This season flu cycle is showing signs of finally winding down, though there is still some concern over the strain B virus.

This season flu cycle is showing signs of finally winding down, though there is still some concern over the strain B virus.

Data during the last week in March shows influenza activity has decreased in the United States.

According to OK FluView, at ok.gov, overall, influenza A(H3) viruses have predominated this season.

“Since early March, influenza B viruses have been more frequently reported than influenza A viruses,” the site reads.

The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza in clinical laboratories remains elevated.

“Ten percent of rapid influenza tests performed by sentinel sites were positive; 74 percent were positive for influenza B,” the site states.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported Thursday that 271 people have died in Oklahoma due to the flu since Sept. 1, up three from a week ago.

The agency said a record number of residents — 4,639 — have been hospitalized with the illness this season. There have been no reported new influenza-related deaths in the state since early March.

Regionally, the two most highly-populated areas — Tulsa County and Oklahoma County — report 1,159 cases and 50 deaths; and 786 cases and 41 deaths, respectively.

Now tied for second highest, Central Oklahoma — a region made up of six counties (minus Oklahoma County) — has seen 643 cases , while flu hospitalizations appear to be slowing in Pottawatomie County; 100 hospitalizations have been recorded so far this season — up one from last week.

Northwest and southeast areas of Oklahoma show the lowest number of cases this season. The 18 counties that make up the northwest region in the state report 140 flu-related hospitalizations (up five from last week) and remains at 17 deaths. The southeast region, made up of 13 counties, shows 277 hospitalizations (up six from last week), but jumped to 18 deaths (up five from last week) this season.

The number of deaths and hospitalizations surpass any flu season in Oklahoma since the department began tracking the illness in 2009. Now at 271, this season has officially recorded more than double the record for deaths; the previous record last year numbered 130 deaths.

The department reports the greatest number of flu-related deaths this year — 189 — is among people aged 65 or older. Reported deaths between the ages of 50 and 64 total 54, so far. Those 18 to 49 have seen 26 deaths in their category and one death each has remained the report for children between five and 17, and infants to 4 years old.

The 2017-18 influenza season ends the third week in May 2018.

Watch for updates.