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Community Health News

What's Happening Now?


In light of international Ebola events and growing concern about the presence of Ebola in the United States, Sedgwick County public health officials and our partners—emergency responders, health care professionals, United Way 2-1-1, and more—are meeting regularly about community preparedness should a potential case of Ebola arise in Sedgwick County. Read through the following resources to learn more about Ebola:

Ebola Fact Sheet

Am I At Risk?
Ebola is a rare disease and is only transmitted by direct contact with an infected person’s blood or bodily fluids. Symptoms of Ebola include: fever, headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and unexplained bleeding or bruising. Only people who are exhibiting these symptoms AND meet one of the following criteria are at risk for having Ebola:

    1. Have recently traveled to an affected area in Africa
    2. Have had directed contact with a person who exhibiting Ebola symptoms and has recently traveled to Africa.

For statewide information and guidance on Ebola, visit the Kansas Department of Health and Environment website.

Ebola information from KDHE

For national information and guidance on Ebola, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Ebola information from the CDC


Enterovirus is a common virus that usually causes no symptoms or mild cold-like (respiratory) symptoms, especially in infants, children and teens.

Recently, Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City noticed a dramatic increase in hospitalized children with severe respiratory symptoms. Because of the increase in cases, specimens were tested at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and found positive for a specific type of enterovirus, enterovirus D68 (EV-D68). More than half of the hospitalized children had a history of asthma or wheezing.

Hospitals in Wichita are not reporting an increase in respiratory illness. No EV-D68 has been identified in Sedgwick County.

You cannot tell if a child with a cold has enterovirus. There are many viruses that cause cold-like symptoms and most of the time a person's body fights the mild infection successfully. Seek medical attention if you or a child under your care is having trouble breathing. Children who have asthma should be monitored carefully.

Enterovirus is spread through contact with nose and mouth secretions. There is no specific treatment for enterovirus and other respiratory viruses other than managing symptoms (fever reducer, inhaler, etc.).

Prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after using the toilet or changing diapers
  • Avoiding close contact, such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils, with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.

Influenza (Flu)

Influenza (flu) is a viral infection of the nose, throat, bronchial tubes at lungs. There are different strains of the flu that change annually. Read an influenza fact sheet to learn more about more about the flu and flu vaccines.

The Sedgwick County Health Department began providing flu shots to the follow groups on October 1:
  • Free flu shots to uninsured adults age 19 and older
  • Flu shots to uninsured children age 18 and younger, and children with state-sponsored insurance plans such as Medicaid, Amerigroup, UnitedHealthcare or Sunflower

Residents who qualify may visit the health department's clinic at 2716 W. Central in Wichita.

If you do not qualify for a free flu shot, please visit your primary care physician or neighborhood pharmacy to receive one. Flu shots are recommended for anyone older than 6 months, unless otherwise directed by a physician. It is important to get a flu shot every year, as the most prevalent flu strain(s) is usually different from year to year. Flu shots protect the person receiving it, as well as others who are not able to receive this type of vaccination.

Mosquito Trapping and Monitoring

The first human case of West Nile virus in Sedgwick County in 2014 was reported in late September. The case is an adult who had been traveling out of state. The person was not hospitalized and has since recovered.

Weekly results from nine trap locations, May 13, 2014 to October 21, 2014.

Mosquito Surveillance in Sedgwick County

The graph shows the number of mosquitoes indentified in traps set in Sedgwick County (in and around the Wichita metropolitan area). Mosquito trapping is performed by the Kansas Biological Survey and coordinated by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

The Culex species of mosquitoes are the primary vector for West Nile virus in the United States and Kansas. An increase in mosquitoes, especially Culex species, may indicate an increased risk of West Nile virus (WNV) infection in humans. WNV is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds.

Fight the Bite! Avoid mosquito bites by following the three Ds:

  • DRAIN: Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes live and breed
  • DRESS: Cover your skin with clothing when outdoors
  • DEET: Use insect repellents that contain DEET

Learn more about West Nile virus prevention.

Notifiable Disease Investigations

 Week ending November 8, 2014 through week ending December 13, 2014

Notifiable Diseases Graph by Category

Read about the epidemiology (disease investigation) program at the Sedgwick County Health Department

Sedgwick County...working for you

Mission: To assure quality public services that provide for the present and future well-being of the citizens of Sedgwick County.