Oklahoma health officials said no swine flu deaths were reported last week and hospitalizations remained low. Twenty new hospitalizations for flu illness were reported last week. More than 1,000 Oklahomans have been hospitalized since surveillance began Sept. 1. Officials said 39 Oklahomans have died of swine flu, or H1N1. Health Department spokesman Larry Weatherford said vaccinations for both H1N1 and seasonal flu remain important because the viruses still are circulating and could increase in another wave. Many pharmacies and doctor offices now are offering vaccinations. For a listing of county health department vaccination sites, go to www.ok.gov/health.
Concerns dropA new Harvard poll finds that concern about swine flu has waned along with the number of new cases being reported. Forty percent of people in last week’s survey said they are concerned that they or a family member will get sick from swine flu during the next year. That’s down from an earlier poll in September, when 52 percent said they were worried about swine flu. The new poll also finds that most parents who sought vaccine for their children were able to get it. However, one-third say they do not plan to seek it for their kids. More than 1,600 adults were included in the Harvard School of Public Health’s poll Dec. 16-17. Contributing: The Associated Press
Research shows more risks for new mothersLOS ANGELES — Swine flu is not only dangerous to pregnant women, but it’s a threat to new mothers too, the first study to document this risk shows. An analysis of pregnant women and new mothers who were hospitalized with swine flu in California found that those who had a baby in the previous two weeks were at higher risk of severe flu complications. The swine flu threat to pregnant women has been well-documented, and public health officials urged them to get vaccinated. Previous research showed expectant mothers infected with the virus are more likely to be hospitalized and face a greater risk of death than the general population. The new report, released Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine, is the first to look at the risk to women who recently gave birth and highlights "the continued high risk immediately after pregnancy,” the researchers wrote. As a result of the research, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently revised its guidelines, recommends that flu drugs be given to women who show signs of the flu soon after they give birth. ASSOCIATED PRESS