On the heels of a record year for deaths, the 2018 flu season officially has begun in Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health says there have been 27 hospitalizations for confirmed influenza statewide since Sept. 1. Eight of those cases were reported in Tulsa County. No deaths have been recorded.
A record number of deaths were linked to the flu last year. The state says 291 people died during the 2017-18 season.
OSDH will release data each Thursday from Oct. 10 through May 2019, when flu season ends.
The statewide numbers through Oct. 16, by county:
Adair County - 2
Bryan – 1
Cherokee – 1
Cleveland – 1
Craig – 3
Creek – 1
Logan – 1
Oklahoma – 2
Osage – 1
Pawnee – 1
Pontotoc – 1
Sequoyah – 1
Tulsa – 8
Wagoner – 2
Washington – 1
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends people get the flu vaccine and take everyday preventative measures to help curb the spread of the potentially deadly illness. Click here for some facts from the CDC about the flu and preventative care.
It is recommended that all individuals over the age of six months be vaccinated against the flu this year, according to the Tulsa County Health Department. Persons at high risk of serious complications from flu are especially advised to get the flu vaccine, including older people, pregnant women and those with asthma, diabetes, or other chronic conditions. Parents and family members of babies less than 6 months of age and people who live with or care for anyone at high risk for complications from the flu, including health care workers, should also get the vaccine, TCHD says.
The Tulsa County Health Department gives free flu shots as long as supplies last. Click here for location information.
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