LeFlore County sees 4 flu hospitalizations
The Oklahoma State Health Department on Thursday reported a new flu hospitalization for LeFlore County, although no deaths as of yet have been reported.
Statewide, however, there have been 37 deaths. Also, there have been 186 new hospitalizations or deaths from Feb. 15-21 and 1,419 since Sept. 1. The Health Department also reported 11.7 percent of outpatient visits statewide met the criteria for influenza-like illness (fever of more than 100 combined with cough and/or a sore throat).
LeFlore County has four flu hospitalizations. Tulsa County has had the most hospitalizations at 338 followed by 242 in Oklahoma County. Tulsa County also has reported the most deaths at 10 followed by Oklahoma County at five. Deaths also have been reported in the following counties: Blaine, Bryan, Canadian, Cleveland, Craig, Creek, Grant, Johnston, Kay, Logan, Pittsburg, Pottawatomie, Rogers, Stephens and Wagoner.
Of the deaths, 26 have been persons ages 65 and older. Seven deaths were ages 5064, thee ages 18-49 and one death was a minor between ages 5-17. Exact ages are not released due to HIPPA and privacy concerns.
The 65 and older age group also had the largest number of flu hospitalizations at 808 followed by 218 for ages 50-64, 193 for ages 18-49 and 129 for ages infant up to 4 and 71 for ages 5-17.
The CDC says the best ways to prevent the flu or spread of the virus is avoiding contact with those sick or stay home if you are ill. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, clean your hands and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
However, the CDC says the No. 1 best way to avoid the flu is receiving a yearly flu shot.