Health Department News

Swim Healthy. Stay Healthy.

Did you know there are billions of germs floating in the water of community pools, splash pads, and other water venues? Pool chemicals kill most germs within minutes, but some live for days, especially in untreated water sources. The average swimmer introduces a number of dirty items into recreational water including hair, saliva, feces, urine, sweat, and many skin products such as lotions, cosmetics and soaps. The germs in the water can lead to illness in both adults and children.

National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month

Every May, the nation turns its attention to teen pregnancy prevention for a full month. National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month (NTPPM) highlights the historic declines in the rates of teen births in the United States. Significant declines have occurred in all 50 states and among all racial/ethnic groups, yet disparities continue.

Family Fun Fest 2018

​Join us on Saturday, June 2nd for Family Fun Fest! The event will include Bounce Houses, Free Snowcones, Free Food, Outdoor Activities, Giveaways, Face Painting, and Toddler Games.

Reducing Tick Exposure

OCCHD Epidemiologists remind the public that warmer weather means people will be outdoors more often and we need to remember some key ways to protect ourselves from not only sunburns, but ticks as well. Ticks can spread diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF), Lyme Disease, and Ehrlichiosis. In Oklahoma, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is common between April and September.

National Women's Health Week

During National Women's Health Week each year, millions of women take steps to improve their health. The week serves as a reminder for women to make their health a priority and build positive health habits for life. The 19th annual National Women's Health Week kicks off on Mother's Day, May 13, and is celebrated through May 19, 2018. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women’s Health leads National Women’s Health Week to encourage all women to be as healthy as possible.

Name Our Mascot!

We have a new mosquito mascot and we need your help to name it! The competition is open until May 31st and the winner will receive a $100 gift card from Oklahoma's Credit Union. The announcement will be made Saturday, June 2nd during our Northeast Family Wellness Festival.

Family Fun Night

Family Fun Night is a FREE family friendly event that teaches and encourages families how to be physically active, eat healthy, and have a fun time together.

National Nurses Week

OCCHD leadership recognizes our public health nurses who work at our three clinics, seven WIC offices, a Tuberculosis Center as well as in programs like Children First, Epidemiology, Fetal Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) and Community Health across the metro.

Take it off Oklahoma!

Join us for the next three months on a journey to help Oklahoma lose weight! Take It Off Oklahoma is a three-month weight loss challenge coordinated by FOX 25 News and the Oklahoma City-County Health Department.

Air Quality Awareness Week

This year's theme is Air Quality Where You Are. The goal is to promote events that increase air quality awareness and inspire people to take steps, no matter how large or small, to reduce their contribution to air pollution.

Healthy Sushi Night

A FREE cooking demo brought to you by the Oklahoma City County Health Department and Whole Foods Market. Come participate in a hands on cooking demonstration in the Oklahoma City County Health Department's state of the art kitchen taught by Registered Dietitian, Minh Chu, in light of Stroke Awareness Month!

Infant Immunizations FAQs

It’s natural you have questions about your child’s vaccines. Read answers to common questions to learn more about vaccine safety, the recommended schedule, how vaccines protect your child from 14 diseases by age two, and more.

National Infant Immunization Week

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is an annual observance to promote the benefits of immunizations and to improve the health of children two years old or younger. Since 1994, local and state health departments, national immunization partners, healthcare professionals, community leaders from across the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have worked together through NIIW to highlight the positive impact of vaccination on the lives of infants and children, and to call attention to immunization achievements.

Child Abuse Prevention Month

April was first declared Child Abuse Prevention Month in 1983. Since then, April has been a time to acknowledge the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse. In 2015, it was reported in the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico that an estimated 683,000 children were victims of child abuse or neglect and 1,670 children died as a result of abuse or neglect.

Joint Council on Public Health Established

Public health leaders from the Oklahoma State Department of Health, OKC-County Health Department and Tulsa Health Department have announced the creation of the Joint Council on Public Health.

The Right To Health

All people deserve the opportunity to live long, healthy and productive lives. In fact, offering all people the tools and conditions associated with better health and less disease is an investment that comes with generations of positive returns.

National Public Health Week 2018

​During each day of National Public Health Week, we will focus on one public health topic. We believe these topic areas are critical to our future success in creating the healthiest nation.

Annual Children First Graduation

​OCCHD will host our 5th annual Children First graduation celebration on Saturday, April 7th from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Northeast Regional Health and Wellness Campus Auditorium at 2600 N.E. 63rd.

Make a Disaster Plan

Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.

6 Ways to End Family Fights Over Dinner

The key to calm, positive meal times is a healthy feeding relationship with an appropriate division of responsibilities between adults and children.

County Health Rankings Released

Published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the County Health Rankings show us where we are doing well and highlight what is working to improve health and wellness in Oklahoma County. Ranking in the top 1/3 of the state for health factors and in the middle for health outcomes, 21 and 28 out of 77, respectively, the County Health Rankings show us where we live matters to our health. OCCHD uses the Rankings, in collaboration with the Wellness Score, to target programming within our community.

First Pediatric Flu Death Reported

OCCHD confirms the first death of a pediatric patient (aged 5-17) from the flu along with seven other deaths this past week. The fatality count in Oklahoma County now stands at 22. An additional 42 hospitalizations are reported, bringing our total up to 587 which is 170 more hospitalizations than the same time last year.

What You Need To Know About Measles

Measles, not to be confused with German measles (rubella), is an extremely contagious disease caused by a virus. A high fever and a red rash covering most of the body develop in almost every case. Measles can also cause pneumonia, deafness, and inflammation of the brain and death.

Free Flu Shots at All OCCHD Clinics

Free flu shots are available at all three convenient clinic locations to those beginning at six months and up. Oklahoma City and County residents are still being encouraged to protect themselves, their families and help prevent the spread of the flu by receiving their vaccine.

Get Flu Shot and Practice Good Hand Hygiene

​OCCHD epidemiologists confirm three additional influenza-associated deaths. Two in the 18-49 age group and one in the 50-64 group in Oklahoma County for the 2017-2018 flu season. Flu has now claimed a total of eight Oklahoma County residents this season. Statewide, the deaths have risen by 18 to 92.

Two More Die From The Flu

OCCHD epidemiologists confirm two additional influenza-associated deaths in Oklahoma County for the 2017-2018 flu season bringing the total to five deaths and 380 hospitalizations this season. Flu has now claimed the lives of 74 Oklahomans this season.

Heart Health Dance for Adults

​Join us on February 9th from 7-10pm at the NE Regional Health and Wellness Center for a Heart Health Dance for singles and couples. This is a FREE and Casual Attire event that will include Heart-Healthy Snacks, Door Prizes, and of course Music & Dancing!

Family Fun Night

​Family Fun Night is a FREE family friendly event that teaches and encourages families how to be physically active, eat healthy, and have a fun time together.

Carbon Monoxide Dangers

Each year, an average of 430 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning, and there are more than 20,000 visits to the emergency room with more than 4,000 hospitalizations. Carbon monoxide-related deaths are highest during colder months.

Cold Weather Dangers

If you detect symptoms of frostbite, which is the freezing of the skin and body tissue beneath the skin, in either yourself or another person, seek medical care IMMEDIATELY. Additionally, hypothermia occurs when one’s body temperature drops to dangerously low levels, so, before addressing symptoms of frostbite, first determine whether you or someone else is showing signs of hypothermia.

Be Prepared for Winter Weather Travel

OCCHD advises residents not to take chances on dealing with dangerous winter conditions, especially when traveling this holiday season. Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Blaine Bolding advises travelers to check local media reports of weather forecasts before making travel plans and to know what the National Weather Service winter storm and blizzard watches mean.

Flu Claims the Lives of Two

​OCCHD epidemiologists confirm two influenza-associated deaths in Oklahoma County for the 2017-2018 flu season. Flu has now claimed the lives of six Oklahomans this season. Oklahoma County’s hospitalizations for the season now stand at 74.

Flu Hospitalizations on the Rise

OCCHD Epidemiologists confirm 44 hospitalizations for the 2017-2018 flu season with no reported deaths to date in the county. Statewide, 179 influenza-related hospitalizations have been noted since September 1, 2017. The largest segment of flu-hospitalizations is coming in persons age 65 and older (44%) followed by 50-64 years (21%) and children from birth to 4 years (15%).

Traveling While Pregnant

There are some pregnancy and travel related concerns; however, the information provided in this article will help make your trip the safest and most comfortable it can be.

Survive Winter Weather Travel with 7 Essentials

When it comes to travel this holiday season don’t take chances on beating potentially dangerous winter weather conditions. At the OKC-County Health Department (OCCHD), we recommend developing a winter weather preparedness plan, which ensures your family’s safety during a major event.

Do You have Diabetes?

The following symptoms of diabetes are typical. However, some people with type 2 diabetes have symptoms so mild that they go unnoticed. Early detection and treatment of diabetes can decrease the risk of developing the complications of diabetes.

Treat Your Diabetes Well

November is National Diabetes Month. Here’s to managing your diabetes for a longer, healthier life. There isn’t a cure yet for diabetes, but a healthy lifestyle can really reduce its impact on your life. What you do every day makes the difference: eating a healthy diet, being physically active, taking medicines if prescribed, and keeping health care appointments to stay on track.

Take 3 Steps to Fight the Flu

OCCHD Epidemiologists advise the current flu vaccine can keep you from getting the flu, make the illness less severe if you do get it, and keep you from spreading the virus to family and friends. The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over six months of age and are approved for use in pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions. There are flu shots specifically for use in people as young as 6 months of age and older.

Holiday Food Safety

Many people don't realize that food safety is the most important ingredient in preparing food for the holidays. This article includes some helpful food safety resources to keep your holidays happy.

Skeeter Meter Status - Normal

OCCHD epidemiologists will use data from the following sources: temperature, mosquito trap counts, disease rate within captured mosquitoes, complaints from residents, human surveillance which includes West Nile Virus (WNV) cases in the state and throughout the Oklahoma County area to determine the risk.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

​Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. Getting mammograms regularly can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer.

Lightning Safety and Outdoor Sports Activities

It’s a common situation — a thunderstorm is approaching or nearby. Are conditions outside safe, or is it time to head for safe place? Not wanting to appear overly cautious, many people wait far too long before reacting to this potentially deadly weather threat.

It’s Open Season on Ticks

Protect yourself from tickborne disease this hunting season! Ticks feed on the blood of animals (such as rodents, rabbits, deer, and birds), but will bite humans too. Ticks live in grassy or wooded areas, or on the animals themselves. Hunting brings you in closer contact with the ticks, so take the proper safety precautions to reduce your chances of being bitten.

Pilot project could improve health, cut costs

Oklahoma City-County Health Department Executive Director Gary Cox said the project is a continuation of a pilot project his agency did that has proven to save money. Cox’s initiative had social workers working with Integris and Mercy emergency department workers to determine which patients used the ERs the most for non-emergency needs. They then connected them with social services or free clinics that can address preventive needs for some health conditions.

OCCHD offers flu vaccines starting Oct 2nd

OCCHD will launch their seasonal flu-vaccine clinics on Monday, October 2nd. The cost for the flu shot is $25. Payment can be made in the form of cash, check or credit card. The vaccine is available at no cost for those who qualify for Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, while supplies last.

Financial Preparedness

Americans at all income levels have experienced the challenges of rebuilding their lives after a disaster or other emergency. In these stressful circumstances, having access to personal financial, insurance, medical, and other records is crucial for starting the process of recovery quickly and efficiently.

Child Passenger Safety Week

Motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death among children in the United States. But many of these deaths can be prevented. Buckling children in age and size-appropriate car seats, booster seats, and seat belts reduces serious and fatal injuries by more than half.

2017 Summit: A Focus on Poverty

The Infant Mortality Alliance 2017 Summit: A Focus on Poverty presents an opportunity for our community to take steps in understanding the impact that poverty has on our most vulnerable families.

Make A Family Communication Plan

Emergencies can happen at any time. Does your family know how to get in touch with each other if you are not all together?

Get Involved Before The Next Disaster

There are many ways to Get Involved especially before a disaster occurs, the content found on this page will guide you find ways to take action in your community. Community leaders agree the formula for ensuring a safer homeland consists of trained volunteers and informed individuals taking action to increase the support of emergency response agencies during disasters.

National Preparedness Month

This September, National Preparedness Month (NPM) will focus on planning, with an overarching theme “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.” We should all take action to prepare! We are all able to help first responders in our community by training how to respond during an emergency and what to do when disaster strikes — where we live, work, and visit.

September is Sexual Health Awareness Month!

September is Sexual Health Awareness Month! OCCHD clinics and staff are dedicated to providing testing and education on reducing your risk for sexually transmitted infections. OCCHD tests for gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, HIV and trichomoniasis (females), and provides on-site treatment for some of these infections. Need testing?

Two People in OKC Confirmed with West Nile Virus

OCCHD epidemiologists report two human cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Oklahoma County of the mosquito season. WNV is the most common mosquito-borne disease in Oklahoma, and it’s a deadly threat especially to Senior Adults. WNV symptoms include fever, headache, body ache and sometimes a rash.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Vaccination is one of the best ways parents can protect infants, children, and teens from 16 potentially harmful diseases. Vaccine-preventable diseases can be very serious, may require hospitalization, or even be deadly — especially in infants and young children.

Time For Back to School Immunizations

Vaccination is one of the best ways parents can protect infants, children, and teens from 16 potentially harmful diseases. Vaccine-preventable diseases can be very serious, may require hospitalization, or even be deadly — especially in infants and young children.

2017 Wellness Score Available Online

OCCHD) has released the new 2017 Wellness Score online, outlining improvements in many of the 14 measured health outcomes ranging from deaths due to heart disease, stroke, cancer and even suicide. The report provides zip code level data, making it relevant to residents and community leaders in both quality of life and planning efforts.

Were You Exposed to a Rabid Kitten?

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is looking for anyone who had direct contact with a rabid kitten found in the area of N.W. 10th and Purdue Street near the Central Oklahoma Winnelson Company on or around June 8.

Fast Facts About Skin Cancer

Even if it’s cool and cloudy, you still need protection. UV rays, not the temperature, do the damage. Tanned skin is damaged skin. Any change in the color of your skin after time outside—whether sunburn or suntan—indicates damage from UV rays. Anyone can get skin cancer, but some things put you at higher risk.

West Nile Virus is in OKC

Epidemiologists and consumer protection investigators remind residents to be proactive in preventing breeding grounds for mosquitoes that can spread illnesses by paying attention to your property and avoiding exposure.

2017 Wellness Score Preview Released

Oklahoma City-County Health Department (OCCHD) announced today the preliminary release of the new 2017 Wellness Score, outlining improvements in many of the 14 measured health outcomes ranges from deaths due to heart disease, stroke, cancer and even suicide.

Oklahoma Coalition Receives $4.5M Grant

The federal government has selected Oklahoma’s Route 66 Coalition to receive a $4.5M grant to create an Accountable Health Community where social issues and needs, and not just medical needs, are addressed to improve health.

The Kresge Foundation Public Health Initiative

Kresge’s Emerging Leaders in Public Health was designed to provide public health leaders of county and local health departments opportunities to build additional knowledge and skills to tackle challenges public health professionals face in their communities. The initiative is designed to develop local public health leaders in pairs, and each pair includes the health officer and a future leader from the public health agency.

National Public Health Week 2017

OCCHD kicks off National Public Health Week beginning Monday, April 3, by encouraging Oklahoma City and OK County residents to choose better food, drink more water and get active. OCCHD celebrates the power of prevention, advocating for healthy and fair policies, sharing strategies on successful partnerships and championing the role of a strong public health system.

OCCHD and OSDH Addressing Syphilis Outbreak

OCCHD and OSDH confirmed today an outbreak of more than 75 diagnosed syphilis cases in Oklahoma County connected to a specific social network between the ages of 14 and 47 years old. The most common risk factors associated with this increase include drug use, exchanging sex for money or drugs, or having multiple sex partners.

Spring Break and Zika

Did you travel to another country for spring break? Check out the CDC map for Zika travel recommendations in each country and view a list of symptoms.

OCCHD, INTEGRIS Win Health Award

​OCCHD and INTEGRIS Health are the inaugural winners of the Public Health Foundation’s (PHF) Future of Population Health Award. It recognizes exemplary practice by hospitals and health systems that are collaborating with public health departments and other community partners on health improvement strategies and implementation efforts.

Seniors at Risk for Flu-Related Death

OCCHD reports flu-associated deaths rose by four people this week bringing the total to five for the season in Oklahoma County. Three of the deaths were 65 years old and older, and the fourth patient was in the 50 to 64 age group.

First Flu Death Confirmed

OCCHD recommends flu vaccinations and effective hand hygiene to avoid the ravages of flu this season. This comes after our first flu-related death of the season.

OCCHD Named Health Champion

OCCHD is excited to announce today that it’s been chosen as one of six companies and organizations from Central Oklahoma to be a designated Health Champion as part of the American Diabetes Association’s Wellness Lives HereTMinitiative.

Legal Assistance Available at Health Clinics

OKC-County Health Department (OCCHD) and Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma (LASO) announced today a new medical-legal partnership (MLP) to provide free legal assistance on-site at two county community health centers.

10 Reasons to Get Vaccinated

Is staying healthy a part of your New Year's resolution? Make sure you are up to date on recommended vaccines.

Avoid Illness After a Power Outage

If the power in your home goes out for more than a few hours, OKC-County Health Department food safety experts say it’s important to determine whether or not the food stored in your refrigerator and freezer is still safe to cook, eat or refreeze.

Cervical Health Awareness Month

Prevent Cervical Cancer with the Right Test at the Right Time! Screening tests with pap smears can find abnormal cells so they can be treated before they turn into cancer.

Food Safety Tips for the Holidays

Feasting with family and friends is part of many holiday celebrations. Follow these simple tips to keep safe from food poisoning, or foodborne illness, during the holidays.

Stay Safe and Healthy this Winter!

Winter storms and cold temperatures can be hazardous. Stay safe and healthy by planning ahead. Prepare your home and cars. Prepare for power outages and outdoor activity. Check on older adults.

It's Not Too Late To Get A Flu Shot!

Don't forget to get your flu shot! Flu season begins in the fall and lasts through the winter. Peak months include late November-March.

Don't Forget to Vote!

Don’t forget to vote on election day November 8th for the School Bond Issue.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is breast cancer awareness month. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States (other than skin cancer). But millions of women are surviving the disease thanks in part to early detection and improvements in treatment.

September is Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month

September is National Infant Mortality Awareness month and community partners in Oklahoma County are coming together and have designated the month of September as Safe Sleep September.

Family Fun Day 2016

The OKC-County Health Department hosted a Family Day on July 17th at 2810 NE 63rd St.

2016 Zarrow Symposium

This year's Zarrow Symposium is at the Cox Business Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma September 28-30, 2016.

Zika Virus Information

Learn about what the Zika virus is, where it occurs and how people get affected.