TULSA, OK – [January 9, 2014] – Due to an increase in flu-related hospitalizations in Oklahoma, 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.
Five deaths were reported in the state during the last week. One death per county has occurred among residents of Tulsa, Kay, LeFlore, Osage and Pittsburg counties.
According to Oklahoma State Department of Health, influenza-associated hospitalizations have nearly doubled in the past week, increasing from 126 to 242 as of January 7. Since Sept. 29, 2013, the largest number of flu-related hospitalizations has been reported among persons aged 50 to 64 (29%) and 65 and older (29%), followed by adults 18 to 49 years (26%), children less than 4 years (13%), and 5 to 17 years (3%).
“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 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 offered to anyone over the age of six months on a walk-in basis Mondays through Thursdays 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Fridays 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the following Tulsa Health Department locations:
James O. Goodwin Health Center located at 5051 S. 129th E. Avenue, Tulsa, OK
Central Regional Health Center located at 315 S. Utica, Tulsa, OK
North Regional Health and Wellness Center located at 5635 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Tulsa, OK
The flu vaccine is also offered at the following locations:
Bixby Health Center
8120 E. 126th Street
Bixby, OK 74008
Call (918) 369-3155 for clinic dates and times
Collinsville Health Center
1201 W. Center
Collinsville, OK 74021
Call (918) 596-8650 for clinic dates and times
Sand Springs Health Center
306 E. Broadway
Sand Springs, OK 74063
Call (918) 591-6100 for clinic dates and times
An annual flu vaccination is recommended for everyone six months and older. Vaccination is especially important for those persons at high risk from flu complications including people 50 years of age and older, young children, persons with chronic lung disease (such as asthma and COPD), diabetes (type 1 and 2), heart disease, neurologic conditions, other long-term health conditions, and pregnant women.
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.
Please visit click here or call the Tulsa Health Department at 918-582-WELL (9355) for more information about flu vaccine, including cost information. Visit www.health.ok.gov for Oklahoma flu updates posted every Thursday.