Influenza is on the rise in Okla­homa and across the nation.

This past week, the Oklahoma Health Department reported two deaths have been attributed to the flu. Both cases were recorded in Tulsa County.

In terms of hospitalization, 171 cases have been recorded since Sept. 30, 2012. That number can be considered alarming when tak­ing into account the number of hospitalizations tripled over the past two weeks. In the report re­leased by the state health depart­ment Thursday, 64 hospitaliza­tions were recorded for the week.

Locally, only Marshall County has recorded hospitalizations with three.

Eastern Oklahoma has borne the brunt of flu activity with 67 hospitalizations in Tulsa County alone. But people in Carter County and the surrounding area do need to take notice as well as precau­tions.

"We definitely have regional ac­tivity and they are recommending people ge t the flu shot if the y have not already," Mendy Spohn, Carter County Health Department Administrative Director, said. "If someone has flu-like symptoms or knows someone who does, they should go contact their physi­cian." Spohn also recommended peo­ple take their normal precautions to ensure the best opportunity to stay healthy during the winter months.

"Basically, my message is, cover your cough, wash your hands and take normal precautions," she said. "And we definitely recommend getting a flu shot."