New flu death reported as flu season peaks in Tulsa County

Collaborator: Brittany Harlow
Published: 02/08/2019, 10:42 AM
(TULSA, Okla.) Five people have died and 169 people have been hospitalized in Tulsa County since the onset of this year’s flu season, which officials began tracking in September. The latest Tulsa County flu death was reported between January 30 and February 5. All who have died during this year’s flu season have been fifty years old or older. Despite five deaths in Tulsa County, this flu season is nothing compared to last year, which officials said was the worst flu season on record. 32 people had died from the flu by this time 2018, during a season that ultimately claimed the lives of 53 people in Tulsa County alone. “We’re at the height of flu season right now,” Tulsa Health Department spokesperson Leanne Stephens said. “Definitely what we would expect to see this time of year.” Stephens said it is not too late for people to get the flu shot, which they are offering at the Tulsa Health Department for free. It protects against four strains of the flu virus. While never 100 percent effective, even if you get the flu after getting the shot, Stephens said, the length of time and severity of symptoms while sick will be less if you’ve had the vaccination. She also stressed the importance of basic germ protection: Covering your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when sneezing or coughing and disposing of those used tissues immediately into the trash containers Washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing, sneezing or using a tissue Using alcohol-based hand sanitizers if your hands are not visibly soiled “And one of the biggest things we can’t stress enough is stay home when you’re sick,” Stephens said. “You have to be fever free for 24 hours before you head back to work.”


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