TULSA, OK – [December 6, 2018] – The Oklahoma State Department of Health today reported the first influenza-associated death in Tulsa County for the 2018-2019 flu season. Flu has now claimed the lives of six Oklahomans this season. According to OSDH, there have been 134 influenza-associated hospitalizations statewide since September 1, 2018.
As the flu season continues, the Tulsa Health Department encourages all individuals six months and older to get a flu vaccination. The best prevention against the flu is to receive the vaccine. The flu vaccine can keep you from getting the flu, make the illness less severe if you do get it, and keep you from spreading the virus to family and other people.
“Individuals who receive the flu vaccine are not only protecting themselves but also those around them, including babies too young to receive a vaccination,” said Tulsa Health Department Executive Director Dr. Bruce Dart. “We still have flu vaccine available, so if you haven’t already, now is the time to get your flu vaccination.”
The flu vaccine is still available at no cost while supplies last to anyone over the age of six months on a walk-in basis Mondays through Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the following Tulsa Health Department locations:
• James O. Goodwin Health Center | 5051 S. 129 E. Ave., Tulsa, OK
• Central Regional Health Center | 315 S. Utica, Tulsa, OK
• North Regional Health and Wellness Center | 5635 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Tulsa OK
The flu vaccine will also be offered at these locations:
• Collinsville Community Health Center | 1201 W. Center, Collinsville, OK
Call (918) 582-9355 clinic dates and times
• Sand Springs Health Center | 306 E. Broadway, Sand Springs, OK
Call (918) 582-9355 clinic dates and times
The 2018-2019 seasonal flu vaccination requires only one shot for most individuals. Children under age nine who have not received two flu immunizations before July 1, 2018 will need a second dose at least four weeks after receiving the first dose.
The vaccine is recommended for everyone over six months of age. Persons at high risk of serious complications from flu are strongly recommended to get the flu vaccine, including children younger than 5, older people, pregnant women and those with asthma, diabetes, or other chronic conditions. Parents and family members of babies less than 6 months of age and people who live with or care for anyone at high risk for complications from the flu, including health care workers, should also get the vaccine.
In addition to getting your flu shot, the Tulsa Health Department reminds you to follow these prevention tips:
• Frequent hand washing using soap and water, or alcohol-based products such as hand gels when hands are not visibly soiled.
• Make “respiratory hygiene” a habit, including use of tissues to cover coughs and sneezes, then disposing of them and washing hands at once. When tissues are not readily available, use your sleeve, never your hands.
• Stay home from work, school, and other public places if you are ill. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health report, the 2017-2018 flu season resulted in 291 deaths and 4,810 hospitalizations to Oklahomans. Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is a contagious disease that spreads around the United States every year, usually between October and May. Flu is caused by influenza viruses, and is spread mainly by coughing, sneezing, and close contact. Anyone can get flu. Flu strikes suddenly and can last several days. Symptoms vary by age, but can include: fever/chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache and runny or stuffy nose. Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus and ear infections are examples of complications from flu. If you have a medical condition, such as heart or lung disease, flu can make it worse. Each year thousands of people in the United States die from flu, and many more are hospitalized.
For more information please visit www.tulsa-health.org for more information about the flu, including flu vaccination clinic locations and hours of operation. THD is also offering a Tulsa County specific report based on OSDH’s weekly report found here: http://bit.ly/THDfludata