Flu Deaths Climb To Record High in Oklahoma
Oklahoma has set a state record for flu deaths. So far 153 people have died during the 2017-18 flu season, which breaks a record from last year. The Oklahoma State Department of Health began tracking flu deaths per season in 2009.
Health Officials say the H3N3 virus or Flu A has been particularly harmful to those 65 and older and those younger than five years old. And, the Flu B strain is increasingly worrying health authorities.
Health Department spokesperson, Tony Sellars, says Oklahomans still need to get vaccinated.
"Somebody can actually get the flu twice in one season."
State health officials also confirmed the first child death from the flu this season, which has hospitalized more than 3,400 Oklahomans. Sellars says county health departments across the state are giving out free flu shots.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley says it's not too late to protect yourself from the flu.
"We have been surprised at the number of people who haven’t received the flu vaccination yet this season and we are making this effort to ensure that everyone who would like a flu shot will be able to get one."
Health officials also recommend preventing the spread of germs by frequently washing your hands, covering your nose and mouth when you sneeze and cough, and avoiding public places when you're sick.