NORMAN — Oklahomans have been taking the warning to get vaccinated seriously, so much so that the Cleveland County Health Department is out of adult influenza vaccines with no immediate plans of receiving more, health department officials said.
Beverly Bymun, a nurse with the health department, said the manufacturer they purchase from is out of vaccines. Though the health department is out of adult vaccines, vaccines for children, ages 19 and younger, still are available.
Whether you are able to get vaccinated or not, Bymun said steps can still be taken to protect yourself.
“Wash their hands. Don’t touch their face. Avoid doctors’ offices and emergency rooms, if at all possible, and don’t go to work if you’re sick,” Bymun said on what individuals can do to combat spreading the flu.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, influenza activity is widespread in 47 states, as of Jan. 5. That’s up from 41 in previous weeks.
As of Jan. 8, Cleveland County has had 16 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 345 hospitalizations and eight deaths.
Kelly Wells, with Norman Regional Health System, said since Dec. 15, the hospital system has had 196 positive flu tests through all campus emergency rooms and seven positive test results from doctors’ offices labs. Three flu patients were admitted in December, with 14 current patients.
Wells said the hospital still has room for more patients. If you have questions about possible flu-like symptoms, call Norman Regional’s Ask a Nurse Hotline at 877-667-6734.