EMSA paramedics, nursing homes gear up for flu season

TULSA - EMSA paramedics are treating a record number of flu cases so far this winter.

Across the state more than 300 people have been hospitalized with the flu and eight Oklahomans have died.

Supervisors say most ambulance calls are now for the flu. But they say you shouldn't call 911 unless you experience severe symptoms.

More flu calls mean more paramedics are getting sick with the flu themselves. Even though they're responding to more calls with some employees out, supervisors say it's not hurting their service.

"EMSA manages the system very well. We prioritize calls, so we go to the most severe cases first," said Michael Ginn, EMSA field operations supervisor.

Places that take care of the high risk, like the elderly at nursing homes, are taking extra precautions against the flu. They recommend residents and staff get flu shots and any guests with the flu stay home.

"Delay your visit to a time that you're feeling better, and have been symptom-free for 24 hours," said Matthew Loyd, vice president of health and wellness at Oklahoma Methodist Manor.


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