OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The 2012 flu season in Oklahoma is ending with fewer than half the number of confirmed cases as in 2011 and nearly two-thirds fewer deaths. State health officials say the reason for the declines is difficult to pin down. The Oklahoma State Department of Health reports 316 hospitalizations and nine deaths due to the flu in 2012. There were 872 hospitalizations and 26 deaths a year ago. State epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley says likely reasons for the decline include that the three strains found in the state this year have been seen dating back to 2009. Bradley says those who received flu shots or who contracted those strains of the flu would have immunity from this year's viruses. Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.