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Flu Season Big in Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY Okla_ The coughing, the sneezing, the constant runny nose; we all know it. It's the dreaded flu.

It feels like most of everyone is getting it or getting over it. No one wants to get the flu but, it seems sometimes that it is inevitable. Some good information and tips may help keep the flu away from you. It could take a few days to two weeks to feel the symptoms, then it hits you like a truck.

"When the symptoms hit with the influenza, it's typically very sudden," Comanche County Memorial Hospital's Dr. Rob Hay said. "A cold will sneak up on you. The flu hits you like a ton of bricks. You will know when you get the flu. You will be very sick."

In the past week, hospitalizations due to the flu have doubled. There were 63 hospitalizations in the past week alone. Health officials say this isn't unusual.

"We're in the peak of flu season, so we are experiencing wide spread activity which is not uncommon this time of the year," Hay said.

What is unusual is who it is affecting.

"The one thing that is a little different is it is impacting age range 19-64 the most," Hay said. "Typically, we see the younger and the older population being affected. This is more of the middle aged population that it is affecting."

Now the best way to keep from getting the flu is to get one of these. Flu shots are the number one priority if you want to avoid the flu. If you do get sick, take care of yourself.

"Plenty of fluids, rest, stay at home in bed, vaporizer, cough syrups, ibuprofen and Tylenol for the discomfort you will feel," Hay said. "You can expect the symptoms to last anywhere from a few days to a week."

The vaccine protects against all strands, including H1N1. Dr. Hay said everyone should get a flu shot, especially children, pregnant women, and the elderly. It is never too late to protect yourself.

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