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OSDH: First Two Flu Deaths Of The Season Reported

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

The Flu has turned deadly in Oklahoma and health leaders are urging people to get their flu shot saying it is not too late. 

Those at highest risk for getting the flu are children under five and adults over 50. 

The Oklahoma State Department of Health announced the first two deaths of this flu season on Thursday. 

The two people who died were both older than 65.

Fever, chills, and headaches are just a few of the symptoms that could lead to big problems this flu season said LeAnne Stephens with the Tulsa County Health Department.

"If you're experiencing any of those flu-like symptoms, you're going to want to make sure to get in to see your health care provider as soon as possible," said Stephens. 

Already this year, 105 people were hospitalized with the flu.

That's compared to 110 deaths last year and more than 2,400 hospitalizations.

“Which is why it's so important for everyone to receive an annual flu vaccine. We encourage everyone 6 months and older to receive that vaccine because it is the single most protection that we have against the flu," said Stephens. 

Flu season runs from October to May and Stephens says the number of cases so far is relatively high for this time of year. 

"The holiday season typically involves a lot more gatherings and get-togethers. People spend more time indoors in more confined spaces. With that comes the more easily spread of germs," she said. 

And if you haven't rolled up your sleeve yet to get a shot it's not too late. 

"When you receive that vaccine, not only are you protecting yourself, but you're protecting those around you. The more people who are immunized against the flu, the better protection for the whole community," Stephens said. 

OSDH said it's important to remember that those who already have the flu can spread it to others even before they feel sick. A person may have the flu if they have some or all of these symptoms:

• Fever 

• Cough

• Sore throat

• Runny or stuffy nose

• Body aches

• Headache

• Chills

• Fatigue

For more information about influenza and activity updates, visit the Ok Flu View at the OSDH website

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