EMSA Dealing With A Lot Of Flu Calls

Wednesday, February 27th 2008, 9:34 pm
By: News On 6

The flu has gotten so bad in Tulsa that EMSA is looking at an all-time record for the number of medical calls they've responded to.  News On 6 anchor Jennifer Loren reports one EMSA spokesperson says they're ready for flu season to end.

Unit after unit,  EMSA paramedics leave headquarters, knowing they'll see their fair share of flu cases.

"Fevers.  Chills. Nausea.  Vomiting. We've seen some of the GI stuff that's going on," said EMSA manager Chris Stevens.

Because of suspected flu cases, February of 2008 is on track to be the second busiest month in EMSA's 29-year history.  Second only to last December when the ice storm hit.

"I've lived here all my life and I don't ever remember the flu being this bad," said EMSA manager Chris Stevens.

One reason it is so bad this year, the current flu vaccine isn't protecting people from 60% of flu viruses going around.

"A lot of people that we've seen have had the flu shot and are going ahead and getting this nasty virus anyway," said EMSA manager Chris Stevens.

In addition to the flu vaccine not working, Stevens says the weather pattern we've been in is wreaking havoc, as well.

"I'm looking forward to spring," said EMSA manager Chris Stevens.

In the meantime, health officials say don't wait until you need an ambulance to get checked out by a doctor.

EMSA managers say they've authorized more overtime and called in part-timers to help with all the calls.  They say their response times have not been affected by the flu onslaught.