Respiratory Virus Season in Full Swing across Choctaw Nation

Published January 13, 2024

Respiratory virus season is in full swing across the Choctaw Nation! The Choctaw Nation Department of Public Health has monitored a steady increase in respiratory virus activity across the Reservation and encourages individuals to take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of illness. “Choctaw Nation Disease Surveillance indicates that Influenza, COVID-19, and RSV are rapidly spreading across our communities” says Mason Emert, Choctaw Nation Epidemiologist. “Current respiratory virus positivity rates are above the threshold that Choctaw Nation Public Health considers to be widespread” Emert explains. Rikki LaRoche, Choctaw Nation Director of Public Health, says that these viruses affect not only ourselves, but our communities as a whole. “Respiratory viruses affect our communities, childcare centers, schools, and other places where individuals congregate” explains LaRoche.

Choctaw Nation Public Health recommends staying home if you feel ill or have a fever, and recommends speaking with your primary care provider if symptoms worsen or do not improve. If your child exhibits a fever or any other symptom associated with respiratory viruses, please keep them home and away from school or childcare centers. Individuals who are immunocompromised or have underlying medical conditions should take appropriate precautions while out in the community. Vaccines are the best line of defense against illness and severe symptoms. Vaccines are available for COVID-19, RSV, and Influenza. Please click here for more information on vaccines and how to schedule a vaccination appointment at a CNHSA Healthcare facility.

Current Viral Respiratory Positivity Rates across Choctaw Nation between 01/07/2024 – 01/13/2024

  • Influenza – 25.7%
  • COVID-19 – 10.3%
  • RSV – 15.4%

For more information on symptoms associated with each respiratory virus, please click here. For more information on Choctaw Nation Healthcare Facilities, please click here.

About The Choctaw Nation

The Choctaw Nation is the third-largest Indian Nation in the United States with more than 225,000 tribal members and 12,000-plus associates. This ancient people has an oral tradition dating back over 13,000 years. The first tribe over the Trail of Tears, its historic reservation boundaries are in the southeast corner of Oklahoma, covering 10,923 square miles. The Choctaw Nation’s vision, “Living out the Chahta Spirit of faith, family and culture,” is evident as it continues to focus on providing opportunities for growth and prosperity.


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