OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - State health officials say we are entering the peak of this year's flu season.
With the elderly and children typically the most vulnerable, a family from Enid reminds parents not to let their guard down. A typical morning for their two-year-old, Misty, quickly turned into a nightmare.
"In just a matter of a few hours it went from her playing to her being flown to OU Children's," said the girl's father Ronnie Phillips.
The toddler's mother, Dianna Eisenbise, tells Oklahoma's News 4 the little girl felt warm one minute, but the next, they were calling 911.
"She was lying on her little couch, just seizuring, and her eyes were going back," she said.
Minutes later, she said the girl was limp in her arms. Misty was airlifted to OU Children's Hospital and diagnosed with the flu.
"They told me, whenever she got here to OU Children's, her temperature was 106 [degrees]," said Phillips. "She couldn't breathe they had her on a ventilator and stuff, more or less on life support."
The parents say the whole ordeal unfolded over the course of about six hours.
Flu-related illnesses took the lives of 24 Oklahomans since September, according to the state health department. Nearly 700 people have been hospitalized due to the virus this season; more than 100 of those patients have been admitted since the end of January.
"Don't take the sniffles for granted. Watch them, because it can change so quick," said Eisenbise.
In Oklahoma County, 82 people have been hospitalized with flu-related illnesses. Officials with the county health department say they have administered about 7000 flu shots this year, adding that is about 1200 more than they administered last year.