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Flu season in Oklahoma normal so far

Oklahoma is seeing a normal flu season so far. Public health officials recommend residents older than 6 months get their flu vaccine to better ensure good health this flu season.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Modified: October 18, 2012 at 9:31 pm •  Published: October 19, 2012
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With four cases of influenza in Oklahoma reported this flu season, it's a little early to predict what kind of season residents should expect, a state Health Department official said.

Thus far, Oklahoma is seeing a typical flu season, said Laurence Burnsed, director of the communicable disease division at the Health Department.

Since Sept. 30, four residents have been hospitalized because of the flu, according to state Health Department data. Two of those cases occurred last week.

Burnsed, an epidemiologist, said if anything, flu activity in the state thus far has been light.

The state Health Department partners with 21 physicians across Oklahoma to collect data about patients who show flulike symptoms. Last week, about 2.5 percent of patients who saw these doctors showed flulike symptoms.

However, it's important for people to get vaccinated and also wash their hands, cover their mouths when they cough and stay at home when sick.

“People need to be aware that it's important to already be communicating with their doctor or calling the county health department for their flu shot,” Burnsed said.

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by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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