OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Health officials in Oklahoma say the number of novel coronavirus cases continues to grow.
On Sunday morning, data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health shows that the state currently has 429 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
New counties with cases include Garfield, Rogers, Seminole and Texas counties.
So far, officials say 16 Oklahoma patients have died and 140 others have been hospitalized because of the virus.
Officials say the latest death occurred in Oklahoma County. The patient was a man in the 50-64 age range.
So far, deaths have occurred in Cleveland, Creek, Oklahoma, Pawnee, Sequoyah, Tulsa, and Wagoner counties.
According to health department data, there are nine people who are younger than 17-years-old infected with the virus in Oklahoma.
In all, 234 of the confirmed cases are 50 years old or older. The median age for a patient is 59 years old.
However, health officials say there is a high incidence of cases in the 18 to 49-year-old age group. People of all age groups are asked to stay home and practice social distancing.
State officials urge Oklahomans to stay away from ill patients and to frequently wash their hands. Also, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
At this point, Americans are urged to practice ‘social distancing’ by staying in their homes as much as possible and not going out into a crowd.
The virus is mainly spread from person-to-person, and symptoms usually appear two to 14 days after exposure. Officials stress that the most common symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
If you do become sick, you are asked to stay away from others. If you have been in an area where the coronavirus is known to be spreading or been around a COVID-19 patient and develop symptoms, you are asked to call your doctor ahead of time and warn them that you might have been exposed to the virus. That way, experts say, they have the ability to take extra precautions to protect staff and other patients.
The novel coronavirus was first detected in China late last year and has since spread to locations across the globe, including the United States.
While the full extent of COVID-19 is not known yet, reported illnesses have ranged from extremely mild to severe, some resulting in death. Officials say that 80 to 85 percent of cases of COVID-19 have been mild, similar to a cold or the flu.
Older people and those with underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes are at a greater risk for a serious case.