GRAYSON COUNTY, TX -- The flu is on the rise. According to the Texas Department of State Health Service, Influenza has become "widespread" in the state and just this week the first two flu-related deaths have been reported in Texas and Oklahoma.
A doctor we spoke with Friday says this may be one of the worst flu seasons he has seen. Area doctors say influenza has hospitalized several people over the past few weeks, which goes to show the illness should be taken seriously.
If you have ever had the flu than you know how it feels.
"Extremely bad. Just aches and pain all over," Daniel Elk said.
"It's miserable. It's like you are too sick to get out of bed. Chills," Dr. Mark Buckner said.
Doctor Mark Buckner, Owner of One Medical, says in the past three weeks the flu has taken off.
"There's somedays you may see 20 patients a day or more," Dr. Buckner said.
Dr. Buckner says holiday gatherings are an opportune time for influenza to rapidly spread. He says you can get the illness by simply touching an infected door knob or just breathing.
"Three to five feet respiratory droplets, just talking," Dr. Buckner said.
Dr. Buckner says people can even spread the flu before they show symptoms. Flu symptoms often include cough, fever, runny nose, weakness and body aches.
"When you move your eyeballs from one side to the other, if that hurts your eyeballs that's a very good indicator that you have the flu," Dr. Buckner said.
Dr. Buckner says people who usually have a harder time fighting the flu are younger than 5-years-old or over the age of 65, but he says no matter what your age if you experience flu-like symptoms it is best to go to the doctor right away.
"One reason that's so important to go very quickly, the medicines we use for the flu are most effective when given within the first two days as symptoms," Dr. Buckner said.
Dr. Buckner says the best way to prevent influenza is to get a flu shot, which is provided at doctors offices and pharmacies. He says another preventative step is to keep your hands washed and use sanitizer.