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Officials: Four Oklahomans hospitalized with the flu, no deaths reported

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Fall is officially in full swing, which means Oklahomans need to prepare for the flu virus.

On Thursday, officials with the Oklahoma State Department of Health reported that four people have been hospitalized because of the flu since Oct. 4.

Health experts recommend that Oklahomans receive the flu vaccine before flu season hits its peak.

“It could take up to two weeks before it fully takes effect and helps your immune system build a response to protect you,” Epidemiologist Laurence Burnsed said.

Last year, there were 114 deaths with more than 2,000 hospitalizations related to the virus.

To prevent the flu from spreading, officials say you should keep your hands clean, sneeze or cough into a tissue and if you’re sick, stay at home.

Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches and chills.

There’s no way to tell how bad this season will get, but Burnsed says the strain that’s currently going around is covered in the vaccine.

“This H3 strain is one that’s been including in the vaccine, so we’d hope that would find out that that’s a decent match, which would help to hopefully affect how the season might progress,” Burnsed said.