Oklahoma breaks last year’s record for flu deaths

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OKLAHOMA  – The flu continues to hit Oklahomans hard.  The latest flu numbers show 14 more Oklahomans have died from the flu in the past week.

That brings the total number of influenza deaths since September to 82, which shatters last years total of 71.

There are still three more months of flu season to go, and 1,789 people have already been hospitalized with the virus.

Comanche Public Schools announced they will not have school Thursday, Friday, and Monday due to a recent spike in flu absences.  Comanche Public Schools Superintendent Terry Davidson told the Duncan Banner that 16 percent of the student population was absent Wednesday because of the virus.

Experts say this year’s flu shot has only been about 23% effective because the predominant strain, H3N2, has developed a variation since the vaccine was made last year.

But experts still encourage you to get your flu shot.

“It does provide some level of protection,” Epidemiologist with Acute Disease Service at the State Department of Health, Laurence Burnsed said. “There may be a mismatch with one strain, but there are other strains that circulate each year.”

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