High-dose flu vaccine may prevent deaths in seniors

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Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and prevention said the flu was widespread in the state.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday that the death toll from the flu stands at 63.

Eleven more Oklahomans have died in that past week from the flu virus.

Vaccination is essential for those at high risk from flu complications including people 65 years of age and older, young children, pregnant women, persons with chronic lung disease, diabetes, heart disease, neurologic conditions and other long-term health conditions.

Eleven more people die of flu-related illness in Oklahoma in the past week, three of those in Tulsa County, which continues to lead the state. "Many of the most serious outcomes of flu infections occur in older people".

There have been 48 flu-related deaths in Oklahoma this season. Signs to watch for include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue.

Also, if you feel ill, stay home and go to a physician right away if symptoms persist.

Expectant mothers can receive the flu shot during pregnancy to protect themselves and to pass on protection to the unborn child. At the same time, flu activity is now widespread in 44 states after hitting a high of widespread activity in 46 states the prior week.

The high-dose flu vaccine was introduced and approved for adults 65 and older in 2009. Flu activity in Tennessee, Montana, Washington, Oregon and Hawaii has been deemed "regional", while in Utah is has been classified as "sporadic".

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