The first flu death of the season has been reported in Oklahoma, according to the state health department.
The death was reported between Oct. 20 to 26 and is the first death since Sept. 1, 2019.
The death was reported in Tulsa County in a patient who was 65 years of age or older.
Fifty-two flu-related hospitalizations were reported since Sept. 1. The state health department said people of all ages have been hospitalized due to influenza but the highest rate has occurred in people over the age of 50.
Related: Health Officials Prepare For Flu Season With Statewide Exercise
Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus which is spread by infected people coughing, sneezing or touching a surface handled by others. Its impact can be severe in some cases, especially among seniors, young children, pregnant women and people with underlying medical conditions, according to the CDC.
More: Oklahoma Doctors Warn Of Flu Shot Importance This Season
The CDC states the best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated.
The OSDH recommends staying home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone. Avoid going to work, school, social events and public gatherings as well as traveling and shopping. The fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine, such as acetaminophen before returning to a regular routine. To prevent the spread of the flu, the public is reminded to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and wash hands often.