MedWatch- Take precautions to help prevent the spread of the flu virus from Medwatch 7 KSWO on Vimeo.

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- With flu season upon us it’s important to take the necessary precautions to help prevent you and your family from getting the virus. So far 8 people in Oklahoma have been hospitalized with the flu since the beginning of October.

CCMH Infection Preventionist Meagan Garibay says on average, the flu kills around 36,000 people a year and hospitalizes more than 200,000 people.

“So you know you have these diseases that are out there. Zika virus and stuff like that, that people are extremely concerned about but really nobody really gives flu the focus that it needs because it does kill more people than any of those other random viruses that are out there at any time,” said Garibay.

Flu season is from October through March but Garibay says you can get it anytime during the year. She says it’s important to get the flu shot but know it’s not a guarantee that you won’t get sick.

“Keep in mind that getting the flu vaccine doesn’t mean that you’re not going to get sick with the flu but if you do get sick with the flu it will be of a lesser duration and a lesser intensity than if you hadn’t gotten vaccinated,” said Garibay.

Symptoms of the flu are:
Nausea and vomiting

If you start having these symptoms or think you might have the flu, you should go see your doctor and get tested. If you test positive for the flu, stay home.

“Pretty much as soon you begin to feel sick, you’re not feeling all that well, you need to start taking steps to protect not only yourself but the people around you. Wash your hands frequently, when you cough, cough into a tissue or cough into the crook of your elbow those are the main modes of transmission as far as giving it to others. You want to protect the other people in your household,” Garibay advised.

You’re contagious 1 day before you show symptoms and actually feel like you have the flu and then for 5 to 7 days after your flu symptoms clear up. It’s important to emphasize that you should stay away from others when you have the flu, so you don’t spread it.

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