Oklahoma Doctors Try To Prevent Spread Of H1N1

Monday, October 12th 2009, 5:25 pm
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Tulsa doctors are trying to stop the spread of H1N1. Because of that virus, flu season has started months ahead of schedule.

With the H1N1 vaccine not available to the public, doctors are going back to the basics to stop the spread within their offices.

"It's everywhere as far as the state of Oklahoma goes," said Dr. Scott Cyrus, Pediatrician.

Young children are at high risk for H1N1 and pediatricians say parents know it.

"We're just seeing a lot more infants than normal. We're seeing a lot more patients than normal," said Dr. Scott Cyrus.

10/08/2009  Related Story: Sand Springs School Children Among First To Get H1N1 Vaccinations

Experts say there will likely be two flu seasons this year -- the current H1N1 season and the seasonal flu, which will hit like it normally does, sometime in December. Only the seasonal flu vaccine is readily available.

"It seems like everyone I know is getting sick. One person after another, like they're taking turns. Even at work. And I just want to make sure she doesn't get it," said Tammy Hollander, a grandmother.

To limit the risk of exposure, Pediatrician Scott Cyrus quarantines his flu patients.

"We have them in a totally separate waiting room for our flu patients. If we suspect they have flu, we want to keep them over here," said Dr. Scott Cyrus.

At Saint Francis Hospital, flu kiosks are all over the place.

"This is a terrible flu for the kids. It's less severe of a flu for adults," said Dr. Mark Rowland, Epidemiologist.

They've got hand wash, tissues and surgical masks.

"We try to keep our hands clean. We tend to transmit flu with our hands. And we tend to transmit it with coughing. So we have these kiosks set up to keep our hands clean with hand sanitizers," said Dr. Mark Rowland.

Dr. Mark Rowland says every precaution counts. It's a new virus and doctors are trying new approaches.

Thirty-seven states, including Oklahoma, are reporting widespread H1N1 outbreaks. The other 13 states are reporting sporadic H1N1 activity.