"Could very well be at this time a year ago there were more cases or less but those numbers can change", he said.
Bourns said the numbers are not wildly disproportionate from previous flu seasons.
Since the beginning of flu season, 173 people in Oklahoma have now died and almost four-thousand have been hospitalized. High activity of flu-like illness, though, continued in New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the remaining 39 states. The vaccines are about 25% less effective at preventing illnesses caused by the dominant virus behind this year's epidemic, CDC reported last week.
Health officials are hesitant in saying this nasty flu season has peaked after 31 more influenza-related deaths were reported in Iowa.
The department did not disclose the county where the death occurred.
The proportion of visits to the doctor for flu-like symptoms also dipped to 6.4 percent of medical appointments for the week ended February 17, according to the CDC.
You hear about the importance of getting the flu shot every year but now there's another reason doctors are recommending it. If you do get sick, cover your coughs and sneezes, and avoid other people as much as possible.
Speaking of contaminated surfaces, use antibacterial wipes to clean surfaces that many people touch, such as grocery cart handles.
Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Soap gets bacteria off of skin because it's slippery, but soap doesn't actually sanitize, Hanrahan said. After a second dose, those results increased to 45 percent, the company said.
Quit smoking. Smokers have more respiratory infections.
"I have real mixed emotions about this because I think we want to protect as many people as we can, particularly, as a pediatrician, for children", says Dr. Henry Bernstein, a professor of Pediatrics at Cohen Children's Medical Center in NY. High fever and difficulty breathing are signs that medical attention is called for. Shots are available for free at county health department locations for the duration of the flu season, Health Department spokeswoman Jamie Dukes said.