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Late death reports bring total number of Oklahoma flu deaths to 84

Flu Shots, Credit: CNN

OKLAHOMA CITY – For the first time in weeks, health officials say no one has died from the flu within the last week.

On Thursday, the Oklahoma State Department of Health announced that they have no new deaths associated with the flu between March 22 and March 28.

However, they say the total number of deaths from the virus this season stands at 84, which is higher than last week’s numbers.

Officials say the increase is due to late reports received on deaths that occurred at the end of January and beginning of February.

Officials say residents in Tulsa County has been hardest hit by the flu this season, leading to 19 deaths in that county. So far, 518 people have been hospitalized because of the virus in Tulsa County.

Oklahoma County has seen 13 deaths and 398 hospitalizations related to the virus.

The department’s data show that 61 of the deaths occurred in patients who were 65-years-old or older. Fourteen deaths occurred in those between 50 and 64-years-old, while six deaths occurred in patients between 18 and 49-years-old.

One child between the ages of 5 and 17-years-old died earlier in the season, and two patients who were up to 4-years-old also died from the flu.

According to the health department, the number of flu-associated hospitalizations dramatically dropped over the past week. In fact, only 38 people were hospitalized with symptoms of the flu within the past week.

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.