OCCHD reports flu-associated deaths rose by four people this week bringing the total to five for the season in Oklahoma County. Three of the deaths were 65 years old and older, and the fourth patient was in the 50 to 64 age group. The number of hospitalizations in Oklahoma County increased by 61 people for a total of 242 patients.
Statewide, the number of flu-related deaths now stands at 37 people and hospitalization totals rose by 292 people to 1,419 patients. Hospitalizations among individuals 65 years of age and older followed by 0 to 4 years of age remains elevated.
Our continuous flu monitoring network finds elevated influenza activity. OCCHD recommends that the best strategy to prevent flu remains to get a flu shot and good hand hygiene.
Vaccination is essential for those at high risk from flu complications including people 65 years of age and older, young children, pregnant women, persons with chronic lung disease, diabetes, heart disease, neurologic conditions and other long-term health conditions.
Four easy tips from OCCHD to prevent flu from spreading:
- Frequent hand washing using warm soapy water.
- Use tissues to cover coughs and sneezes.
- Stay home from work or school while feeling ill.
- Go to your physician as soon as possible. Antiviral medications are most effective if started within two days of symptom onset.
OCCHD offers the flu vaccine at the three clinic locations. Learn more at www.occhd.org/clinics or call 419-4261.