Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

September 27, 2012

Clinics gear up for 2012 flu season

TAHLEQUAH — After the extended impact created by the H1N1 flu virus in 2009, predicting the flu season has become near impossible.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu activity commonly peaks during the winter months of January and February, but seasonal flu activity can start as early as October and last deep into May.

Because of the out-of-season cases of flu reported three years ago during the H1N1 strain, the CDC now recommends health officials begin administering flu vaccinations as soon as the flu-strain counteragent is made available, said W.W. Hastings Hospital Dr. Brandon Taylor.

“It’s pretty interesting the H1N1 virus of 2009 really changed the way that we focus on vaccinating patients. It was usually done by region, based on when it was predicted based on patterns of history when you should immunize. Well, H1N1 changed that,” he said.

“You may recall it was all year long, all the time, and so the recommendations have changed. As soon as you have vaccine, you should start administering it. You’ve seen here in town all the pharmacies offer it, and we’re in September. That’s normal and that’s OK. And that’s recommended by the CDC.”

The CDC recommends anyone over the age of 6 months and older get a flu shot. The W.W. Hastings Hospital free flu vaccination clinic, which is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the hospital’s cafe, is for Cherokee Nation citizens and other tribal health patients began Sept. 17 and will conclude this Thursday, Sept. 28. A spokesperson for the Cherokee County Health Department reported flu vaccinations have not been received, but will be informing the community of its availability at a later date.

“We’ve done it a week already, and we’ve administered almost 700 vaccines,” said Taylor. “We have had at least one case of the flu here locally. Again, it’s a little but unusual to see it this early, but it’s becoming more and more common to see cases of the flu in August and September.”

Each year, experts from the Food & Drug Administration, World Health Organization, the CDC and other institutions study virus samples collected from around the world to identify the flu viruses that are likely to cause illness during the current flu season.

Taylor said this year’s vaccine formulation is expected to deliver the protection intended.

“There’s no predicted concern like we had with the H1N1 virus in 2009. It appears the vaccine this year is very effective and it’s going to cover all the ones that we’re concerned about,” he said. “The vaccine is the easiest and safest way to prevent a person from contracting the illness, and if they do get it, then the symptoms will be less severe and the patient will recover faster.”

And it’s a superstition that getting a flu shot will make a person sick, Taylor said.

“That really is a myth. Certainly the flu vaccine is tailored to hit specific strains of the influenza virus every year, and the vaccine can vary from year to year,” he said. “So that’s not to say that it covers every strain of the flu that’s out there. If the patient gets sick after receiving the vaccine, it’s most likely that they got a different strain of the virus. That’s what’s making them sick, if it is indeed influenza. It could have been another upper respiratory issue or some other bacterial infection. It’s a complete myth that a person that gets the vaccine will get sick with the flu.”

Another flu concern reported on by the Oklahoma State Department of Health is the swine flu. Though there has yet to be a case of the swine flu, or H3N2v, identified in the state, the OSDH reported that 224 cases of swine flu nationwide have been documented since July 12.

In a press release earlier this month, the Tahlequah City Hospital offered some preventative measures when visiting agriculture exhibits at county and state fairs, most notably to avoid touching any surface that may be contaminated with remnants of a cough or sneeze containing the flu virus.

“Pigs can get the flu just like humans,” said TCH Chief of Staff Dr. Brent Rotton. “The virus can easily spread from pigs to people, but it doesn’t seem to spread as easily from person to person.”

According to the TCH press release, the bulk of the identified cases of the swine flu reported have occurred in children under the age of 18.

Swine flu symptoms are similar to those commonly associated with the seasonal flu in that a person may experience fever, coughing, soreness of the throat, body aches and headaches.

Other reported symptoms included diarrhea and vomiting, especially in younger children. Of the 224 national cases reported, eight required hospitalization while one death was reported.


To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

Text Only
Local News
  • ths-jazz-2.jpg THS jazz band gets up early to hone performance skills

    It means getting up an hour earlier, and it doesn’t count as a class, but the jazz band at Tahlequah High School enjoys the dedication of a group of enthusiastic students.
    The THS Jazz Band practices every day at 7 a.m., an hour before the start of classes. It numbers 17, and is led by Director Orien Landis.
    “They have to do this before school and they get no class credit, but we have a full band,” Landis said. “They are really excited about this.”

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Easter-basket-kid.jpg Easter traditions date back centuries

    Some Christians may lament a partial shift of focus, but a Christian holy day - perhaps the most holy of all – is this Sunday, and it will be marked with celebrations all around the world.
    The Christian holiday of Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. For centuries, the observant have fasted, reflected or done penance in the weeks leading to the holiday. But today, many also associate the holiday with the Easter bunny, candy, and kites. In 2013, Americans spent $2.1 billion on Easter candy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Some oppose minimum wage hike; others decry strong-arming by state

    President Barack Obama and the U.S. Senate recently announced a push to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour, to $10.10. On the heels of the announcement, an initiative petition was introduced in Oklahoma City to raise the minimum wage to the suggested $10.10. If it gained 80,000 signatures, it would be put to a vote of the people.
    This legislative session, a bill passed prohibiting municipalities from setting a minimum was or vacation and sick-day requirements. Gov. Mary Fallin signed the bill into law earlier this week.

    April 18, 2014

  • Phone scam takes $500 from couple

    Authorities are warning Cherokee County residents to watch for a costly phone scam that recently targeted a local couple and ended in their loss of $500.
    According to sheriff’s deputies, a couple contacted authorities after losing $500 to the scam. The couple received a phone call from a man who identified himself only as “Mr. Green.” He told the couple they had won $1.5 million through Publisher’s Clearing House, but to collect the money, the couple would have to purchase a $500 money card to cover various fees.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missing local teen found dead

    The body of a missing 17-year-old boy was found in southern Cherokee County on Thursday, sheriff’s investigators said.
    Brikk Pritchett was reported missing earlier this month after disappearing on March 30, a day before his 17th birthday.

    April 18, 2014

  • ts honor flight 1.tif Flight of honor

    World War II veteran Charles Harra flew missions for the Army Air Corps, and if you ask him which flight was his most memorable, he’ll say it was his 35th mission.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man charged after leading authorities on wild chase

    Prosecutors have formally charged a man who allegedly led authorities on a wild high-speed pursuit across Cherokee County in late March.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sex offender bonds out after failing to register

    A Cherokee County man is out on bond after being arrested last week for failing to register as a sex offender.

    April 17, 2014

  • jn radiator shop.jpg ‘Greenbelt’ progressing

    Crews this week began to demolish an abandoned radiator shop at the corner of South Street and Guinn Avenue.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts slut walk.tif SlutWalk shines spotlight on crime

    “Two, four, six, eight, stop the violence, stop the rape; slut, slut, ho, ho, yes means yes and no means no!”
    This was the battle cry across the campus of Northeastern State University, as the student branch of the American Association of University Women held its third annual SlutWalk Wednesday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo


What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case