OKLAHOMA CITY – As families are busy preparing for the Christmas holidays, health experts say the flu is taking a toll on Oklahomans.
On Thursday, the Oklahoma State Department of Health announced that four people have died from the flu since Sept. 1. According to health department data, all of the deaths occurred in patients who were at least 65-years-old.
So far, 112 people have been hospitalized because of the flu virus.
Experts say flu activity will likely increase between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so the health department says there is still time to get a flu shot to avoid the illness.
Symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headaches and fatigue.
Public health officials recommend following these prevention tips:
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle by eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and getting a full night’s rest.
- Wash hands frequently using soap and water, or alcohol-based products such as hand gels when hands are not visibly soiled.
- Use tissues to cover coughs and sneezes, then dispose of them and wash your hands immediately. When tissues are not readily available, cough into your sleeve, not your hands.
- Stay home from work, school and other public places when feeling ill.