'Aches, Fever, Cough': Medical Expert Discusses Oklahoma Sickness Surge

The "Oklahoma Flu" is spreading across the state, but what is it? News 9's Cameron Joiner talks with a doctor about this mystery illness.

Monday, February 26th 2024, 5:41 pm

Trips to the doctor’s office are on the rise as a mysterious virus, or viruses, is spreading across the state.

Some could have the flu or Covid-19, but some patients are leaving appointments without a diagnosis. It’s something being dubbed the "Oklahoma Flu."

To make matters worse, this time of year, it only takes one contagious person to infect a classroom, an office, or even a newsroom.

At News 9, we didn't have to look far to find someone who can attest. If you noticed the absence of a familiar face last week, now you know why.

"Aches, fever, cough started," said News 9 Chief Meteorologist David Payne.

Even he isn't immune to a case of the Oklahoma flu. He was out for five days and never got a diagnosis.

"It was horrible," he said. "It wasn't a cold, but whatever it was, it was a nightmare."

David is one of many, inside our newsroom and out. So, why does it seem like everyone's getting so sick?

News 9's in-house medical expert Dr. Lacy Anderson, who is also a family medicine physician, says it could be tied to the pandemic.

"Everybody was wearing masks," she said, adding that this was slowing the spread. "All the viruses we didn't see for two to three years kind of surge all at once."

Those nameless sicknesses can still pack a punch.

"You can be sick, and it's not flu and it's not Covid," she said.

Her best advice is to stay home and treat your symptoms, even if you don't want to.

"Yeah, yeah,” David joked. “I don't like sitting at home doing nothing. It was about five days of fun."

Dr. Anderson says we should see these case numbers drop off by the end of March, and she's hopeful that next year won't be as severe as we all start to naturally gain immunity this year.


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