Flu death toll climbs to 33 in US state

Washington, Feb 7: Health officials in the US state of Oklahoma said Thursday that at least 33 people have died from influenza virus this season, media reports said.

State Health Department announced the tally Thursday, saying eight additional flu deaths have been confirmed this past week, making the death toll to 33, Xinhua reported citing NewsOK.

Additionally, 72 Oklahomans were confirmed this past week to have been hospitalised from the flu. A total of 975 residents have been hospitalised with the flu since the season started in late September, according to the State Health Department.

Quite a few US states including Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas have been hit by widespread flu, mostly H1N1 virus, this season.

Earlier in January, Arkansas officials said at least 15 patients have died from flu-related illness. And in Texas, the death toll is even higher. Though there is no official statistics released by the state authorities, health officials at local levels continue to report daily increase of flu deaths.

Officials confirmed in late December that at least 13 patients have died from H1N1 virus in Houston, Texas’ largest city and the fourth largest US city. And 20 more people have died from flu in north Texas as of early January.

IANS