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Prevention Important as Respiratory Illness Season Continues

TULSA, OKLA – [December 29, 2023] – The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) today reported the first influenza-associated death in Tulsa County for the 2023-2024 flu season. According to OSDH, there have been 341 influenza-associated hospitalizations and eight influenza deaths statewide since September 1, 2023. Sixty-three of those hospitalizations occurred among Tulsa County residents.

While details regarding the individual are not being released to protect privacy, health officials urge residents to take this as a serious reminder of the potential impacts of the flu and the importance of preventive measures, including getting vaccinated.

“The loss of any life to influenza is a tragedy,” said THD Executive Director Dr. Bruce Dart. “This serves as a stark reminder that the flu can be a serious illness, especially for young children, older adults, and those with underlying health conditions.”

The winter months typically experience an increase in respiratory illness activity, including influenza, RSV, and COVID-19. Tulsa County residents are reminded to take basic steps to curb the spread of illness, including:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Stay home if you are sick.

Seasonal flu vaccines are recommended for everyone age six months and older, and are widely available at local pharmacies, health care providers, and at five THD locations throughout Tulsa County. Appointments are required and can be made online or by calling 918-582-9355.

Please click here for more information about the flu, including flu vaccination clinic locations and the Tulsa County flu surveillance report which is updated weekly.

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