OKLAHOMA CITY – While you don’t often associate the flu with the start of spring, recent health data shows that dozens of deaths are being associated with the virus.
On Thursday, the Oklahoma State Department of Health announced that the flu has claimed the lives of 71 Oklahomans and led to more than 2,655 hospitalizations statewide. Most of the deaths occurred in patients who were over the age of 65.
In all, officials say one child died from the flu, while seven people between the ages of 18 and 49 also succumbed to the virus.
Health department officials say residents in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Cleveland counties are dealing with the highest number of hospitalizations related to the flu.
Health data indicates that this year’s flu is much less severe than it was last year, and it appears as though we have already passed the peak of flu season.
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.