Flu sends less patients to Oklahoma hospitals

BY DARLA SLIPKE Modified: December 31, 2009 at 4:29 am •  Published: December 31, 2009
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Five new hospitalizations for flu-like illness and no deaths were reported last week, according to a report released Wednesday by the state Health Department.

That’s a significant decline from the 20 new hospitalizations reported the previous week. But state officials still encourage people to get vaccinated.

"I think it’s a positive sign in light of the number of vaccinations we’ve given statewide,” said Larry Weatherford, spokesman for the health department. "Hopefully those efforts are starting to bear fruit.”

Weatherford said that about 10 percent of Oklahomans have been vaccinated, but health officials continue to encourage people to get vaccinated against both seasonal flu and the swine flu.

More than 1,020 Oklahomans have been hospitalized for flu-like illness since Sept. 1, according to the report. Fifty-four percent of those patients were 19 years old or younger.

Know it: Flu Know it: Swine Flu


Swine flu studies
The swine flu is less contagious than the novel viruses that have caused big world outbreaks in the past, new research suggests. If someone in your home has swine flu, your odds of catching it are about one in eight, although children are twice as susceptible as adults, the study found. Researchers studied infection patterns in 216 people with swine flu from around the United States (half of them children) and 600 people living with them. Nearly three-fourths of households managed to avoid spreading the illness. The study’s results are in today’s New England Journal of Medicine.

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