A 7-year-old from Cherokee County is the first child to die because of flu-related illness this flu season, the state Health Department reported Thursday.
The child died late last year, but the death was reported this week in the state Health Department's weekly flu update.
Health department officials said certain disease investigations take longer because of the nature of individual cases and because of the information the department officials must gather to confirm the case.
The health department does not release specifics about deaths, including exactly when the death occurred, because of the department's concerns over confidentiality.
Since the flu season began in September, 26 Oklahomans have died, according to the health department. Twenty of the deaths were people 65 and older.
Since September, 946 state residents have been reported hospitalized because of the flu.
Public health officials continue to urge residents to get their flu shots, which are available at county health departments and some pharmacies and doctor offices throughout the state.