Four more die from H1N1 virus
BY KIM ARCHER World Staff Writer
Thursday, November 26, 2009
11/26/09 at 4:18 AM
Four more Oklahomans died from the swine flu, bringing the state's total deaths from the novel virus to 38, according to a state report released Wednesday.
Two of the reported deaths were in Tulsa County, it said. The total figure includes a Kay County man who died before the state's new reporting system was initiated Sept. 1.
It still appears that severe illness from the swine flu has peaked in the state.
Hospitalizations fell again last week to 31 from 46 the previous week and 128 the last week of October, a trend that may signal a slowdown in the spread of H1N1, or swine flu virus, officials said.
"It is good news that hospitalizations have fallen," said Larry Weatherford, spokesman for the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
However, he warned swine flu remains widespread throughout the state and people shouldn't let down their guard.
Not only are vaccinations now available to everyone in Oklahoma, but people should remain vigilant in washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home when ill.
The reported deaths may have occurred earlier, but the state can only report them once they have verified the cause as swine flu, Weatherford said.
Weatherford said pandemics tend to come in waves, so the new virus could come back. There are also a handful of seasonal flu cases in the state, with one death reported recently. The seasonal flu typically emerges in November and lasts through March.
Of the recently reported swine flu deaths, two were adults ages 50 to 64 and two were 65 or older, the report shows.
Some 946 Oklahomans have been hospitalized due to complications from the new virus since Sept. 1, and 517 of them were children. Fifty-six of those hospitalized were pregnant women. Some 132 patients were admitted to intensive care, 37 of whom were children.
Upcoming H1N1 vaccine clinics: (open to all)
Pregnant women and children younger than 10 who need
a booster vaccination can go to the Tulsa City-County Health
Department’s walk-in clinics from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., mondays-
Thursdays, and 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Fridays:
- Dec. 3: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Tulsa Community College West
campus, 7505 W. 41st St.
- Dec. 12: 9 a.m. to noon, oral roberts University mabee Center,
7777 S. Lewis Ave.
- James O. Goodwin Health Center, 5051 S. 129th East Ave.
- Central regional Health Center, 315 S. Utica Ave.
- Expo Square Health Center, 4616 E. 15th St.
For a complete list of H1N1 vaccine clinics across the state,
For more information, call the flu hot line 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
weekdays at 595-4500 or 582-9355 or visit tulsaworld.com/swineflu.
Kim Archer 581-8315