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FOR RELEASE: December 20, 2000
CONTACT: Dick Gunn
405/271-5601

Flu Confirmed in Oklahoma

The Oklahoma State Department of Health has confirmed that influenza is circulating in Oklahoma. Two cultures from Oklahoma County were confirmed this past week by the state health department's Public Health Laboratory as Influenza A (H1N1).

State health officials say it is not too late for persons at high risk for complications from influenza to get their flu shot. “High risk” individuals include persons 65 years of age or older; persons with chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or breathing disorders; women who will be in their second or third trimester of pregnancy during the flu season; and health care workers and others who care for persons at risk for influenza.

The state health department has now received 184,170 doses of flu vaccine of the 250,000 doses ordered, with the balance expected later this week. These doses have been shipped to local county health departments around the state. After high risk individuals are covered, health departments will make the vaccine available for persons aged 50 to 64 as well as others who are not included in the high risk group.

Health officials also recommend pneumococcal vaccine for persons who are 65 years of age or older, or persons who have heart or lung problems or diabetes. This vaccine protects against pneumococcal pneumonia, the most common type of pneumonia resulting in hospitalizations. This vaccine is available at physicians' offices and county health departments.

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