Oklahoma health officials: First child death related to the flu reported

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OKLAHOMA CITY – As the New Year takes hold, many Oklahomans are fighting off the flu.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health,  22 people in the state have died from the virus this flu season.

Experts say a child, under the age of 4-years-old, died as a result of the virus recently.

Deaths related to the flu have been reported in the following counties:

  • Carter County
  • Comanche County
  • Garfield County
  • Jackson County
  • Muskogee County
  • Okfuskee County
  • Oklahoma County
  • Payne County
  • Rogers County
  • Stephens County
  • Tillman County
  • Tulsa County
  • Washington County.

In all, 805 Oklahomans have been hospitalized with the flu since September.

Health officials recommend the flu vaccination for anyone six months of age and older.

The following types of flu vaccine are available:

  • The traditional flu shot which protects against four strains of flu.
  • The nasal spray flu vaccine, which protects against four strains of flu, is for healthy people who are not pregnant and are ages 2-49. Studies have shown this vaccine was more effective among younger children. However, if the nasal spray vaccine is not immediately available, parents should not delay in getting children vaccinated.
  • The high-dose flu shot for people age 65 years and older which protects against three strains of flu.

Anyone who experiences flu-like symptoms should consult a health provider as soon as possible.

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