State health officials reported eight more flu deaths this week, totaling 75 deaths so far this season.
Only 88 hospitalizations were reported in the past week, down from the reported 223 last week. During this flu season, generally October to May, there have been 3,273 hospitalizations, according to data collected by the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
Thirteen flu deaths have been reported in Tulsa County this 2019-20 flu season. The majority of influenza deaths have been in patients 50 or older. Ten people between 18 and 49 years old have died, according to OSDH records. One toddler and another child in Oklahoma have also died due to the flu.
Influenza spreads annually, usually between October and May, and is spread through coughing, sneezing and close contact.
The flu strikes suddenly and can last several days. The Health Department recommends the flu vaccine as the No. 1 defense against contracting the virus or lessening its symptoms. Symptoms vary by age but can include:
• Sore throat, cough
• Muscle aches, fatigue
• Headache, runny or stuffy nose
Symptoms can develop into more complex complications, such as pneumonia, bronchitis or sinus and ear infections, and adversely affect those already suffering from a medical condition like heart or lung disease.
Officials urge those experiencing symptoms to consult with a primary care provider as soon as possible.