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Oklahoma Doctors Warn Flu Season Could Worsen

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

Oklahoma doctors say they're seeing a dramatic increase in the number of flu cases and health officials warn that it could get worse. 

The CDC says the flu is already considered widespread in Oklahoma, as well as Texas, Missouri, and Arkansas.

"What runs through my head is let’s get ready … it just tells us to batten down the hatches and get ready for the flu season," said Dr. Scott Ghere at Utica Park Clinic. 

Ghere says flu cases have not been significant until the last couple of weeks. 

"Previous years, 2014 2015, we had most of our cases before Christmas … it’s going to be most of our cases after Christmas this year," he said. 

He says the reason behind that, is more people are testing positive for flu and therefore more people are going to be spreading it, getting others sick. 

"One is too many, because that one has contact with many other people, and that's where we get in trouble with the flu, is people that either think they can go to work when they're still sick, cause they transfer it to everybody else," Ghere said. 

According to the State Health Department, there were about 1,300 positive cases in just the last week. More than a hundred people were hospitalized and 1 died.

CBS news reports another possible issue is this year's flu shot is the same mix used in Australia's flu season this year. The problem is it was only about 10 percent effective there. But Dr. Ghere says there’s a catch.

"We're not gonna be able to know that until we have the end of our flu season which is gonna be in April or May," he said. 

Which is why he says whether its 10% or 90% effective, he still recommends still getting the flu shot no matter what.

"It does take time for that flu shot once you get it, to be active in your system and to fight off the flu," Ghere said. 

And health officials want to remind you that the only really effective way to stop the transfer of flu or any virus is to make sure you wash your hands often. 

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