Free flu shots available at Metro, 89 county health departments
07 January, 2018, 01:32
The flu season is off to a fast and brutal start in our region, and it's far worse than what health officials saw a year ago at this time.
The number of influenza cases are up, and Fraser Health is concerned emergency rooms will get plugged up.
OH hasn't reported any flu-associated pediatric deaths so far for this season. There have been no reported deaths in Sequoyah County.
"The patient census has been high the last three days, mostly with older patients who have flu and pneumonia", said Gene Vogelgesang, hospital spokesman.
Health reports state that all of the patients who died from the virus were over the age of 50. Rogers says it's happening at a rapid pace.
There's no requirement for reporting adult flu-associated deaths to public health agencies. This year, the illness has claimed nine lives already. Influenza is easily spread from person to person, and an infected person can spread the virus before they develop symptoms. "Don't go in to work".
Oklahoma County recorded 159 hospitalizations, while Tulsa County recorded 120 hospitalizations.
And Leslie Dougherty, health educator for La Salle County Health Department, said there's no reason to think La Salle County is bucking that trend. "We know that those are uncomfortable and inconvenient, but it's so important to protect those around and our staff". She said it is even more important if their baby is younger than six months and therefore, can not get vaccinated. Cases don't usually peak until later in January or February.
Flu shot or not, experts say, the classic hot water and soap on the regular is key.
Other precautions include washing hands often with soap and water; avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth; and avoiding contact with sick people. "We started going up the second week in December. We just have to be diligent".
Knox County Health Department is providing free flu vaccinations while supplies last at all three of its locations: the main location at 140 Dameron Avenue, West Clinic at 1028 Old Cedar Bluff Road, and Teague Clinic at 405 Dante Road.
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