Coronavirus killing as many Oklahomans in a few weeks as the flu killed in 7 months


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Comparisons between the seasonal flu and COVID-19 were popular at first, but now the Oklahoma State Department of Health is revealing just how different the two viruses are in Oklahoma.

“It has not been easy, but we have learned to appreciate our health and family,” Laura Haggard said.

Laura Haggard’s family has been hit hard by sickness this year, but she’s left wondering which one.

About a month ago, Laura’s father-in-law went from a coma to being a survivor of COVID-19. Around the same time, Haggard’s 6-year-old daughter had the flu and strep.

“The next weekend my husband Stuart wasn’t feeling well,” Haggard said.

Stuart was never tested for coronavirus and was told to isolate at home.

Laura, who is 30-weeks pregnant, also came down with symptoms of her own, but she thought it could’ve been a sinus infection.

But now she is thinking “what if?”

“We have since learned that could’ve been my version of the coronavirus,” Haggard said.

“Undoubtedly, there were a whole lot of people who had it that weren’t diagnosed,” Dr. Dale Bratzler from OU Med said.

In less than three weeks, COVID-19 has killed 79 Oklahomans. The first COVID-19 death in Oklahoma was on March 19, 2020.

That’s the same amount of Oklahomans who have died from the flu since Sept. 1, 2019.

“If people come in with those symptoms now, like cough or fever, right now we aren’t even thinking about flu anymore,” Dr. Bratzler said.

According to doctors from OU Med, your chance of dying from the flu is 0.1% or 1 in 1,000.

For COVID-19 in Oklahoma, the mortality rate is 4%, meaning four deaths for every 100 cases.

“It’s just dramatically higher than the flu,” Dr. Dale Bratzler said.

Bratzler tells KFOR the virus is too new to know if this is going to be seasonal.

For now, Laura is taking her family’s recovery one day at a time.

“In this moment, I am okay,” Haggard said.

Dr. Bratzler also says medical professionals are working on testing Oklahomans to see if they have antibodies in their blood system in an effort to see just how widespread COVID-19 is in our state.

Testing sites are also no longer screening patients with a flu test first before the COVID-19 test.

Continued Coronavirus Coverage

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