To protect the health of our community, Public Health continues to monitor a variety of communicable diseases so that we can respond as necessary. This fall, we’re paying special attention to the following:
Ebola—What’s our risk?
- The risk of an Ebola outbreak in the United States is very low.
- On 9/30/2014, a travel-associated case of Ebola was diagnosed in Texas. Two other Ebola cases developed, related to that one. While it’s possible we could see additional isolated cases in the U.S., it’s unlikely these cases would cause a widespread outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and partners are taking precautions to prevent this from happening.
- Even though the risk is low, Public Health is working with our health system partners in Washington and Oregon to plan and prepare should we ever get a case in our region.
- Ebola does not spread easily. It spreads only through direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone who has symptoms of the disease. More information
This year, enterovirus-D68 (EV-D68) is causing respiratory illness in children nationwide. Enteroviruses commonly cause coughing, sneezing, and fever, especially in children and teens.
Children with asthma may be at greater risk for severe respiratory illness from EV-D68. Get your child a flu vaccine, since flu and other respiratory infections can trigger an asthma attack. Severe symptoms of EV-D68 may include wheezing and difficulty breathing. Call your child's doctor if your child is having difficulty breathing, if you feel you are unable to control symptoms, or if symptoms are getting worse.
The CDC expects the number of EV-D68 cases to taper off by late fall. In the meantime, here are some ways to keep your child from getting and spreading EV-D68.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact (kissing, hugging, sharing cups or eating utensils) with people who are sick.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve, not your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs
- Stay home when sick; keep sick children out of school.
Get vaccinated now for early, season-long protection against flu. There’s plenty of vaccine available at local clinics and pharmacies. Everyone six months and older should get vaccinated soon. Flu season starts early some years. It takes two weeks after you get vaccinated for protection to take effect, so don’t wait until flu is widely circulating before you get your shot. A contagious respiratory disease, flu kills more people in the U.S. than any other vaccine-preventable disease. On average, nearly 24,000 people die each year of flu, and more than 200,000 are hospitalized. Flu shots remain the best method of preventing flu-related illness and missed days at school or work. More information
Request for public records
To request public records involving Public Health, please submit a signed request form (PDF) to Clark County Public Health, 1601 E. Fourth Plain Blvd., PO Box 9825, Vancouver, WA 98666 or FAX to (360) 397-8091.
For questions regarding public records call (360) 397-8477 or email Julie.Grimm@clark.wa.gov.