Make no mistake. It’s flu season and if you are unfortunate enough to contract it, you will be miserable.
But there are signs that maybe, just maybe, this flu season isn’t necessarily the worst we’ve seen.
The Oklahoma Department of Health which tracks such things reported 431 hospitalizations statewide from September 1 through December 28.
If you think that is high, consider this. Twenty-one of Oklahoma’s 77 counties didn’t report a single flu patient needing hospitalization.
And those counties were spread across the state.
They were Atoka, Beaver, Cimarron, Coal, Dewey, Ellis, Grant, Greer, Harmon, Harper, Latimer, Love, Major, Marshall, McCurtain, Noble, Nowata, Pushmataha, Texas, Tillman and Woods.
Eighteen others each reported just one hospitalization – 0.2 percent of the 431. Those counties include Adair, Alfalfa, Beckham, Bryan, Carter, Craig, Haskell, Hughes, Jefferson, Murray, Okfuskee, Pawnee, Pontotoc, Roger Mills, Seminole, Sequoyah, Washita and Woodward.
Two hospitalizations each or 0.5 percent were reported from Cotton, Craig, Garfield, Kiowa, LeFlore and McIntosh counties.
Reports of three hospitalizations or 0.7 percent each came in from Choctaw, Custer, Delaware, Grady, Jackson, Johnston, Kingfisher, Lincoln and Washington counties.
There were just four hospitalizations (0.9 percent each) in Blaine and Payne counties.
McClain was one of four counties reporting five hospitalizations or 1.2 percent each. The others were Logan, Osage and Pittsburg.
Caddo County had six hospitalizations for 1.4 percent of the total.
Okmulgee and Ottawa counties each had seven hospitalizations or 1.6 percent.
There were eight hospitalizations (1.9 percent) in Wagoner County while Cherokee, Kay, Pottawatomie, Rogers and Stephens counties had nine each or 2.1 percent.
Canadian and Mayes counties came in with 10 hospitalizations each or 2.3 percent.
The report from Comanche County was 11 patients hospitalized or 2.6 percent.
Fifteen hospitalized flu patients in Creek County amounted to 3.5 percent, while 16 and 17 in Cleveland and Muskogee counties, respectively, were 3.7 and 3.9 percent.
Oklahoma County had 73 hospitalizations or 16.9 percent.
Tulsa County was the hardest hit with 118 flu cases or 27.4 percent.
Together, the hospital count for the state’s two most populous counties was 191 or 44.3 percent.