Flu claims three lives in Tulsa County, including one child

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Story by: Janai Norman
Updated: 1/16 5:28 pm Published: 1/16 10:45 am

The Oklahoma State Department of Health released new flu numbers today showing three people have died in Tulsa County, including one child.

According to Health Department spokeswoman Pamela Williams, a pediatric patient is among the three in Tulsa County. Pediatric patients are considered between birth and 4-years-old.

Across the state, 12 people have died as a result of the flu, with the majority of those deaths occurring in people ranging in age from 18 to 64 years old.

Economy Pharmacy pharmacist Chris Schiller told FOX23, “We’ve gone from a few weeks ago filling one or two Tamiflu prescriptions a day to at some of our Economy Pharmacies, filling more than 30 a day.”

FOX23 also called around to a dozen other Tulsa pharmacies, many say they’re also seeing an increase in Tamiflu prescriptions.

It’s a sign people are getting sick.

Latest numbers show 122 new hospitalizations across Oklahoma in the last week, plus the state’s first flu-related death in a child right here in Tulsa County.

“We are in the middle of flu season,” Schiller said.

Local health officials are still urging residents to get flu shots, especially older adults and young kids.

But like many people, Clark Eldridge says he’s skeptical.

“Every day, everywhere they’re after you to take a flu shot,” he said. “That makes me suspicious that there is some other reason…Follow the money trail.”

FOX23’s Janai Norman asked Schiller, “If someone were to come in today and get a flu shot, but it takes two weeks to kick in, is it worth it?”

“I still think it’s worth it,” Schiller answered. “We don’t know how long the flu season is going to last, we don’t know when people are going to be exposed to it or not.”

Schiller says once the shot kicks in, it should last through the entire season “which is normally two to three months.”

“But if you got it really early, you could be coming up toward the end of your immunity.”

So even if you got the flu shot, you could still get sick. And if you catch the flu, one pharmacy quotes a prescription of Tamiflu costing $135.

Flu shots are available on a first come first serve basis at all of the Tulsa Health Department facilities from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays.

The offices are located at:
  • James O. Goodwin Health Center at 5051 S. 129th E Ave.
  • Central Regional Health Center at 315 S. Utica
  • North Regional Health Center at 5635 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

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