Flu Hits Oklahoma Hard

2-19-05- State health officials say cases of influenze and flu-like illnesses are steadily increasing in most areas of the state. State Epidemiologist Doctor Kristy Bradley says sickness levels in the past few weeks have quickly increased from sporadic to regional.

Bradley says illnesses tend to hit children and adolescents
first, and then adults later. She says some hospital emergency rooms have been packed with patients who have the flu or a flu-like illness.

Many school districts across the state are reporting difficulties finding both substitute teachers and bus drivers to replace sick staff.

Flu symptoms come on quickly, and authorities say those symptoms
tend to last from three to six days.

To curb the spread of infections, the Health Department
recommends frequent hand washing and avoiding close contact with
those who are sick.