The Mayes County Health Department announced the first reported flu death this flu season in Mayes County. The deceased was a female in her mid thirties.
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health Acute Disease Service, influenza associated hospitalizations have doubled in the past week, increasing from 171 to 345 as of January 8th. This number does not include people who simply went to their doctor or emergency room for medication. The largest number of flu-related hospitalizations have been reported among persons aged 65 and older. Pryor’s Integris Hospital could not confirm a number of flu related hospitalizations as of yet.
Pryor Public School Superintendent Don Raleigh says they have been lucky so far and have not had children out of school with the flu.
“As of now we are holding our own. We track attendance very closely, and I haven’t seen anything alarming yet,” said Raleigh. “We’re really pushing handwashing and hygeine as prevention.” The nurse for the Chouteau school systems reported 8 confirmed cases of the flu for the entire system, including students and teachers.
According to the Mayes County Health Department says parents should monitor their children for warning signs; fast breathing, trouble breathing, bluish skin color, not drinking enough fluids, not waking up or interacting, extreme irritability, fever with rash. In adults the symptoms include; difficulty breathing, pain or pressure in chest or abdomen, dizziness, confusion, severe or persistent comiting.
The Health Department reminds everyone that if you do become sick with flu symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care.
Call the Mayes County Health Department at (918) 825-4224 for more information about the flue or the flu vaccine. Visit www.health.ok.gov for Oklahoma flu updates posted every Thursday.