The peak of flu season in Oklahoma is typically in January, but cases are already rising. This year, OU Chief COVID-19 officer Doctor Dale Bratzler believes there will be an increase in cases compared to last year.
“During that peak we were social distancing, we had shut down a lot of things, we had people working from home, people were wearing masks fairly consistently,” Dr. Bratzler said. “I think because of that we didn’t see a lot of influenza last year.”
Although about half of Oklahoma is vaccinated for COVID-19, the same can’t be said about the flu. However, it is not too late to get your flu shot, as it typically only takes about ten days for it to develop.
“So I’d encourage people to do it now before Thanksgiving, when you’re going to be in your family because if we start to see flu outbreaks, that’s where it’s going to spread,” Dr. Bratzler said.
Three things to keep in mind this flu season: wash your hands, maintain good cough and sneeze etiquette, and wear your mask.
If you are experiencing any flu-like or COVID symptoms, the most important step is to get tested. The only major difference between the two illnesses is that COVID-19 may cause loss of taste or smell, but that has also been seen with the flu. There are rapid tests that will check for the flu and COVID-19 at the same time.
If you feel that you could be experiencing allergy symptoms, take an antihistamine. If that doesn’t work then go get tested.
If you feel any symptoms, it is important to stay home to slow the spread of the flu, COVID, or anything else.