State health officials report 5 new flu-related deaths, bringing total to 23 for the season

TULSA - Six more flu-related deaths are being reported this week by state health officials, two of which occurred in Tulsa County.

New data released Thursday from the Oklahoma State Department of Health shows 23 flu-related deaths since Sept. 30, 2012 -- up from 17 last week.

A total of 798 people have been hospitalized with the flu since the season began.

Deaths have occurred in the following counties:

  • Tulsa (6)
  • Comanche (3)
  • Oklahoma (3)
  • Pittsburg (2)
  • Blaine (1)
  • Cleveland (1)
  • Creek (1)
  • Mayes (1)
  • McIntosh (1)
  • Muskogee (1)
  • Rogers (1)
  • Stephens (1)
  • Washington (1)

The majority of this season's flu-related deaths were people 65 years or older.

Updated flu statistics are released every Thursday by the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Health officials continue emphasizing the importance of flu shots because people who already have the flu but show no symptoms can still spread it to others.

Vaccines are being encouraged for everyone, including pregnant women, the elderly and people with underlying health issues. The vaccine is available for anyone 6 months old or older.

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

For tips on how to avoid the flu and other flu-related news, visit


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