Published: Fri, March 03, 2017
Medical | By Dorothy Lyons

NC residents die from flu complications in 1 week

Eleven more people die of flu-related illness in Oklahoma in the past week, three of those in Tulsa County, which continues to lead the state. Last year, 59 people died from the flu.

"We have seen the same trend here in Ross County, with a total of 31 influenza-associated hospitalizations, 14 of those cases in just the past week", said Michelle Long, infectious disease nurse with the Ross County Health District. "Many of the most serious outcomes of flu infections occur in older people". Stephens county reports 19 hospitalizations and two deaths related to the virus.

The department says a late peak in the 2016 flu season, which carried over to the summer, has partly contributed to the steep increase.

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The county says while children under six months old can not get a flu shot, there are other ways to protect them. By staying home, the agency stresses that means not going to school or work, shopping, social events, public gatherings, travel or any other activity that may expose others. Mothers of newborns should also be vaccinated to protect their newborns who can not receive the vaccine until they're 6 months old. Circulating viruses include H3N2, H1N1, and B which are all contained in this year's flu vaccine. If you sneeze or cough, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue.

OH is not the only state with a flu situation officially deemed "widespread". Flu activity is especially severe now in the South, some Midwestern areas and in the East, particularly Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and CT.

Colorado moved from regional activity to widespread.

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