Current flu outbreak may have peaked in Tulsa


Monday, December 15th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


The flu continues to spread, but public health officials believe Tulsa may already have seen the worst of it.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says the flu may have peaked in the Tulsa area, but its not over. Even little children know one of the easiest ways to stay healthy is to simply wash their hands.

It's a lesson drilled into them at Trinity Episcopal Day Care. Janet Nobles with Trinity Episcopal Daycare: “We wash our hands constantly, anything we blow our nose they wash our hands.”

The children share close quarters. They eat together - but before they pass the tangerines - they always pay a visit to the sink.

Some aren't sure exactly what can make them sick. Child: “Make you get sick from all that cold - because we have to wear mask hats or gloves. My mom lets me wear a headband so my ears won't get cold.” But they all know about the flu - and all but one in this class got a flu shot. That, together with good hand washing - has helped keep these children healthy.

Even though thousands of people have taken the vaccine - there is a chance they can still get the flu. The vaccine provides good but not absolute protection. Janice Sheehan with the Tulsa City County Health Department: "And even if you get the flu it won't be as bad as it would have been you won't be as sick for as long and the outcome will be a lot better, you complications won't be as serious as it would be if you didn't have the vaccine."

The vaccine helps stop the flu - but hand washing stops colds and other illnesses. With the vaccine in short supply - it may be the only line of defense left for children - and their parents.