FLU SHOT

Pharmacist Luke Haley prepares to give a flu shot at Walgreens at 15th Street and Lewis Ave. Monday, Nov. 25, 2019. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World

The CDC is warning this year’s flu virus is particularly unusual, and it is expected to be severe. The worst of the flu season may still be ahead as flu activity across Oklahoma has ramped up significantly just two weeks into the new year. The number of flu deaths in Oklahoma and Tulsa Counties, and across the state, is on the rise. There has also been a significant increase in the number of influenza related hospitalization across the state. Oklahomans who haven’t received a vaccine yet should make it a priority as soon as possible. The vaccine is one of the most important things we all can do for ourselves and/or our children to protect against the flu and/or reduce complications from the flu.

We urge all Oklahomans who have flu-like symptoms (fever or feeling feverish with chills; cough; sore throat; runny or stuffy nose; muscle or body aches) to seek medical attention and then stay home to recover for at least 24 hours after a fever goes away, without the use of fever-reducing medications. Avoid all public places, including work, school and group events during this time. Staying home protects those around you, especially infants under the age of six months and adults with compromised immune systems who can develop severe complications if they are exposed to the influenza virus.

Another preventive action to stop the spread of germs is handwashing. We urge all Oklahomans to wash hands often throughout each day with soap and warm water, especially after coughing or sneezing.

For more information on how you can stay healthy during this flu season, or for information on receiving a vaccine, visit tulsa-health.org/flu.

Follow me on Twitter @SkiatookJournal.

E-mail lindsey.chastain @skiatookjournal.com

Follow me on Twitter @SkiatookJournal.

E-mail lindsey.chastain@skiatookjournal.com

Managing Editor

Lindsey is the managing editor for the Skiatook Journal. She holds an M.A in English from the University of Central Oklahoma. Prior to the start of her news career in 2011, Renuard was a professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma.