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.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • sr-Sherman-Alexie.jpg Native wit

    Sherman Alexie Jr., self-professed “res” American Indian, dislikes casinos, mascots and Oklahoma for stealing his favorite basketball team.
    Northeastern State University welcomed the celebrated poet, writer and filmmaker to campus Wednesday, and the audience was treated to 90 minutes of witty and unblinking observation from the perspective of an American Indian all-too-familiar with life on a reservation.
    Alexie, named one of the 21st Century’s top 20 writers by The New Yorker, delivered what was essentially a standup monologue to a packed house in the auditorium of the W. Roger Webb Educational Technology Center. Some of Alexie’s best-known works are “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven,” a book of short stories, and the film “Smoke Signals.”

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • rock-jodi.jpg Woman serving time for burning baby seeks judicial review

    A Cherokee County mother sentenced to 17 years in prison for burning her 14-month-old baby with an iron is asking for a judicial review.
    Court records show Jodi Leann Rock, 21, requested a copy of her judgment and sentence, and this week filed an application for a judicial review. Copies of her request have been submitted to a judge and the District Attorney’s Office.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-SchoolCharter.jpg Concerns expressed as SB 573 awaits House vote

    With an Oklahoma Senate bill now awaiting a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, some parents are voicing concerns about the futures of rural K-8 schools in Cherokee County.
    Senate Bill 573 calls for a commission to establish charter schools throughout the state. A charter school receives taxpayer funding, but functions independently. They can be founded by an array of interests, including teachers, parents, universities and nonprofits. In Oklahoma, tribal entities can establish charter schools.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man gets suspended sentence for possession

    A 37-year-old Webbers Falls man has been given a suspended sentence on drug-possession charges.
    Dusty Kayl Skaggs was charged with endeavoring to manufacture methamphetamine earlier this year after he and 43-year-old Misty Hayes Paden, of Muskogee, were arrested during execution of a search warrant.

    April 24, 2014

  • sr-NSU-Earth-day.jpg NSU students observe Earth Day

    Students and members of the community converged on Northeastern State University’s Second Century Square on Tuesday to spend an afternoon celebrating Earth Day.
    The event featured tables sponsored by campus organizations, prizes and music by Chris Espinoza. NSU’s Earth Day theme was “Gather Here. Go Green,” and was organized by the Committee for Sustainability and the Northeastern Student Government Association (NSGA).

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts-smallholders-courtesy.jpg Rural smallholders host annual show

    More and more, many people are showing growing interest in learning the sources of their food, including meat. As such, interest in farm-to-table living is increasing.
    Saturday, the Rural Smallholders Association held its annual spring show at the Cherokee County Fairgrounds, promoting the farming of sheep and goats, along with giving the general public a sample of their products.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • pitts-hurley.jpg Wanted man nabbed during traffic stop

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies arrested a wanted man this week after a traffic stop near South Muskogee and Willis Road.
    Hurley D. Pitts, 40, was being sought by authorities on a motion to revoke a previous sentence.
    Sheriff’s Deputy Jarrick Snyder said he stopped a car after it ran off the road a couple of times. A woman was behind the wheel, and Pitts was sitting in the passenger seat.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-Wikafile.jpg Communiversity Band performs Sunday

    Musicians from on and off the Northeastern State University campus have made their final preparations for an upcoming performance of the NSU Communiversity Band.
    The ensemble performs Sunday, April 27, at 7 p.m., in the NSU Center for the Performing Arts. The conductor is Dr. Norman Wika, associate professor of music and band program director. Guest conductor is student Kameron Parmain. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.
    “Everything has come together very well this semester,” Wika said.
    “We have about 40 musicians, and everyone who started the rehearsals has stuck with it. This could be the best Community Band concert yet.”

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Council concerned over reports of land contamination

    Negotiations involving the purchase of nearly 20 homes on 7 acres of land near Basin Avenue hit a snag Monday night when concerns surfaced over potential contamination of the area.
    Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols had proposed the city purchase the homes and duplexes as a large step in a greenbelt project, which would establish a solid park and trail system from the downtown area to the site of the city’s old solid waste transfer station.
    Until Monday, details of the negotiations had been mostly discussed behind closed doors, though Nichols confirmed the list price for the property to be $480,000.

    April 23, 2014

  • Council tables cell tower permit apps

    Tahlequah city councilors on Monday opted to hold off on approval of two special-use permit applications that would help AT&T install a couple of 150-foot cell towers within the city.
    Branch Communications is asking for the permits as it attempts to construct two monopole cell towers – one on Commercial Road near Green Country Funeral Home, and another at the Tahlequah Public Schools bus barn on Pendleton Street. Other towers are being built outside of the city limits.
    Members of the city’s planning and zoning board gave their OK for both permits last month.

    April 23, 2014

Poll

How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Stocks