Oklahoma's fatal flu season continues with 129 deaths reported statewide

Health officials warn of possibility of getting flu twice in a season

Health officials warn of possibility of getting flu twice in a season

Nurse Manager Jenni Dalton said they will offer the flu shot until June 30th, since this is when their current batch of vaccines expires. "This year has shown a heightened flu season across the board". Kevin Baynes, 7, passed away on January 29 just two days after being diagnosed with influenza, and Michael Messenger, a 12-year-old MI boy died of the flu on January 11 after testing negative for influenza.

Local health officials say the flu season is proving to be a severe one in both the Middlesex-London area and across the country.

According to hospitalization numbers from the Oklahoma State Department of Health, residents in Oklahoma and Tulsa counties accounted for the most flu hospitalizations in the state. Unfortunately, our latest tracking data indicate that the flu activity is still high and widespread across most of the nation, and increasing overall. Though the vaccine is less effective in preventing H3N2, it has better protection against other strains circulating, and can shorten illnesses or reduce the severity of symptoms, Schuchat said. According to the report, "this trend is significantly higher than that seen in the same time period in 2017 at 5.5%".

"When we get to 500, it really taxes the space we have", Barbera said.

As one of the worst flu seasons in almost a decade continues to thrive across the country, OR is the first state in the lower 48 to see the virus decline from "widespread" to "regional". He also wants to point out, several deaths have been from patients who were sick with more than just the flu. This year, there are more cases (740) and hospitalizations (114) in York County alone. The cases have been predominantly influenza type A, a form of the virus that is usually more severe and mutates quickly. Additionally, the vaccine effectiveness for A (H3N2) has generally been lower than other strains. "With influenza activity on the rise, individuals in these groups should take special precaution as we continue throughout the season".

Flu is a contagious respiratory illness with symptoms such as fever, chills, aches, cough and sore throat.

The health department is still urging people to get the flu vaccination this season.

Barbera said that the added flu site frees up space and provides those patients with more efficient care so they aren't waiting in the emergency department for hours.

And remember, stay home if you are sick.

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