Flu Breakout Makes Olympics a ZymeTx Marketing Platform

By Davis, KirLee | THE JOURNAL RECORD, September 13, 2000 | Go to article overview

Flu Breakout Makes Olympics a ZymeTx Marketing Platform


Davis, KirLee, THE JOURNAL RECORD


Australia is in the midst of a flu epidemic.

While this is certainly not good news, it does present a window of opportunity for Oklahoma City-based ZymeTx to display the effectiveness of its ZstatFlu influenza test kit at perhaps the biggest event in the world, the 2000 Olympics.

The viral disease management company has donated its speedy point- of-care diagnosis tool to Team USA as part of a comprehensive influenza disease management program. Dr. Robert Hudson, vice president and medical director of ZymeTx, said the kits will allow athletes to receive flu tests at a moment's notice. That makes the administration of therapeutics -- and the athlete's potential recovery -- possible within 20 minutes of seeing the flu's first symptoms.

The World Health Organization issued a flu warning for Sydney last month. Up to 800,000 people have been infected, and authorities in New South Wales have confirmed two deaths.

"The first signs of influenza in the United States normally occur this time of year in Florida and Alaska, where cruise ships from the Southern Hemisphere come into port," Hudson said. "With the flu at a high level in Australia, we run the possibility of the flu being more widespread in the United States, earlier than usual, as Americans bring the virus back with them from the Olympics."

ZymeTx notes that while about 120 million people experience flu- like symptoms each year in the United States, only a third of those actually have the virus. That's what makes ZstatFlu so important, for it can rapidly diagnose influenza A and B with 99 percent accuracy. Such a diagnosis is recommended for the prescription of today's modern therapeutics.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, influenza causes the deaths of 20,000 Americans each year.

Business

Oklahoma Baptist University has enjoyed several stages of growth at its School of Nursing. "This was my first year as dean," noted Lana Bolhouse, "and this year my goal was to strengthen the mission part of the nursing degree. We have so many students interested in ministry and in using nursing in other ways."

Bolhouse noted the school has begun to graduate students under a missions minor program started 10 years ago. In January, the school offered its first international nursing course since 1990. With theory and clinical courses approved, the school may offer a minor in parish nursing. A pilot program is under way for OBU students to interact with hospitals and Baptist churches across the state. Finally, a senior in the OBU honors program has become the first nursing student to compose a thesis: "A Qualitative Study of the Nurse Practitioner in the Health Care System."

Heritage Manor, which is owned by Virginia Moore, Steve Moore and David Forgy, has received approval to lease two Oklahoma City nursing facilities. After being denied certificates of need in October, the Oklahoma State Department of Health reconsidered their requests to lease the 55-bed Heritage Manor, at $102,007 a year for one year, and the 55-bed Heritage Park, an Alzheimer's facility, leased at $113,693 annually for one year.

St. Anthony Hospital has received a certificate of need to add 18 adolescent psychiatric beds at a cost of $220,000.

On Tuesday, Nell Lusty will get a second chance to win approval for construction of a $4.8 million nursing facility in El Reno. The first application for a certificate of need was denied in December 1998, but following directions of a Canadian County district judge, the health department reopened the proposal for the 100-bed Heaven Sent Mansion nursing facility in May. The Tuesday hearing will be at the health department headquarters.

The department also will reconsider the bid by BOHC 1 LLC to lease the 200-bed Rosewood Manor Nursing Center in Norman, starting at $120,000 a year. The bid had been denied in July, but the department reopened the bid last month. …

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