The Oklahoma State Department of Health today reported the first influenza-associated death in Oklahoma County for the 2018-2019 flu season. Flu has now claimed the lives of 13 Oklahomans this season and led to 331 hospitalizations and/or deaths statewide, many of which were senior citizens.
Oklahoma City-County Health Department (OCCHD) Executive Director Gary Cox notes that while this flu season isn’t as severe as last, flu shots are encouraged for all individuals six months and older. OCCHD has given 6855 free flu shots so far this flu season.
“There is still time to get a free flu shot before the flu season peaks as individuals who get the flu vaccine are not only protecting themselves, but family members, and even co-workers,” said Cox. “The flu vaccine can keep you from getting the flu, make the illness less severe if you do get it, and keep you from spreading the virus.”
Free flu shots are still available at all three Oklahoma City-County Health locations Mondays through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to noon.
OCCHD reminds the public that it takes about two weeks to be fully protected from the vaccine.
Flu Prevention Tips:
- Get a Flu Shot
- Washing hands and covering coughs and sneezes.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.