State Health Officials Report More Flu-Related Deaths

Thursday, March 2nd 2017, 6:31 pm
By: News 9

Updated numbers were released by the Oklahoma State Department of Health on Wednesday morning regarding influenza across the state.

The number of flu deaths increased by 11 in the last week, which is higher than weeks past. However, epidemiologist Kendra Dougherty with OSDH said these numbers aren’t unusual.

Reports show the number of people hospitalized with the flu doubled just about three weeks ago.

“They may have had the flue a few weeks ago, but have just now passed away,” said Dougherty.

Three weeks ago, there were approximately 300 hospitalizations reported in a single week. This past week, the numbers went down to 116 flu hospitalizations.

Dougherty believes the peak of flu season is over, but people are not out of the woods just yet. There could be another influenza virus coming to the estate.

“Typically, we call this our second wave of flu, and it’s a lot less, but we could continue to see flu,” she said.

Over at Mercy Convenient Care on Memorial Circle in Oklahoma City, the staff is still seeing quite a few patients with flu-like symptoms. There have been about 200 patients since January that have tested positive for influenza.

“A lot of the patients that we’re seeing were vaccinated early on in the season, and the flu shot approximately lasts for three months so they are out of that range now,” Jaci Savage with Mercy said.

For those who have not been vaccinated yet, Savage said it is not too late to get the flu shot. Or if a person got the vaccine early in the season around October, it may be time to get a booster shot.

“I definitely would recommend them getting a second dose if they are still available,” said Savage.

Savage said to consult your doctor to see if there are any more vaccines available as the flu season could go through May.