A sign directs patients with flu symptoms to a designated area.
A worker receives calls from concerned people. The hotline number is 1-866-278-7134 and was set up by the State Health Department.
The state has Tamiflu stockpiled and is awaiting further shipments.
By Kirsten McIntyre, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahomans are growing increasingly concerned about the H1N1 virus which is quickly spreading and has closed several schools in Texas and around the country.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization raised the alert level to its next to highest level, warning a global pandemic could be imminent.
Currently, nearly 100 cases have been reported in the U.S., in at least 10 states.
One child from Mexico died in Texas, marking the first death in the U.S.
There are no confirmed cases in Oklahoma, but the concern continues to grow.
Dr. Chris Hayes, who practices medicine at the INTEGRIS Family Physicians Clinic, has heard a lot of concern from patients about the virus.
"We need to take a step back and realize this flu is really unlike any flu we've seen," Dr. Hayes said. "It's crossed over from swine to humans, but it still mimics regular influenza which is what humans get really every year."
The H1N1 virus, known as the swine flu, has been linked to the death of a young child in Texas, but according to the Centers for Disease Control, seasonal flu causes about 36,000 deaths each year.
A flu hotline has been set up by the State Health Department, and is open to callers from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m daily.
"Who should they be testing and providing specimens to us to do further testing for swine flu," said Leslea Bennett-Webb of the Oklahoma Department of Health.
Bennett-Webb said Oklahoma has begun to receive its shipment of 100,000 doses of Tamiflu from the government. The state also has 65,000 doses stockpiled.
"The symptoms are similar. T he treatment is similar, the difference is that this is something we haven't seen before and we really don't know where it's going to go."
If you have questions or concerns about the virus, call 1-866-278-7134 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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