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Second wave of flu hitting Oklahoma

A second type of the flu is infecting people in several parts of Oklahoma. It's bad enough that the state health department has issued a warning.

News on Six anchor Terry Hood says flu season's not over yet. In fact, doctors are concerned that the worst may be yet to come. Raspy coughs and sore throats are flooding Tulsa Dr Donna Krutka’s office.

With a second strain of the flu on the loose, doctors are bracing for another wave of outbreaks. "Our flu season has not been very intense yet there's two waves. There’s a late fall phase and then a winter phase and I don't think we've seen a really heavy winter phase yet."

The symptoms for both strains of the virus are similar, fever, cough, and body aches. But the treatments are not. "The reason why it’s important to differentiate between 'A' and 'B' is because it takes different medication. The strain influenza "B" does not respond to the same medication as 'A'." Dr. Krutka says the "A" version of the Flu is actually a little less serious. But it does weaken your body's defenses and leaves it open for other tag-along viruses, like strep throat, and other infections.

“If you are getting better and better and then you get sick again, be aware that the secondary complications come the second week and that's when you get the ear infections, the pneumonias, the sinus infections." But it might not be too late to go on the offensive.

Dr. Krutka says a flu shot could help you avoid the doctor's visit. "And people are afraid to take flu shots but lemme tell ya flu shots will hopefully be your best chance because you cant stay away from people coughing." Dr Krutka says early flu diagnosis is very important.

There are anti-flu medications but they only shorten the length of the virus. And they need to be taken within the first few days of the illness.
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