New influenza statistics released by the Oklahoma State Department of Health indicate 242 people have been hospitalized and five people have died in Oklahoma since reporting for the current flu season began on Sept. 29, 2013.
Influenza-associated hospitalizations have been reported statewide while five influenza-related deaths have occurred in Kay, LeFlore, Osage, Pittsburg, and Tulsa counties.
Public health officials said it is not too late to get a flu vaccine. This year’s vaccine contains H1N1-2009 which is well-matched to the strain that is going around right now.
Many local county health departments, pharmacies and health care providers still have vaccine and health officials urge all persons 6 months of age and older to get the vaccine to protect themselves and those around them from influenza, especially babies too young to receive a vaccination.
People who already have the flu can spread it to others even before they feel sick. You may have the flu if you have some or all of these symptoms:
•Fever (although not everyone with flu will have a fever)
•Runny or stuffy nose
Anyone that has symptoms of flu and are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider.
Certain people are at greater risk of serious flu-related complications (including young children, elderly persons, pregnant women and people with some long-term medical conditions).