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Oklahoma flu outbreak

By: Nicolette Schleisman Email
By: Nicolette Schleisman Email

DURANT, OK -- The flu has not only swept the nation, but it has hit hard right here in Texoma. Nicolette Schleisman went out to talk to some Bryan County residents and officials on how they're battling this outbreak.

"So many people dyin' from it and a simple cold can turn into pneumonia real quick. And I just don't like that, said Paul Martin.

Paul Martin gets a flu shot every October. He, like other residents, is trying to stay healthy. But this flu season, it seems a little harder to take precautions.

Walgreens in Durant sold out of their flu shots by 1 o'clock Thursday afternoon, and the Bryan County Health Department is out of their vaccinations for adults. Which is why Administrative Director, Pat Fowler, decided to set up a clinic for this Saturday, January 13.

"We've had a lot of calls from folks and we've specially ordered some vaccine. And we want to make sure we respond to the needs of the community," said Pat Fowler, Administrative Director for Bryan, Pushmataha, Choctaw, and McCurtain Counties.

Over the past week, flu related hospitalizations have increased over 100% in Oklahoma alone. Including 8 deaths.

But these statistics still do not sway the minds of some residents.

"It worries me but there ain't nothing I can do about it, I can't take the shot. I'm allergic to it," said resident, Hopper McGee.

Fowler says the best way to battle the flu is to get your flu shot.

"The precautions, hand washing, being cognizant that flu is very communicable. It can be transmitted form person to person quite readily. And get a flu shot," said Fowler.

Residents like Martin agree.

"I think everybody over the age of 2 or 3 should get it. With different strains every year coming around, you should take the flu shot. Just to be sure," said Martin.

The health department plans to have about 400 shots available for ages 18 to 65, and 150 shots for 65 and older.

They will have a limited amount for children under 18. The clinic will be first come first served from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday at the Bryan County Health Department. The shots cost $25 each.

The Walgreens in Durant tells us they have ordered more vaccines. They should be in by Friday. Saturday at the latest.


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