Three more Oklahoma flu deaths reported
BY SHANNON MUCHMORE World Staff Writer
Thursday, January 31, 2013
1/31/13 at 3:20 PM
Three more Oklahomans died from flu this past week, including one in Tulsa County, but the number of hospitalizations reported remained stable.
Seventeen people in Oklahoma have now died from flu since October. Four of those deaths have been in Tulsa County, which has by far the most hospitalizations at 216.
The number of hospitalizations reported last week was 78, bringing the total since Sept. 30 to 722. The week before, 71 new hospitalizations were reported, and in weeks before that it was 130 to 140.
Twelve of those who died have been 65 or older, and the rest have been between the ages of 19 and 64.
In addition to Tulsa County, deaths have been reported in Cleveland, Comanche, Creek, Mayes, Muskogee, Oklahoma, Pittsburg, Rogers and Stephens counties.
The state health department doesn’t track whether those who are hospitalized or die from the flu received the flu shot or had a pre-existing condition.
Oklahoma is among 26 states reporting high flu activity and 47 states reporting widespread geographic activity. More than 6,000 hospitalizations have been reported nationally since Oct. 1, which is a rate of more than 22 hospitalizations per 100,000 people.
Health officials say the flu vaccine is the best way to protect against the flu and it’s still not too late to get one.
People are also reminded to wash their hands frequently, cover their coughs and stay home from work or school when sick.
Read more on this story in Friday's Tulsa World.
In this October 2010 file photo, a woman gets a flu shot at OSU Medical Center. CORY YOUNG/Tulsa World File