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First flu-associated death reported in Tulsa County

Flu now widespread in 36 states, according to CDC
Posted at 10:56 AM, Dec 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-30 11:59:09-05

TULSA, Okla. — The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) today reported its first influenza-associated death in Tulsa County for the 2021-2022 flu season.

According to OSDH, there have been 238 influenza-associated hospitalizations and three influenza deaths statewide since September 1 of this year. 55 of those hospitalizations occurred in Tulsa County residents.

As the flu season continues along with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tulsa Health Department is encouraging all Oklahomans who are six months and older to get a flu vaccination. They say the best prevention against the flu is to receive the vaccine.

“Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever during this season to protect yourself, your family, and your community from the flu,” said Tulsa Health Department Clinical Services Manager, Ellen Niemitalo. “A flu vaccine can lessen the severity of symptoms if you do become infected, which will also decrease the risk for hospitalization and death."

Influenza and COVID-19 are considered to both be contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses.

Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing is needed to confirm a diagnosis. This table compares COVID-19 and flu, given the best available information to date from the CDC.

In addition to a seasonal flu vaccine, the Tulsa Health Department encourages anyone ages five and older to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and if eligible, to receive a booster dose.

Oklahomans can receive a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, including a flu vaccine, at the same visit.

The flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine are available at the following Tulsa Health Department locations:

  • James O. Goodwin Health Center, located at 5051 S. 129 E. Ave. in Tulsa
  • Central Regional Health Center, located at 315 S. Utica in Tulsa 

Call 918-582-9355 to make an appointment or request an appointment online. Masks are required to be worn in clinical areas by everyone 2 years and older.  

Visit the Tulsa Health Department's website for more information about the flu, including flu vaccination clinic locations and hours of operation.

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