OKLAHOMA CITY – Data received by the Oklahoma State Department of Health shows a dramatic spike in the number of deaths associated with the flu virus this season.
So far this year, officials with the Oklahoma State Department of Health say that 129 people have died from the flu since September. Four of those deaths occurred within the past week.
In all, 354 people had to be hospitalized within the last week due to the flu virus, bringing the total number of hospitalizations to 2,646.
According to hospitalization numbers from the Oklahoma State Department of Health, residents in Oklahoma and Tulsa counties accounted for the most flu hospitalizations in the state.
Oklahoma County recorded 514 hospitalizations, while Tulsa County recorded 748 hospitalizations. The next closest county is Cleveland County, which recorded 202 hospitalizations this season.
Health reports state that almost all of the patients who died from the virus were over the age of 50.
However, new data shows that 15 of those who died from the flu were between the ages of 18-years-old and 49-years-old.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say you should be vigilant with washing your hands, avoid touching your eyes and mouth, get plenty of sleep and eat healthy to help give your immune system a boost.
If you get sick, look out for severe aches and pains in your muscles and joints, notable fatigue and weakness, headaches and a high fever.
If you are experiencing those symptoms, call a doctor as soon as possible. Experts also say you should not go to work or school if you have a fever.