Seniors remain highest at risk for flu-related deaths in Oklahoma County

Seniors remain highest at risk for flu-related deaths in Oklahoma County

Forty-eight influenza-related deaths have been recorded by the Oklahoma State Department of Health since September of 2016.

"The most important thing to do is to protect yourself by getting an annual flu vaccination".

"We have seen the same trend here in Ross County, with a total of 31 influenza-associated hospitalizations, 14 of those cases in just the past week", said Michelle Long, infectious disease nurse with the Ross County Health District.

Those most vulnerable to having serious problems with the flu are the very young, elderly, pregnant women and people with other significant health conditions such as asthma, heart or lung disease, diabetes or weakened immune systems. No pediatric deaths have been reported this season. Tennessee 's reports indicated flu numbers went down from widespread to regional.

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The other outbreaks were in nursing homes, she said.

Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

A summary from the agency said the flu was widespread in North Carolina during last week. State health officials say flu season has already killed dozens around the state and they are encouraging people to hurry and get a flu shot if they haven't already.

In the 2013 to 2014 flu season, H1N1 was the dominate virus at the time, the standard-dose vaccine had better effectiveness than the previous season. Flu activity is especially severe now in the South, some Midwestern areas and in the East, particularly Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and CT.

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