Flu hospitalizations double in Oklahoma

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CARTER COUNTY, OK - Since flu season kicked off in October, 126 people in Oklahoma have been hospitalized for the virus.

Between December 23rd and 31st, 63 people in the state were hospitalized for the flu meaning hospitalizations doubled over just one week.

Carter County Health Department coordinating nurse Kristi Inselman expects that number could climb even higher.

"It will start increasing as you reach further, closer, to February," Inselman said. "Usually the flu peaks in February."

Some Texomans aren't surprised by the numbers.

"I've heard it's pretty bad, but none of my friends or people that I know have had it yet," said Ardmore resident Landon Good.

No flu hospitalizations or deaths have been reported in Carter, Love, Marshall, Murray, Johnston and Pontotoc counties.

The southern oklahomans we talked to tell us why they're taking precautions to avoid getting sick.

"I'd miss work and probably have to take vacation days so that I could get paid and make rent," said Brent Davis, Ardmore resident.

From October until early December, fewer than 10 people were hospitalized per week. But around December 10th that number started rising and hasn't stopped.

Thankfully, health officials say it isn't too late to protect yourself.

"We still recommend for people to come in and get their flu shot," said Inselman. "We also tell you that if you do end up getting sick to make sure and cover your cough, make sure you use hand sanitizer and wash your hands good."