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Oklahoma reports season's first death of child caused by flu

A 7-year-old child was the first Oklahoman younger than 18 to die from the flu during this flu season. So far, 26 Oklahomans have died since September because of the flu.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Modified: February 21, 2013 at 8:07 pm •  Published: February 22, 2013
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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.

NewsOK.com has disabled the comments for this article.
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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