Community Health News
What's Happening Now?
Mosquito Surveillance in Sedgwick County
Each summer, Sedgwick County and the City of Wichita track mosquito numbers and implement control measures in the area in order to protect the public from diseases, such as West Nile virus, which are spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. West Nile virus positive mosquitoes have been identified in Sedgwick County. Residents are encouraged to eliminate or treat mosquito breeding areas of standing water in their neighborhood. The Sedgwick County Health Department has larvicidal mosquito dunks available for Sedgwick County residents. Contact the Health Department (316) 660-7343 for more information.
For more information about mosquito surveillance in Sedgwick County, view the educational document
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.
Mosquitoes are the primary vector for many diseases, including West Nile virus. As the weather warms up, there is an increased chance for mosquito bites. The best way to prevent West Nile virus infection is to prevent mosquito bites.
Fight the Bite!
To protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites, follow the three D's: Drain, Dress, and DEET
- Drain standing water where mosquitoes live and breed
- Dress in long sleeves and pants when outside
- Wear DEET containing insect repellant
View the Fight the Bite! poster and palm cards
Influenza (Flu) Surveillance
Free flu vaccinations are available for uninsured adults, uninsured children, children covered under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Medicaid (Aetna, Sunflower, or United Healthcare). These vaccinations are administered at the Main Clinic, 2716 W. Central, Wichita. Please call (316) 660-7300 to make an appointment.
Flu vaccines are recommended for anyone six months or older, unless otherwise directed by a physician. It is important to get a flu vaccination every year, as flu strains differ year to year. Sedgwick County wants to remind residents that flu vaccinations protect the person receiving it as well as others who are not able to receive this type of immunization.
Influenza (flu) is a viral infection of the nose, throat, bronchial tubes, and lungs caused by influenza viruses. There are different strains of the flu that can change annually. The best way to prevent flu is to get an annual influenza vaccination (flu shot). Other ways to prevent the spread of disease include washing hands frequently in hot water and soap; coughing and sneezing into an elbow instead of hands; eating healthy foods; getting plenty of rest; and staying home when ill.
For more information on flu in Kansas, visit the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Influenza Surveillance website.
Lead Poisoning Prevention Recipe Book
Lead Poisoning is when lead builds up in the body anywhere from months to years. No amount of lead is safe, especially for kids. Lead Poisoning is more dangerous in children younger than six, because it can affect their mental and physical development. At high levels, lead poisoning can be fatal. Some likely exposures are lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in older buildings. Contaminated water, soil, and air are other sources of exposure. Adults are also exposed to lead if they work with batteries, do home remodeling, go to a shooting range, or work in auto repair shops.
Some of the common symptoms in children include:
- Developmental delay
- Learning difficulties
- Irritability, loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Sluggishness and fatigue
- Abdominal pain
- Hearing loss
In Sedgwick County the most common causes of exposure are:
- Deterioration of home (peeling paint), especially if the home was built prior to 1978.
- Parent occupation/hobby including:
- Home remodeling
- Auto repair
- Shooting range
- Working with metals and doing lead soldering
Because there is still so much unknown about lead, the best way to mitigate high levels is through diet. A diet that is rich is calcium, vitamin c, and iron will help lower the lead levels in children and adults. Sometimes it might be hard for families to know what foods contain these vitamins and mineral. This is where our recipe book comes in. With the recipe book online and available to the public many families would benefit from this. Our newly edited recipe book provides healthy food options for the whole family. Although the book was created to target families with children who have elevated blood lead levels, it can be used by everyone not just those affected by lead. Sometimes it might be hard to know ways to introduce vegetables to children and with some of the easy to make recipes available via the internet, parents have easier access to them and can bookmark them for future reference.
Please view the Lead Recipe Book here.
Severe Pulmonary (Lung) Disease Associated with Vaping (Use of E-Cigarette Products)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), state and local health departments, and other clinical and public health partners are investigating a multistate outbreak of lung injury associated with use of e-cigarette or vaping products. As of October 1, 2019, 1,080 lung injury cases and 18 deaths have been reported in 48 states. All cases have had history of using e-cigarette or vaping products. Most cases have reported using THC-containing products.
At this time, the specific chemical(s) causing the lung injuries remains unknown. No single product or substance has been linked to all lung injury cases. The CDC recommends everyone stop using e-cigarette or vaping devices and products, especially those containing THC.
For more information on the outbreak, please visit the CDC website.
Measles in the United States
Measles outbreaks have been occurring across the country. The best prevention is being up to date on the MMR vaccine that covers measles, mumps, and rubella. If you are wondering if you need to be vaccinated again, the recommendations have not changed:
CDC’s MMR vaccine routine recommendations are as follows:
12 months of age or older should have two doses, the first dose at age 12 to 15 month and the second dose between four to six years (prior to school entry).
If had measles, no need to receive MMR vaccine.
If born before 1957, no need to receive MMR vaccine because presumed exposed to the virus when young.
If born between 1963 and 1967, receive one MMR dose. The vaccine given during those years was not as effective as the current vaccine.
If born after 1967 and vaccinated, no need to receive another MMR vaccine dose.
If unvaccinated or unsure of your vaccination status, receive one MMR vaccine dose. Alternatively, talk to your medical provider about testing for immunity.
Healthcare personnel (not just clinical staff), students at post-secondary institutions (colleges and vocational schools), and international travelers:
Documented (on paper or electronically) two doses of MMR vaccine.
For more information about MMR vaccine, please visit the CDC’s vaccination website (see the Q&A on “Who Should Get MMR Vaccine?” and “Who Does Not Need MMR Vaccine?”)
For more information about the current outbreak, please visit the CDC website.
For more information about measles, please view the SCHD Measles Fact Sheet.
Notifiable Disease Investigations