Oklahoma County officials warning residents after ‘significant’ jump in flu cases

U.S. Sgt. Benjamin Miceli draws an H1N1 flu vaccine at a troop medical clinic. Credit: Dustin Senger/Department of Defe

OKLAHOMA CITY – Following the death of an Oklahoma County resident, health officials are recommending residents take precautions against the flu.

On Thursday, the Oklahoma State Department of Health announced that the number of deaths from the flu this season more than doubled in a week to 23.

The hospitalization total rose from 584 people to 827.

Two of the patients affected lived in Oklahoma and Canadian counties, and 136 people have been hospitalized in Oklahoma County with the virus.

Officials say it is a ‘significant’ jump from last year.

In March of 2016, Oklahoma County health experts say there were only 36 flu-related hospitalizations and no deaths.

The Oklahoma City-County Health Department recommends flu vaccinations and hand hygiene to avoid the dangers of the flu. If you sneeze or cough, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue.

Also, if you feel ill, stay home and go to a physician right away if symptoms persist.

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.

Flu symptoms include:

  • Fever more than 100.4° F (38 C)
  • Aching muscles, especially in your back, arms and legs
  • Chills and sweats
  • Headache
  • Dry, persistent cough
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sore throat.