The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) will receive $1.15 million over five years from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to gather critical data on homicide and suicide using the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS).
In Oklahoma, suicide is the leading manner of violent death. In 2012, more than 650 Oklahomans died by suicide. The OSDH will use NVDRS data to support suicide prevention programs of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health reports four new hospitalizations due to the flu this season.
The department said Wednesday that 24 people have now been hospitalized this season, which began Sept. 28.
The department says there have been no deaths due to the flu thus far, after a record 61 people died in the state due to flu last flu season. The previous record of 46 deaths was recorded in the 2009 flu season — the year the state began tracking the statistic.
The agency reported Thursday that a total of 33 people have died from the flu in the state since Sept. 29. A total of 975 people have either died or been hospitalized due to the virus during the period.
The deaths include two children aged 4 or younger, eight people in the 18-49 age range, 13 people aged 50-64 and 10 people 65 years old or older.
If the partial shutdown of the federal government continues for weeks, it could lead to cutbacks in the federally funded program that helps low-income women, infants and children in Oklahoma, officials said Wednesday.
One possible result could be limiting the aid provided under the federal Women, Infants and Children program to only one or two of those groups, such as infants.
Oklahoma health officials say a dentist's office shut down for unsafe practices last spring is responsible for the first known transmission of hepatitis C from one dental patient to another.
The state epidemiologist said Tuesday that genetic testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that the virus was passed at the Tulsa-area offices of Dr. W. Scott Harrington.
Health officials said the use of unsanitary equipment led to cross-contamination between patients.