Holidays Create Opportunities For Flu To Spread In Oklahoma

Sunday, December 21st 2014, 5:50 pm
By: News 9

State health officials said the flu virus is now widespread in Oklahoma. So far six people have died in the state because of the flu. The fatalities were reported in Garfield, Carter, Payne, Stephens and Oklahoma Counties.

Dr. Bill Edwards with First Med Urgent Care in Oklahoma City said he's seen a spike in flu cases recently.

“It's picked up a great deal the last week, week to ten days,” he said.

On Sunday, there were at least three people who were seen at the facility with the flu in the first three hours it was open. The trend doesn't come as a surprise, since it is flu season. But doctors said they hope you keep in mind that it's also the holiday season. That means there will be more opportunities to run into someone who's sick.

“Holiday seasons with air travel and crowded spaces, malls, families, it is spread from person to person,” Edwards warned.

Edwards said flu symptoms like body aches, fever, and fatigue start suddenly.

“Some of these folks feel fine the night before and then the next morning they wake up and they have or all of those symptoms.”

The CDC reported a common strain behind those symptoms this season is H3N2. It's not in this year's flu shot. However, Edwards said it is still worth your while to get the shot because it will protect you from other common strains. And you could save yourself from three days on the couch.

“You feel like you've been hit by a truck,” said Edwards.

And Edwards recommended anyone with flu symptoms to see a doctor immediately. The most common prescription for treatment is TamiFlu. The faster you start taking it, the more effective, Edwards said.

Anyone with the flu was urged to stay home and cover their coughs.