervical cancer could be prevented by regular screenings and follow-up care.

girl needing vitamin d

How to get More Vitamin D in the Winter

Getting sufficient vitamin D is important for your health. A simple blood test ordered by your doctor can confirm your body’s levels. According to a study referenced by U.S. News and World Report, as many as 91% of Americans working indoors are not receiving enough of this vitamin! 1

 

Depending on where you live in the world and what kind of lifestyle you lead, you may be at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency. Some of those at increased risk include people with dark skins, older adults who are housebound, pregnant and breastfeeding women and those with certain medical conditions including, cystic fibrosis, liver disease, Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease.

 

Vitamin D levels drop in the winter 

 

Vitamin D aids in developing a healthy immune system, bones, and supports cognitive functioning. It is known as the “sunshine vitamin” because the easiest method of obtaining it is to spend some time in the sun. Anyone who wears clothing that covers most of their skin when outdoors may not be getting enough sun exposure to make their own vitamin D.

 

Vitamin D is also an important steroid that functions like a hormone in the body. It regulates the functions of more than 200 genes.

 

Though using sunscreen is normally the safest way to enjoy the sunshine, going without it for short periods of time is the key to making your own vitamin D. Sunscreen with SPF 15 decreases the synthesis of Vitamin D by 99% when used as directed, so wait a moment or two before applying when outdoors.

 

Many of us avoid spending much time outdoors in the winter due to cooler temperatures, however. Thankfully, there are other ways to get this essential vitamin even when the sun isn’t shining. 

 

How can we obtain vitamin D without sunlight?

 

There are two main forms of vitamin D. Vitamin D2 is from plant sources. Vitamin D3 is a more active form from animal sources. Both animals and plants receive vitamin D from sunlight exposure. Vitamin D3 may be consumed by eating meat or other animal products such as milk and cheese.

 

Oily fish is a great source of vitamin D to add to your diet. Oily fish includes flounder, Sockeye salmon, sole, tuna, sardines, mackerel, swordfish, sturgeon, whitefish, and rainbow trout. Just a palm-sized serving of these fish may help get anywhere from 75%- 100% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin D. 

 

Though mushrooms are actually fungi, they are the only non-animal source of naturally occurring vitamin D. Wild mushrooms, especially those exposed to UV light have the greatest content of this essential vitamin.  Around 1 cup of raw UV-exposed mushrooms meets or exceeds your daily needs.

 

Many grocery store items have also been fortified in vitamin D. Such items include milk, orange juice, soy milk, and yogurt. 

 

Cod liver oil in liquid form or gel capsules is another great way to receive Vitamin D. Lastly, a supplement may also be needed to achieve healthy Vitamin D levels. Before taking supplements, always discuss them with your doctor. Find a list of our physicians at CCMHHealth.com/providers/.

 

Source 

 

1 Howley, Elaine K. U.S. News and World Report. What’s the Connection Between Vitamin D and Breast Cancer? 27 Jun. 2017.

 

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.

First in Oklahoma Primary Heart Attack Center

First in Oklahoma Primary Heart Attack Center

Comanche County Memorial Hospital earned Advanced Certification by the Joint Commission and the American Heart Association for Primary Heart Attack Centers! This means when you come to CCMH for a heart attack, you can be sure you’ll receive the next generation of cardiac care. A big thanks to Nick Eimers-Mosier who was instrumental in getting this certification completed, along with Debbie Cofer and Dr. Tom Swierkosz for their guidance. This successful survey demonstrates the consistent teamwork and process improvement between, EMS, ED, Cath Lab, CVCU, Critical Care and Cardiac Rehab. “Congratulations to the Heart and Vascular team for this outstanding achievement,” says Brent Smith, CEO. “This certification reflects our commitment to providing the highest quality of care for cardiac patients.”

always sick child

Should I be Worried if my Child is Always Sick?

This time of the year, some parents may grow concerned that they are spending all their time at their pediatrician’s office or the pharmacy. Many young children seem to constantly battle colds, respiratory infections and every “bug” that goes around. Although any loving parents would worry, chances are there is little reason to be concerned. If you’re a parent fighting this battle, here are a few answers to the questions you have to ease your mind. 

 

Is it allergies or a cold?

 

Signs of allergies in a child over two include:

 

constant nose rubbing

clear mucus running from  nose for over a month

excessive sneezing 

 

These symptoms definitely point to allergies if they occur during the spring or fall when pollination occurs.  Depending on what the allergy is to, however, these symptoms may occur year-round. Your pediatrician can help you discover the cause of your child’s allergies. 

 

What is the cause of my child’s cold?

 

You may worry your child lacks vitamins or the cold outdoors is causing their illness. Colds do not occur due to a lack of vitamins or a poor diet. Weather conditions also do not affect illnesses as we discussed in our blog, 5 Winter Health Facts

 

Colds are an unavoidable part of growing up. You can’t prevent them other than avoiding coming in contact with cold germs. Although, you really shouldn’t hope to avoid colds completely. They help build up your child’s immune system. 

 

So although it is hard to see your child under the weather, be thankful they are getting this immunity boost at a young age. Most children, even those that seem to always struggle with illness, will greatly improve by mid-elementary school. So the “good news” is your child should miss more of their less academically challenging school days during their preschool and kindergarten years as opposed to their more academically advanced years.  

 

How many colds per year is normal for kids?

 

Most children start to get colds after about six months of age. This is when the immunity they received from their mom fades. After that, they have to build up their own immune system.

 

Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers may get as many as seven to eight colds a year! At school age, they average five to six colds a year. Teenagers and adults may have as many as four colds a year.

 

If you’re a parent though, you know it isn’t the only illness your child has to deal with, unfortunately. Children may have a diarrheal illness, with or without vomiting, two to three times a year too! Some children get high fevers with their colds. They may also have a sensitive tummy and develop diarrhea with cold symptoms.

 

What about ear infections?

 

If your child gets a lot of ear infections it doesn’t mean that your child has a serious health problem. This only means that the tubes in the ear aren’t draining properly. And if your child has repeated ear infections, talk to your child’s pediatrician to see if they need to see an ears, nose, throat specialist. Ear tube surgery is a simple procedure that can help many children while others will outgrow this problem before age two. 

 

What is a sign I should be concerned about frequent child illnesses?

 

Consider your child’s overall health. If he is gaining weight and robust, you shouldn’t worry. Your child is no sicker than the average child of their age. Children get over colds by themselves. Although you can reduce the symptoms, you can’t shorten the course of each cold.

 

Many parents worry that their child has an underlying disease because they get a lot of colds. A child with health concerns does not look well in between illnesses, will experience hospitalizations and not gain weight.

 

 A child with an immune system disease doesn’t get more colds than the average child. They will, however, experience numerous serious infections every year such as pneumonia before they are even a year old. In addition, a child with a serious disease does not gain weight very well or look well between infections.

 

When can my child return to school after illness?

 

The first five days of a virus are the hardest.  Cold symptoms can often linger for two to three weeks. As long as your child is fever free for 24 hours, there is no reason she cannot attend the majority of her normal activities. Sports and gym activities may need to wait for a few additional days until he feels up to it. 

 

Parents, hang in there! Winter bugs will be gone before you know it! If you have concerns about your child’s health, however, please reach out to a CCMH Pediatrician today. 

 

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.

A Message From Brent Smith, CEO

A Message from Brent Smith, CEO

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for all your efforts throughout 2019. The success of our hospital is built on the efforts of our employees and in this past year, we have enjoyed many successes. Thank you for the dedication, loyalty and commitment that each one of you has shown to our patients and each other.

We’ve come through a year that was filled with both challenges and victories. How reassuring it’s been to know that we can count on all of you regardless of what faces us. On behalf of Comanche County Memorial Hospital, please allow me to extend my personal and genuine appreciation to each and every one of you for your valuable contributions to this organization.

Working with you this past year has been a pleasure and I’m proud to have you all on our team. Best wishes and happiness to you and your families as we all look forward to a successful and healthy 2020.

Brent Smith, Chief Executive Officer

CCMH Leadership with certificates of appreciation from Lawton Chamber & State Representatives

CCMH Recognized for Continued Support of Chamber’s Mission

The Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce recognized CCMH for its continued and considerable support of the chamber’s mission. A proclamation was also given to CCMH and was the brain-child of Representative Daniel Pae and signed by Representatives Daniel Pae & Rande Worthen and Senators John Michael Montgomery and Chris Kidd.

girl outside in winter

5 Winter Health Facts

From the cold to the flu- we all do our best to avoid winter illnesses. Being cautious and taking measures to avoid these illnesses is always a good practice, but are some of the common steps we take unnecessary? Let’s sort out fact from fiction with these 5 winter health facts! 

 

You don’t get sick because it is cold 

 

The cold itself is not the reason for illness. How soon the temperature changes also has little effect on the spread of illness.  Therefore, habits your mother warned you against such as sleeping with wet hair won’t bring on an illness. 

In the colder months, we spend more time indoors and in close quarters with others and their viruses. This is what causes you to be under the weather.

 

You can’t get the flu from the flu shot 

 

There is no virus in the injection, so it won’t give you the flu. The nasal spray vaccine may cause mild flu symptoms, however. Although receiving the flu shot does not guarantee that you won’t get the flu, it will protect you from the most common strains of flu. Your symptoms won’t be as severe if you do get sick also.

 

You lose little heat through your head 

 

Any uncovered body part is going to lose heat, and you only lose about 10% from your head. Wearing a hat in the cold is always a good idea, but a hat alone is not enough to protect you from the elements. Be sure to appropriately clothe your entire body when out in the elements.  

 

Green mucus is not a sign of a bacterial infection

 

People often think when they cough up green mucus that they have an infection. This actually means that whatever illness you have is coming to an end, however.

Yellow mucus indicates that your body is still fighting whatever is making you sick. Clear mucus is often present at the beginning stages of illness.

 

Shoveling snow increases your risk of heart attack 

 

Although it sounds crazy, this is true! Thankfully, we don’t have to shovel snow very often around here, but this is how it happens: cold constricts your arteries, increasing the demands on your heart. Shoveling then adds to that demand. Shoveling is more stressful on the heart than most winter sports! In a matter of minutes, your heart rate reaches a dangerous point. 

If you are healthy and active, you should not be concerned. Many don’t know they have health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol, however, so it is best to exercise caution if you need to shovel snow by using a small shovel and taking breaks. 

If you are 60 or older, discuss your winter activities with your doctor. 

 

Has a winter health issue got you down? Reach out to our CCMH Physician Referral Line to find an appointment today! 

 

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.

CCMH Annual Holiday Meal

Thanks to Food & Nutrition Services for the beautiful and delicious Holiday meal last Wednesday. Lisa Van Brunt, Director of Food & Nutrition Services, and her staff prepared prime steak, turkey and all the trimmings for the annual free feast for all of our employees. They served 1,357 people during lunch and dinner. Thanks for all you do! Life Work Balance handed out gloves and wooden ornaments.

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