Health officials: Oklahoma death toll from flu stands at 90

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

OKLAHOMA CITY – Health officials say that while the number of flu hospitalizations continues to decline across the state, the number of deaths related to the virus now stands at 90.

On Thursday, the Oklahoma State Department of Health announced that two people died from the flu between March 29 and April 4.

However, they say the total number of deaths from the virus this season stands at 90, which is still higher than last week’s numbers.

Officials say the increase is due to four 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 20 deaths in that county. So far, 530 people have been hospitalized because of the virus in Tulsa County.

Oklahoma County has seen 13 deaths and 405 hospitalizations related to the virus.

The department’s data show that 62 of the deaths occurred in patients who were 65-years-old or older. Seventeen deaths occurred in those between 50 and 64-years-old, while eight 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 continues to drop.

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.