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Oklahoma flu death toll climbs to 20

The Oklahoma state Health Department reports eight additional deaths attributed to the flu.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Modified: January 23, 2014 at 10:31 pm •  Published: January 23, 2014
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The deaths of 20 Oklahomans have been attributed to the flu this season, the state Health Department reported Thursday morning.

The department reported that eight additional flu deaths have been confirmed since last week.

Health Department figures show that 123 Oklahomans were hospitalized with flu over the last week, bringing the total number of hospitalizations to 575 since flu season started in late September.

Among the people who have died from the flu, two were children. Six adults between 18 and 49 have died, along with six adults between 50 and 64 and six adults 65 or older.

Tulsa County has seen the highest number of flu deaths, with four residents dying from flu-related complications.

Flu activity is widespread in most of the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Oklahoma is among 11 states that have reported the highest rate of flu-like illness, according to the CDC.

High flu activity is likely to continue for several weeks, according to the CDC.

The majority of Oklahomans who have caught the flu contracted Influenza A.

Nationwide, many people have been sickened by the H1N1 flu virus, the Influenza A strain that caused the flu outbreak in 2009. This strain of the flu is included in this year's flu shot.

Health officials say there is still time to get a flu shot. Most county health departments and many pharmacies offer a variety of versions of the shot.