Swine Flu Case Confirmed In Tulsa

Friday, May 8th 2009, 5:53 pm
By: News On 6


TULSA, OK -- Tulsa Health Department officials have confirmed a case of swine flu in a Tulsa Public Schools employee.

The confirmed case is a woman who experienced mild symptoms, has fully recovered and did not require hospitalization. She took appropriate precautions to limit her exposure to others during her illness, according to a news release.

The woman works at Jackson Elementary. Because of the mild nature of the H1N1 virus, the health department does not recommend closing the school.

A custodial crew will be sent to Jackson over the weekend to disinfect all classrooms, restrooms and common areas. The health department has been monitoring those who may have come in contact with the employee and none have exhibited symptoms of influenza.

District officials will meet Saturday morning to determine what additional steps should be taken to protect the health of students and staff.

Four previous state cases had been reported, and 10 new cases were confirmed in Oklahoma on Friday:

  • Oklahoma County, five adults (two males and three females)
  • Seminole County, female teenager
  • Kay County, female adult
  • Cleveland County, male child
  • Tulsa County, female adult
  • Kingfisher County, female teenager

The newly confirmed cases include people reporting flu-like illness from April 23-May 7. Many of the patients have recovered.

There is not a vaccine available to protect individuals from the strain of H1N1 influenza. The Tulsa Health Department reminds the public to continue to practice these recommendations to prevent the spread of influenza:

  • Wash hands often to protect yourself from germs.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth; germs are often spread when a person touches a contaminated object and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, or "sneeze in your sleeve."
  • If you are sick, stay home from work, school, church, and running errands. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.

The symptoms of H1N1 influenza are similar to seasonal influenza and include:

  • fever greater than 100 degrees
  • body aches
  • coughing
  • sore throat
  • respiratory congestion
  • diarrhea, nausea and vomiting in some cases   

It is particularly important for those who are at high risk for complications from influenza to continue good health habits and to seek medical guidance if they begin to experience flu-like symptoms. High risk groups include:

  • Children aged 6 months up to their 19th birthday
  • Pregnant women
  • People 50 years of age and older
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including: ealth care workers, household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu, and household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)  

For more information visit www.tulsa-health.org or call the public health information line at 918-595-4500.