OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma Department of Health reports there have been 45 flu-related deaths this flu season.

OK FluView states reports there have been 1,429 hospitalizations and deaths for influenza-associated reasons.

The CDC rates Oklahoma in "Red" for high activity. 

Local health experts say this is the worst outbreak in more than decade, with children being especially hit hard. Local health experts say there is a shortage of Tami-Flu, which they say is the only thing that will really help with the virus.

They recommend asking your pharmacist to compound the medication.

Last week, the health department reported 22 flu-associated deaths.

Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus which is spread by infected people coughing, sneezing or touching a surface handled by others.

Its impact can be severe in some cases, especially among seniors, young children, pregnant women and people with underlying medical conditions, according to the CDC.