OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KSWO) –Since flu season reporting started Oct. 4, 2015, 204 people have been hospitalized and three people have died in Oklahoma from the flu.
Hospitalizations have occurred across the state, and the three deaths were in Harper, Rogers and Tulsa counties. The Oklahoma State Department of Health says Oklahoma has experienced a low level of activity during the first part of the flu season, but it's still important to get a flu vaccine and take basic steps to protect yourself.
Early data shows this year's flu vaccine is 59 percent effective, which is well above last year's rate of less than 20 percent.
There are still several months left in the typical flu season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and OSDH recommend getting a flu vaccine, but they understand that's not always an option. If you elect not to get the vaccine, there are a few helpful things you can do to reduce your chance of getting sick:
- Avoid close contact with sick people
- While sick, limit your contact with other people
- If you have a flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze
- Wash your hands with soap and water
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Clean and disinfect anything that may be contaminated with germs.
- If your doctor prescribes antiviral drugs, take them
You learn more about ways to fight the flu from the CDC here.
Commons symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny of stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Most people who have the flu show mild symptoms and do not need medical attention. Contact your health care provider if you become very sick or are worried about your illness.
You can keep up with the flu results in Oklahoma here.