Oklahoma Health Department: Flu Season Peaked, But Not Over

Thursday, February 6th 2014, 6:12 pm
By: News On 6

The State Health Department released the number of new flu cases Thursday. They said Flu season may have peaked, but it's certainly not over.

Some people who've had the flu have actually received a flu shot this year.

The flu is still with us, people are still getting sick and the new numbers showed eight more people have died in Oklahoma from flu related causes, bringing the total to 33; six of the new deaths were in our area.

2/6/2014 Related Story: Eight More Flu-Related Deaths In Oklahoma In Past Week

Nearly a thousand people have been hospitalized since the season began back in September. Some of those people have gotten sick despite having gotten the flu shot.

Nicole Schlaefli, an epidemiologist at the Tulsa Health Department, said, "The younger you are the more able you are to produce anti-bodies, and you get a better immune response."

Schlaefli said age can contribute to some getting sick. Also, the strain of flu might be outside the effectiveness ratio of the flu shot.

"The flu shot is 60 to 70 percent affective," Schlaefli said.

They've never been 100 percent effective, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't get one. She also said you can improve your chances of a better outcome by living a healthier lifestyle and staying away from people who are sick.

Seems overly simple, but there's something new this year that can improve flu resistance for those of a certain age, a High Dose shot.

"It's especially made for people over the age of 60; it's a higher amount of vaccine," Schlaefli said.

No need to get another flu shot, but if you haven't gotten one yet, and you are beyond the age of 60, ask for the high dose flu shot.

The Tulsa Health Department will be giving flu shots until the end of June.