Health Tips from Rogers County Health Department

The Rogers County Health Department offers suggestions for preventing West Nile Virus and heat illnesses, as well as info on school immunizations for children.

By: Value News | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: August 2013

The Rogers County Health Department reminds parents and caregivers that now is the time for them to check records and schedule appointments for their children needing vaccines.

The Rogers County Health Department reminds parents and caregivers that now is the time for them to check records and schedule appointments for their children needing vaccines.

Preventing WNV
    Rogers County Health Department officials encourage Rogers County residents to take precautions to reduce the risk of contracting West Nile virus (WNV), a mosquito-borne ­illness. Summertime typically marks the beginning of the high risk period for exposure to WNV in Oklahoma, with outdoor activities providing opportunities for encountering WNV-infected mosquitoes. “We want to remind everyone to use insect repellent when outdoors and mosquito-proof their home and yard,” said Rogers County Health Department Administrative Director Mary Beth Murray. Among the precautions to take against mosquito bites are the ­following:

  • Use an insect repellent containing DEET on exposed skin and clothing when you go outdoors, particularly if you are outside between dusk and dawn when WNV-infected mosquitoes are more likely to bite. (Insect repellent with permethrin should be used on clothing only.)
  • Repair or install window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
  • Prevent items such as buckets, cans, pool covers, flower pots, and tires from holding standing water so mosquitoes don’t have a place to breed.
  • Empty your pet’s outdoor water bowl and refill daily.
  • Clean leaves and debris from rain gutters regularly to ensure they are not clogged.

Preventing Heat Illnesses
    The Rogers County Health Department advises everyone to take precautions to protect their health against heat-related illnesses that may cause heat stroke or death. “The elderly, infants and young children are at higher risk of heat-related illnesses. They may not be able to adjust to increases in air temperatures, or may take medications that decrease their ability to deal with heat,” said Murray. “Heat precautions are also advised for persons with heart, lung or kidney problems and persons whose occupations require them to work outdoors.” To reduce the potential for heat-related illnesses:

  • Drink more fluids, regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink. (Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has prescribed “water pills,” ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot.)
  • Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar; these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
  • Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library.
  • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Never leave any person or pets in a closed, parked vehicle.
  • If you must be out in the heat:
  • Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
  • Cut down on exercise. Drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour.
  • Try to rest often in shady areas.
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher.

 Immunizations for Next School Year
    The Rogers County Health Department reminds parents and caregivers that now is the time for them to check records and schedule appointments for their children entering kindergarten or the 7th grade to receive any needed vaccines. Most children entering kindergarten will need the following required vaccines:  

  • Second dose of MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine)
  • 4th dose of polio
  • 5th dose of DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccines)
  • A second dose of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine is also recommended at this age.

    Parents of children who have moved here from other states should check their children’s records for hepatitis A vaccination, which is required for students in all grades in Oklahoma.
    Students who will enter the 7th grade are required to have a Tdap booster. Teens in the 8th and 9th grades must also have one dose of Tdap if they have not received it already. Tdap protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough), which continues to circulate in Oklahoma causing serious illness in babies and toddlers.
    The Rogers County Health Department also encourages parents to consider the following two vaccines for their preteens and teens: HPV (human papillomavirus vaccine) and MCV4 (meningococcal vaccine). For more information about childhood immunizations and schedules, contact the Rogers County Health Department at (918) 341-3166 or visit online at

For more information, contact

Rogers County Health Department

(918) 341-3166

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Rogers County Health Department

For more information, contact:

Rogers County Health Department

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