The Norman Transcript

State/Region

January 11, 2013

Sharp increase in state flu cases, deaths

OKLAHOMA CITY — The number of Oklahomans hospitalized with the flu has more than doubled in the past week to surpass the total number during last year’s flu season, the Oklahoma State Department of Health reported Thursday.

The department also said the number of deaths related to the illness is nearly equal to last season.

The Health Department reported 345 people have been hospitalized due to influenza during the current flu season, up from 171 a week ago, and eight people have died as a result of the flu, an increase of six since last week.

In the 2011-12 flu season, 316 people were hospitalized and nine people died, the department reported.

The flu season is considered to run from September through May, and health department epidemiologist Laurence Burnsed said this is the time of year that the disease typically peaks.

“There are several factors, some are not clearly understood. It does seem that it was a mild season last year,” Burnsed said. “Some of the reasons are the strain of influenza, A-H3, this is what the vaccine targets, but this (strain) has been noted to cause a more serious, more intense or severe (flu) season ... This is not necessarily a more deadly strain,” he said.

Those most susceptible are children younger than 5, people over age 65 and those with diseases such as lung disease or asthma. Burnsed declined to speculate on how intense the flu season may become during the next several weeks.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State/Region
  • Common Core repeal has state teachers worried about instruction

    OKLAHOMA CITY — With the Legislature’s repeal of tough, new English and math standards known as Common Core, education leaders said they’re concerned Oklahoma students will fall further behind their counterparts in more than 40 states ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Highway Patrol sees spike in number of applicants

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Two bills that passed the Legislature this past spring have sparked an increase in the number of applicants to join the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, officials said....

    July 20, 2014

  • 1M visit Okla. parks

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A new report from the National Parks Service shows that more than 1 million people visited Oklahoma’s national parks in 2013 and spent $17.2 million. Oklahoma has thee national parks: Washita Battlefield National Historic ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Unemployment rate falls to 4.5 percent

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma unemployment rate was down one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.5 percent in June. The figures released Friday by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission show that while the number of Oklahomans without a ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Gay Marriage Oklahoma Court reverses ban on gay marriage

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal appeals court rulied Friday that Oklahoma’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, spurring celebration among gay rights activists but sparking sharp anger among Republican leaders in a conservative state that ...

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Oklahoma firefighters help combat western wildfires

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Firefighters from Oklahoma are heading west to help battle wildfires....

    July 19, 2014

  • Three named to Oklahoma Capitol repair committee

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Mary Fallin has appointed three people to a committee that will oversee spending on repairs to Oklahoma’s nearly century-old state Capitol....

    July 19, 2014

  • Tulsa man dies in turnpike wreck

    BROKEN ARROW — Authorities say a 94-year-old Tulsa man has died after a wreck on the Muskogee Turnpike....

    July 19, 2014

  • Okla. wheat crop worst in nearly half a century

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Drought conditions that continued through spring, followed by a late freeze in April and untimely rains in June have produced the poorest Oklahoma wheat crop in nearly a half century, Oklahoma agriculture officials said....

    July 19, 2014

  • Cherokee Nation plans new casino

    SOUTH COFFEYVILLE — The principal chief of the Cherokee Nation says the tribe will soon begin work on a new casino in northern Oklahoma near the border with Kansas....

    July 19, 2014