Health officials: 11 people have died from the flu this season

OKLAHOMA CITY – While the holidays are now behind us, it seems like many people are struggling to stay healthy in the new year.

On Thursday, the Oklahoma State Department of Health announced that 11 people have died from the flu since Sept. 1.

One patient was between the ages of 18 and 49, while two others were between 50 and 64-years-old, according to health department data. Most of the deaths occurred in patients who were over the age of 65.

So far, 221 people have been hospitalized because of the flu virus.

Health department officials say residents in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Cleveland counties are dealing with the highest number of hospitalizations related to the flu.

Experts say 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.