Friday, October 17th at 10 a.m.
As Oklahoma moves into flu (influenza) season, OU Medicine experts are stressing the importance of influenza vaccinations, particularly since vaccines not only protect the individuals who get them, but those around them as well.
The flu is caused by a virus that is easily spread. It can be a lot more serious than you think, even life-threatening.
During the 2013-2014 flu season in Oklahoma there were 63 deaths and 1,355 hospitalizations due to the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
While timing of the flu varies and is sometimes unpredictable, seasonal flu activity usually begins in October before peaking in January or February and ending as late as May.
Flu symptoms tend to come on quickly. They can include fever, cough, sore throat, and runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, fatigue, headache, vomiting and diarrhea.
Medical experts believe flu viruses are spread mainly when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk and droplets containing their germs wind up in your mouth or nose. However, you can also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has the influenza virus on it and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose.
Anyone can get the flu, but some individuals are more likely than others to experience complications from seasonal flu. Groups at higher risk include:
The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a yearly flu vaccine.
For more information about the flu, including flu facts and fiction, treatment, information about vaccinations and more, join us live this Friday at 10 a.m. as Dr. Stephen Travis, an internal medicine specialist at OU Physicians, answers all your questions and concerns about flu season.
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