Oklahoma health officials say flu-like illnesses on the rise

Thursday, January 27th 2005, 6:10 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Health care providers report an increase in patients with influenza-like illnesses, including a virus that's the most common cause of infant pneumonia.

The emergency room at Children's Hospital at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center was packed Tuesday because of a high volume of patients with respiratory infections,

Doctor Steven Crawford said most of the 144 in-patient beds at Children's Hospital were full Wednesday. About 20 children were admitted from the emergency room.

The state Health Department says flu-like respiratory illnesses are most prevalent in the Oklahoma City, Tulsa and McAlester areas. Vaccine and prescription medicine used to prevent and treat influenza doesn't work against flu-like illnesses.

27 cases of the flu have been confirmed by the state Health Department's surveillance system.

Influenza and flu-like illnesses have similar symptoms like fever, chills, cough and sore throat, but flu symptoms occur more abruptly, tend to be more acute and can last two to five days longer.