OKLAHOMA CITY – Although spring is here, the flu is still taking its toll on the health of Oklahomans.
On Thursday, the Oklahoma State Department of Health announced that the flu has claimed the lives of 85 Oklahomans and led to more than 2,891 hospitalizations statewide.
Officials say one death has occurred between the ages of 5-17, while eight people between the ages of 18 and 49 also succumbed to the virus. However, 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.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say this year’s flu season is the longest in a decade.
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.