When will the flu peak in the panhandle - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

When will the flu peak in the panhandle

Posted: Updated:

The flu virus is starting to take its toll here in the panhandle. We spoke with local doctors to find out where we stand compared to the rest of the country.

Influenza has started to peak across the country. Area doctors say flu and flu-like cases are at a high in the panhandle, but we have yet to reach our peak.

Two deaths have been linked to the influenza virus in the U.S. this year. But, the panhandle has yet to see the worst of it.

"The peak of the flu season is usually in early February. Now this year, that disease is occurring earlier than what it usually is. As a matter of fact, right now as of this week we are probably on that upswing where we really see a big increase in the number of flu cases," Todd Bell, M.D. Texas Tech University School of Medicine says.

The Department of Public Health says they have. The past week has seen a high for flu and flu-like cases this year.

"We're talking one case here and there the last several weeks. And then just this week we did have 17 cases of the influenza A reported and a couple of cases of influenza B. So, this week really has shown an up-tick," Roger Smalligan, M.D. Medical Director for the Department of Public Health says.

Dr. Smalligan says the flu can be dangerous. Between 30 and 40 thousand people in U.S. die every year from flu complications.

"And if you do the math and bring it down to our population size, that means 24 to 30 people in Amarillo Texas could die of flu related illness this year, this winter, and it's preventable. You know this is a vaccine preventable disease," Smalligan says.

Unlike years past where there has been a shortage in flu vaccines, there are plenty available. Dr. Bell says this year's strain of flu is included in the vaccine offered.

Dr. Bell says this month probably won't be the only time we get hit hard with the flu. He predicts another peak once kids are back in school after winter break.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Brothers try to elude police with their identities

    Brothers try to elude police with their identities

    Saturday, August 30 2014 7:56 PM EDT2014-08-30 23:56:01 GMT
    LAWTON, Okla._Two brothers were arrested early Friday morning after lying to Lawton Police about their identities. After leading officers on a short chase on Cache, Paul Tijani finally pulled over and told police his name was Peter. But officers noticed a passenger in the car that looked very similar to the driver. When they asked the passenger if they were related, he said no. But police say the two looked so similar they had a hard time telling them apart. Officers later determined that Pet...
    LAWTON, Okla._Two brothers were arrested early Friday morning after lying to Lawton Police about their identities. After leading officers on a short chase on Cache, Paul Tijani finally pulled over and told police his name was Peter. But officers noticed a passenger in the car that looked very similar to the driver. When they asked the passenger if they were related, he said no. But police say the two looked so similar they had a hard time telling them apart. Officers later determined that Pet...
  • SkyWARN 7 Forecast

    SkyWARN 7 Forecast

    Saturday, August 30 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-08-30 21:48:09 GMT
    Weather- Clear Skies RotatorWeather- Clear Skies Rotator
    Temperatures Climbing Back Up...
    Temperatures Climbing Back Up...
  • Mayor's Blues Ball continues in Medicine Park

    Mayor's Blues Ball continues in Medicine Park

    Saturday, August 30 2014 5:32 PM EDT2014-08-30 21:32:17 GMT
    The 8th Annual Mayor's Blues Ball is underway Saturday at Medicine Park.
    The 8th Annual Mayor's Blues Ball is underway Saturday at Medicine Park.
Powered by WorldNow
KSWO-TV, 1401 SE 60th Street
Lawton, OK 73501

Telephone: (580) 355-7000
Fax: (580) 357-3811
Email: news@kswo.com

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KSWO. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.