Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) has confirmed the first pediatric death associated with the flu since the season began in September. An Oklahoma County resident between the ages of 5 and 18 has passed away.
There have been record-breaking numbers this season in Oklahoma with 3,440 flu-associated hospitalizations, and 153 deaths. Over 1,800 Oklahomans over the age of 65 and over 400 under the age of 18 have been hospitalized due to medical complications from the flu. Those are the highest flu numbers since the department began tracking influenza rates.
There are several weeks remaining in the flu season. A flu shot is encouraged for anyone over the age of 6 months who hasn't been immunized. OSDH is offering flu vaccinations statewide at no cost to recipients at all county health department sites. Contact your local county health department for clinic times.
A total of 32 flu-associated deaths have occurred among Oklahoma children under the age of 18 since 2009. 25 of the children who passed were eligible to receive a flu shot.