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Influenza Season: Central Region marks 4 deaths this week

Vicky O. Misa

Flu season has maintained a weeks-long streak of averaging about 300 news cases each week as officials report 348 new flu-related hospitalizations — and marking eight deaths in that tally this week, bringing the total to 2,662 cases for the season so far. Last week's report showed 344 new flu-related hospitalizations across the state.

Pottawatomie County meandered into the season slowly — not seeing any flu-related hospitalizations until December, but over the weeks that figure has slowly ticked up, now that figure has bumped up to 55 for the count that began the first of September.

In Oklahoma this week the number of flu-related deaths took another sizable jump — by eight, bringing the total to 53 so far.

According to Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) Flu View, the dozens of Oklahomans who have died of flu-related causes have been spread out across the state: two in the northwest region; eight (two new) in the northeast region; five in the east central region; seven in the central region (four new); four in the southwest region; six (one new) in the southeast region; 11 (one new) in Oklahoma County; and 10 in Tulsa County.

Of the victims, 21 (two new) have been reported as older than 65; 20 (three new) were between 50 and 64 years old; 10 (three new) were between 18 and 49 years old; one was between 5 and 17 years old; and the remaining one was 4 years old or younger.

So far this season

The flu-related hospitalizations and/or deaths reported this season are from all over the state:

• Central Region — now at 363 total cases — up 51 from 312 reported last week;

• Northwest Region — now at 81 total cases — up eight from 73 reported last week;

• Northeast Region — now at 282 total cases — up 35 from 247 reported last week;

• East Central Region — now at 396 total cases — up 57 from 339 reported last week;

• Southeast Region — now at 165 total cases — up 17 from 148 reported last week;

• Southwest Region — now at 280 total cases — up 37 from 243 reported last week;

• Tulsa County— now at 659 total cases — up 83 from 576 reported last week; and

• Oklahoma County — now at 436 total cases — up 60 from 376 reported last week

Check it out

According to data collected by the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) Flu View, the state's Central Region has noted four flu-related deaths in the past week. Until now that segment of the area had only seen three deaths all season.

The Central Region is comprised of six counties:

• Canadian — up seven hospitalizations and/or deaths from last week; totaling 76

• Cleveland — up 20 hospitalizations and/or deaths from last week; totaling 158

• McClain — up three hospitalizations and/or deaths from last week; totaling 27

• Lincoln — up four hospitalizations and/or deaths from last week; totaling 18

• Logan — up four hospitalizations and/or deaths from last week; totaling 29

• Pottawatomie — up 13 hospitalizations and/or deaths from last week; totaling 55