As the number of flu hospitalizations rises from 204 last week to 223 this week statewide, the Oklahoma City-County Health Department (OCCHD) records the first flu death of the season.
According to the health department, the statewide number of flu–associated deaths this season now stands at five people including a new death in Tulsa County. Last year there were 355 hospitalizations and two deaths in Oklahoma County by this time. This year there have been 37 hospitalizations. As in previous years, flu is impacting the age group of 50-64 and 65+.
Data collected by hospitals and some clinics statewide shows continued elevation in influenza activity. Health officials said the best strategy to prevent flu remains to get a flu shot and good hand hygiene.
An annual flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months and older. Vaccination is important for those at high risk from flu complications including people 65 years of age and older, young children, pregnant women, persons with chronic lung disease, diabetes, heart disease, neurologic conditions and other long-term health conditions.
OCCHD reminds the public to follow these prevention tips:
OCCHD offers flu vaccine at our three locations. Learn more by calling (405)-419-4261 or visit the county health department's official website.