Local Health Departments Seeking Public's Help In Light of Illness Outbreak
Oklahoma City – The Oklahoma State Department of health is working with Custer and Caddo County Health Departments and other local partners, as they expand their investigation into the cause of an increased number of cases of Campylobacter and Shiga-toxin producing E. coli. The expansion includes a secure, electronic survey of all Custer County, Hydro, Hinton and Lookeba residents. The surveys will be shared with residents through the local Emergency Alert System. These surveys are seeking to find additional illnesses that may not have presented to a healthcare provider, as well as the differences in recent activities between those who have been sick and those that have not. The information collected is secure and will only be used for the purpose of determining a cause of illness. Health officials are asking the survey be completed for each individual in the household. “This type of survey is extremely useful when investigating the cause of illness,” says Jolianne Stone, Oklahoma state epidemiologist. “The task of identifying a source is rigorous and we are diligently working to use all resources available to help pinpoint the cause. We appreciate the public’s help and patience as we work to find the source.” The outbreak of the Campylobacter and Shiga-toxin producing E. coli was identified Oct. 25, 2022 in the Hydro and Weatherford area. Since the onset of the outbreak, OSDH and the local county health departments have worked with other partners to conduct tests and individual surveys of those who have presented with the illness. Person-to-person spread is rare with these illnesses, rather it is more common to contract these illnesses through consumption of undercooked meat, contaminated raw milk or water and the handling of raw poultry or pork without washing hands or surfaces properly. If you or someone in your family is experiencing diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and muscle aches, we encourage you to seek medical care. Consider asking your healthcare provider to test for common stomach illnesses caused by bacteria. Individuals experiencing the symptoms above should avoid public areas until 24 hours after symptoms have gone away. For further questions, please contact 211, the Custer County Health Department at (580) 772- 6417 or Caddo County Health Department (405) 247-2507. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) protects and improves public health through its system of local health services and strategies focused on preventing disease. OSDH provides technical support and guidance to 68 county health departments in Oklahoma, as well as guidance and consultation to the two independent city-county health departments in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Learn more at Oklahoma.gov/health.