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January 9, 2013

Three hospitalized with influenza in Cleveland County

NORMAN — With influenza activity recently reported as being widespread in 41 states — including Oklahoma — by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cleveland County Health Department representatives are suggesting that everyone take preventative measures.

Beverly Bymun, a nurse with the health department, said those most at risk — children, elderly, those with chronic conditions, pregnant women, health care workers and those living or caring for anyone at high risk — should receive vaccines.

In addition to a vaccine, Bymun said simple steps can help avoid becoming sick or getting others sick.

“Wash their hands, wash their hands, wash their hands,” she said on what individuals can do. “And avoid contact with anyone who is sick, and if they are sick, they need to stay home.”

As of Jan. 1, Cleveland County has had three influenza hospitalizations and no influenza deaths for the 2012-2013 flu season, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health website. The state has had 171 hospitalizations and two deaths.

The Cleveland County Health Department still is offering flu shots. The Norman office, 250 12th Ave. NE, and Moore office, 424 S. Eastern Ave., are open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday. The department offers vaccines on a sliding pay scale, with some individuals qualifying for free. The department accepts cash, check and credit card payments.

For more information, visit www.ok.gov/health, or call the Norman office at 321-4048 or the Moore office at 794-1591.

Hannah Cruz366-3533hcruz@normantranscript.com

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