Health officials: 6 Oklahomans have died from the flu this season

by Antonio Miles December 24, 2017, 0:54
Health officials: 6 Oklahomans have died from the flu this season

Flu season activity is increasing across Pennsylvania headed into the holidays, although it remains on pace with previous year's flu seasons.

Pam Burton, infection control nurse at Peterson Regional Medical Center, is officially tracking flu cases and reporting to the State Department of Health Services.

Montana's flu season lasts from October through May and typically peaks in January.

Rachel Hinnenkamp with the state health department says that as of December 16, there have been 374 cases with 89 hospitalizations and six deaths.

Officials say flu vaccine helps prevent infection for individuals who receive it and helps keeps others healthy by making it harder for the virus to spread.

"We know when that strain is the predominant strain, we know that it's going to be a more severe season", Lopez said.

North Carolina health officials believe more needs to be done to protect families from the flu.

That number compares to 101 influenza A cases and 64 influenza B cases reported in 2016, she said, adding, "We're doing better on B".

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Anyone with respiratory illnesses should stay away from hospital until their symptoms have stopped. During this period, influenza, 612 influenza-related hospitalizations were reported, but no reports of pediatric deaths from influenza. Now, the OSDH said 262 are in the hospital with the flu.

The holiday season brings people together.

Glenda Perez made sure her two young children got their flu shots.

Symptoms of flu include cough, congestion, fever, aches, chills and fatigue, and usually can be managed at home with rest and fluids, she said.

Avoid close contact with sick people.

The vaccine is available from 8 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 noon Friday at the health department clinics at 2700 NE 63, 2149 SW 59 and 4113 NW 10.

Meanwhile, public health officials are encouraging people to get the flu shot, wash their hands frequently and stay home if they are sick. People with preexisting conditions such as asthma and heart disease are also at greater risk as are individuals with weakened immune systems due to disease or medications such as chemotherapy or chronic steroid use.

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