Flu claims lives of 18 Oklahomans this season, health department says

OKLAHOMA CITY – Nearly 20 people have died from the flu for the 2018-2019 season, health officials say.

On Thursday, the Oklahoma State Department of Health announced the flu has claimed the lives of 18 Oklahomans and led to more than 350 hospitalizations statewide. Most of the deaths occurred in patients who were over the age of 65.

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.
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