OSDH Reports the First Pediatric Influenza Death of the 2023 – 2024 Season
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) has confirmed and notified the CDC of the state’s first death of a child from influenza this season. The death occurred in a southeast Oklahoma child under the age of five.
Currently, influenza activity across the state is high and has continued to increase, especially over the past several weeks. Since Sept. 1, 2023, Oklahoma has seen over 900 influenza-associated hospitalizations and 16 deaths.
“Oklahoma is likely now entering our peak influenza season,” said Kendra Dougherty, director of the OSDH Infectious Disease Prevention and Response program. “Even though influenza activity is decreasing nationally, Oklahoma experienced a delayed start in increasing activity than the rest of the country.”
The OSDH encourages Oklahomans to practice good hand hygiene, cover their cough and stay home when they are sick or not feeling well to help mitigate the spread of illnesses, like the flu.
Vaccinations can also help to prevent severe disease, hospitalization or even death. We encourage individuals to speak with their healthcare provider about which vaccines are recommended and any other questions regarding vaccination.
The OSDH monitors trends in respiratory illnesses on our Viral View page updated every Thursday during respiratory season.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) protects and improves public health through its system of local health services and strategies focused on preventing disease. OSDH provides technical support and guidance to 68 county health departments in Oklahoma, as well as guidance and consultation to the two independent city-county health departments in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Learn more at Oklahoma.gov/health.