Health officials say Oklahoma sets flu death record with 129

Rebecca Gillespie
Biologist Rebecca Gillespie holds a vial of flu-fighting antibodies at the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, in Bethesda, Md. Despite 100 years of science, the flu virus too often beats our best defenses because it constantly mutates. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma health officials say the state has recorded 129 influenza deaths this season — a record for the state — and about 3,000 people have been hospitalized with illness.

The Oklahoma Department of Health said Thursday that flu deaths since Sept. 1 exceed the previous record of 114 deaths set four years ago. There were 110 flu-related deaths in the state during the previous flu season.

Health officials say that 89 people aged 65 or over are among this year’s flu victims, more than any other age group. A total of 15 people aged 18-49 and another 25 people aged 50-64 have also died due to the flu this season.

A total of 748 Tulsa County residents have been hospitalized due to the flu, more than any other Oklahoma county.

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