EDMOND, Okla. - The number of Oklahomans affected by this year's flu season continues to rise.
In addition to pushing the importance of general hygiene and wellness practices, some companies are bringing in the big guns to fight the spread of any bugs.
Even our newsroom here at News 4 has seen the effects of the sneezes and sniffles affecting everyone, and we had our space sprayed down by Enviro-Mist, who said they always see businesses concerned about the spread of illness this time of year.
"Prevention versus reaction is always the way to go," said Enviro-Mist Business Operations Executive Director Joe Ready. "We get calls all the time from companies saying, 'Hey, we went from 5 percent of our workforce out to 30 percent of our workplace out. We've taken a major hit.'"
Trying to contain the spread of disease also closed the doors of Western Heights Public Schools for two days, as they plan to sanitize buildings and buses after a number of teachers and students fell ill.
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, nearly 200 additional patients were hospitalized with flu-related illnesses just in the second week of February, pushing the number of Oklahomans hospitalized with the flu to 907 this season.
Ready said their disinfecting services are of particular interest to businesses concerned their routine cleaning protocol may not adequately fight the contagious illnesses the state is seeing.
"A cleaning professional in the healthcare setting, on their best day, they're only 60%-70% effective when it comes to eliminating bacteria and viruses," he said. "When you think about that, that's just not enough."
This season alone, 25 Oklahomans have died due to flu-related illness.