Six new Oklahoma flu deaths reported

Six new Oklahoma flu deaths were reported to the state Health Department this past week, quadrupling the state’s death toll for the current flu season.

BY RANDY ELLIS Published: January 11, 2013
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Three times as many flu deaths were reported to the Oklahoma Health Department in the past week than in the previous three months combined.

Six new Oklahoma flu deaths were reported in the week that ended Tuesday. That raises the state’s death toll for the current flu season to eight.

Records show 345...

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AT A GLANCE

Who is at risk?

Among patients experiencing the most trouble are people who had pre-existing pulmonary issues, heart problems, asthma and the elderly, said Thomas Ingmire, an emergency room doctor at Presbyterian Hospital.

Young people who are healthy before they catch the flu can often weather the illness without medical assistance as long as they make sure they stay hydrated and keep there temperatures under control, Ingmire said.

However, health officials say people who feel extremely sick and people at high risk of complications, including young children, elderly persons, pregnant women and people with certain pre-existing medical conditions, should seek advice from their health providers.

What are the symptoms?

Typical flu symptoms include a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue.

What are warning signs?

Health officials said parents should be on the lookout for the following emergency warnings signs in children with the flu:

•Fast breathing or trouble breathing.

•Bluish skin color.

•Not drinking enough fluids.

•Not waking up or interacting.

•Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held.

•Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough.

•Fever with a rash.

Seek medical help immediately for any infant who is unable to eat, has trouble breathing, has no tears when crying or has significantly fewer wet diapers than normal, officials said.

Randy Ellis, Staff Writer

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