Although to date, the state  reports "NO activity" for flu, flu season will soon start in about another month or so. 

Every year, 5 to 15 percent of Americans are affected by the flu virus, approximately 226,000 are hospitalized and more than 36,000 die from influenza and related complications.  Due to those startling statistics Grove public school nurses, in conjunction with INTEGRIS Grove Hospital personnel gave over 700 shots to students this year, with 100 follow up 2nd doses to be given before January 1.  That is 2 1/2 times what was given last year as only 287 children received the shot.

Drs. Zachary Bechtol and Renee Russell, of INTEGRIS Grove General Hospital, serve as a Sentinel Reporting Site to the Oklahoma State Health Department for flu-like illnesses. "Plans are to check child-missed days to learn how much absenteeism has been reduced, explains Dr.Bechtol.  This team could be viewed as a potential model for other communities in the state."

To help the spread of influenza at INTEGRIS Grove General Hospital and clinics, Infection Control/Safety Officer Debbie Lawson has vaccinated to date 94% of all INTEGRIS Grove employees, landing her the "Best Practices" in the Flu Vaccination Challenge program for Joint Commission.   Those hospitals that participated and have achieved vaccinating 90% of employees or above were also recognized.  "Health officials recommend yearly immunizations for healthcare personnel, explains Lawson.  At INTEGRIS Grove, we want to protect our patients who are at high risk for influenza-related complications and to help us protect ourselves and our families from influenza."

Flu Facts

Myth #1:  The influenza is just a bad cold.

Fact:  Influenza is caused by the influenza virus and is much more serious than the common cold. 

Myth #2:  The injectable influenza vaccine will give me influenza.

Fact:  The recommended immunization for healthcare personnel is the injectable vaccine made from KILLED virus, so you cannot get the flu from the shot.

Immunization is 70 to 90 percent effective in healthy individuals who are younger than 65 years of age.  It takes about two weeks for your body to develop immunity to influenza after the vaccination