OKLAHOMA CITY – While much of the country is dealing with the outbreak of the flu, officials in Oklahoma say the Sooner State is starting to feel the effects of the virus.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health announced that 242 people have been hospitalized in Oklahoma since the flu began spreading in September.
Also, five people have died because of the flu.
The deaths occurred among residents of Kay, LeFlore, Osage, Pittsburg and Tulsa counties.
Public health officials stress that everyone should get the flu vaccine.
This year’s vaccine contains H1N1-2009, which is closely matched to the strain that is currently spreading across the country.
Many health departments across the state still have vaccines available.
Symptoms of the flu include:
- Sore Throat
- Runny or Stuffy Nose
- Body Aches
Many people with the flu have a mild form of the illness and do not need medical care.
If you are concerned, call your doctor.
Parents should be on alert for children with emergency warning signs of flu including the following:
- Fast Breathing or Trouble Breathing
- Bluish Skin Color
- Not Drinking Enough Fluids
- Not Waking Up or Not Interacting
- Being Irritable and not Wanting to be Held
- Flu-like Symptoms Improve and Come Back with a Fever and Worse Cough
- Fever with a Rash
Parents and caregivers should seek medical help right away for any infant who is unable to eat, has trouble breathing, has no tears when crying and has significantly fewer wet diapers than normal.