Mesa County Health Department sees highest flu activity in 5 years

Flu Death Toll Rises In San Diego County

Forty-eight influenza-related deaths have been recorded by the Oklahoma State Department of Health since September of 2016.

Officials say residents in Tulsa County has been hardest hit by the flu this season, leading to 13 deaths in that county.

"Schools are being proactive with extra cleaning, wiping down desks daily, and at least one school has brought on extra custodial staff to disinfect lockers, doorknobs and other surfaces", Long said.

The county says while children under six months old can not get a flu shot, there are other ways to protect them.

Flu can be a serious illness for the elderly, children younger than 5, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease.

A significant number of hospitalizations attributed to influenza over the last week in Ross County indicates the flu continues to be widespread in the area, according to the Ross County Health District. Three of the deaths were 65 years old and older, and the fourth patient was in the 50 to 64 age group.

To make a flu vaccination appointment, call a local Essentia Health Clinic or 218-828-7100. Between Feb. 10 and Feb. 16 there were 5 flu deaths in Oklahoma. While flu activity remains elevated over the baseline rate of 2.2% for influenza-like illness, the new national report offers some good news during a flu season marked by severe illness. To protect patients and children in the community, Essentia Health requests children do not visit at this time. They do not apply to anyone seeking treatment at the hospitals.

Thompson has said that last month's spike in flu-related deaths may foretell a death count higher than average.