Death toll rises to 242 in Oklahoma's record flu season

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Health officials say 242 Oklahomans have died from influenza so far this season, deepening the severity of an already record flu season in the state.

The state Department of Health said Thursday more than 4,500 people have been hospitalized with flu-like symptoms since Sept. 1. A total of 1,138 people have been hospitalized with the flu in Tulsa County, more than any other county. Oklahoma County has the second highest number of hospitalizations with 757.

Most influenza-related fatalities, 169, have occurred among people 65 years old or older. Health officials say one child aged 4 or younger and one aged 5-17 have also died from the illness.

Officials say flu-related deaths and hospitalizations surpass any season in Oklahoma since the department began tracking the illness in 2009.

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