Violent flu symptoms affecting many young, middle-aged Oklahomans

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OKLAHOMA CITY - It’s the peak of flu season right now and already there have been a handful of deaths reported in Oklahoma.

In fact, NewsChannel 4's own Lance West is feeling under the weather.

In a text message to staff, he said, “I’m wiped out. Like a ton of bricks fell on me.”

He isn't alone.

Tanner Tobey said, "It's miserable. You literally feel like you're going to die."

Tobey says he has been battling the flu for the last couple of weeks.

His home has been consumed with Kleenex tissues, Clorox wipes and Germ-X.

Tobey said, "The number one warning sign was starting to feel tired, body aches and then I started having the sweats."

There are different types of flu strains and some are more serious than others.

Tobey knew something was wrong when he started coughing up blood.

He said, "I needed to take extra measures and actually go to the doctor and get put on antibiotics rather than just regular Theraflu, Tamiflu, things of that nature."

John Graham, a paramedic with EMSA, said, "Listen to your body, it tells you everything you need to know."

Graham said EMSA has dealt with more than 1,000 calls relating to flu-like symptoms since December.

While many patients suffer reactions like headaches, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, a lot of work goes in to figuring out who has the flu and who doesn't.

Graham said, "We'll start IV's, we will put them on a cardiac monitor, we'll make sure it's nothing more."

What's shocking about this year's flu is the fact that it's affecting more young and middle-aged adults, like Tobey.

Tobey said, "I would definitely recommend getting the shot. It's better to have the antibodies and have a mild case of it."

It’s not too late to get your flu shot.

The Oklahoma City County Health Department said the vaccine is still available at many of their locations.

For more information or to look for a location near you, visit the health department's website.

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