Number of Oklahomans Hospitalized With Flu On The Rise

Thursday, January 13th 2011, 3:41 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY – The number of people hospitalized from the flu has more than doubled in past two weeks, the Oklahoma State Department of Health said Thursday.

Health officials said 77 Oklahomans were hospitalized in the past two weeks, more than double the number since September 1, 2010. Most of those hospitalized have been younger than 18 years old. Two Oklahomans have died from the virus.

Dr. Kristy Bradley, Oklahoma State Epidemiologist, is urging everyone to get the flu shot, which is recommended for anyone over six months old.

"It's not too late to protect yourself and your family," said Dr. Bradley. "We anticipate an increase in influenza cases and hospitalizations in the next several weeks."

Bradley said the number of flu cases in Oklahoma usually spikes in February, though some cases occur as late as April.

The flu shot costs $25 at county health departments.