Hospitals prepare for flu season

ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - "Over the last few months we've seen about an average of six to eight cases here in the hospital," Mercy Ardmore's Clinical Coordinator Clay Roberts said. "This month we've had four cases of strand A and four cases of strand B."

The Center for Disease Control reports that outbreaks of the flu can start as early as the beginning of October and last as late as spring time - a longer than usual season that many hospitals like Mercy Ardmore dealt with this past year.

"I think it kind of surprised a few people just lasting as long as it did, into the spring like that, I think it was kind of the big surprise element to it," Roberts said.

The hospital is already making plans about possibly separating the patients that come in with flu symptoms from others to prevent the virus from spreading.

Roberts says the most common symptoms of flu are coughing, chills, body aches and fever.

"Sometimes you can already have the flu for 24 hours before ever even having those symptoms so you could be spreading it to family, patients, to people out in the community and you're not even symptomatic yet," Roberts said.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone six months of age and older receive a flu vaccine.

Roberts recommends the flu shot as well as good hygiene like washing your hands and covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.

"Best place to probably get that would be your primary care physician, we also have our Mercy Convenient Care that's open after hours so you can get the shot even after work."

Roberts says if you happen to come down with the flu, make sure you are fever free for at least 24 hours before returning to work or school.

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