Doctors Expect Number of H1N1 Cases to Increase
By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- In just the last week, Oklahoma has seen five flu-related deaths, which is nearly twice the number of cases compared to all of September, and doctors said the number of H1N1 cases isn't expected to decrease any time soon.
"This H1N1 flu virus is not playing by the rules and to have such an outbreak of flu activity in early October is really unprecedented," said Kristy Bradley, Oklahoma State Health Department.
The Oklahoma State Health Department's latest numbers showed 11 people have died from flu related illnesses. Bradley said this season's flu numbers are a sobering statistic.
"It has been a very dynamic process, and it's been a learning process for us in just how this H1N1 flu is going to behave. We had hoped that we were nearing the peak of this pandemic wave here in Oklahoma, but our numbers show this week that activity is increasing. It's not plateauing yet," Bradley said.
Bradley said more Oklahomans could become sick with the contagious virus. The latest statistics show more people in the state are heading to the doctor with flu like illnesses.
"The reason there's a lot of disease is it's a new strain of flu virus so very few people have natural immunity to it, and we don't have very many vaccinated persons yet because we've had a low supply of vaccine," Bradley said.
However, Bradley said if there's any good news in all this, the cases of flu-like illnesses in Oklahoma County haven't changed that much.
"We are hopeful that we will be on the downside of the epidemic curve here pretty quickly, but we don't know when that'll happen," Bradley said.
Bradley said for the most part, many people who are sick with the H1N1 flu are able to fully recover without getting significant medical treatment.
The State Health Department is tracking the severity and impact of the H1N1 pandemic with its new surveillance project.
More on News9.com: Oklahoma County To Give H1N1 Vaccines Saturday