New Mexico health agency: Flu activity widespread in state

The number of flu-related deaths in North Carolina are higher than last year, but lower than the year before, when more than 200 people died.

Now, the Oklahoma State Department of Health says 48 deaths related to the flu have been recorded. On average, flu season has typically lasted 13 weeks for the past 15 seasons, though it can last for as many as 20 weeks.

Those most vulnerable to having serious problems with the flu are the very young, elderly, pregnant women and people with other significant health conditions such as asthma, heart or lung disease, diabetes or weakened immune systems.

Oklahoma County has seen five deaths and 272 hospitalizations related to the virus.

One of the other four Forsyth victims was Autumn Savannah Jessup, 12, a seventh-grade student at Jefferson Middle School who died February 14, said James Womack, a funeral attendant at Perry-Spencer Funeral Home Madison.

Kathy Wakefield, director of nursing for the Ross County Health District, stresses that parents need to be smart about keeping children showing signs of flu-like illness home from school rather than run the risk of spreading it to other kids.

The Centers for Disease Control says there have been 34 child flu deaths across the country this season. If you sneeze or cough, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue.

The Forsyth health department at 799 Highland offering free flu shots, Hunter said. Oklahoma remains in a "widespread" flu activity category.

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