Flu season still going strong in Oklahoma

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OKLAHOMA — While many Oklahomans are dealing with symptoms of allergies, the flu is still widespread in our state, and health officials say it’s not really slowing down.

“This season has been an intense one,” Laurence Burnsed, with the Oklahoma State Department of Health, said.

Fever, body aches and sore throat, all painful symptoms of the flu.

Thousands have been hit this year. More than 2,100 Oklahomans have been hospitalized and 101 Oklahomans have died.

“It’s important to know you could still be at risk for developing symptoms,” Burnsed said.

Health department officials say the majority of those killed have been over 65-years-old. They are often susceptible because of other underlying health conditions.

However, they say the season is not winding down. A map from the Center for Disease Control shows Oklahoma is currently one of the state’s considered to have widespread flu activity.

“Although they may not be thinking about flu, transmission is still happening,” Burnsed said.

In fact, with so much activity, it’s believed flu season could last through April, possibly even into May.

Even those who had the flu early in the season are at risk because the strain they’re seeing now is different than the one that hit many early on.

“When you have multiple strains circulating, it’s possible a person could experience multiple illnesses,”Burnsed said.

That means if you haven’t had the shot, you should still consider getting it to protect yourself.

Health officials say the early strain of flu was not well covered by the vaccine; however, the strain they are seeing more of now was covered by the shot.

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