Flu hits Duncan hard

Lawton_Businesses and schools in Duncan are being hit hard by the flu.  Health officials say it's near epidemic proportions.  It's been so bad some businesses have been closing their doors until it passes.

Terry Williams was taking his granddaughter out for lunch when he was greeted with a closed sign, instead of a hearty lunch.  "Closed until Friday due to illness."  Williams had been sick, too.  "I had the flu too...for eleven days," he says.

School officials say they don't have an exact count of how many students and staff were home on bed rest, but Wednesday almost 20% of the school was out with the flu.  They're already using all of their available substitute teachers, and they are running out of help.

The Duncan Regional Hospital says the number of patients seeking treatment at the emergency room has doubled.  A hospital spokeswoman says they are seeing an average of 120 people in the ER for flu-like symptoms and stomach viruses.  The hospital has reported almost 50 confirmed cases of the flu this month.  But, even though they are a bit overwhelmed, they have never turned patients away.

Williams says it seems to have affected the entire community.  "We just have to pray that God will take this sickness away from Duncan," he says.

Doctors encourage the public to wash their hands as often as possible, cover nose and mouth when coughing, and take proper precautions to prevent the spread of the flu.