Flu Keeps Oklahoma Kids Home

Wednesday, February 14th 2007, 3:08 pm
By: News On 6

There’s a flu alert in Oklahoma. Classrooms have been noticeably empty this past week and the students who aren't at their desks have been showing up at their doctor's office. News on 6 anchor Terry Hood reports the health department says it's hit late, but the flu is here.

Wright Christian Academy in East Tulsa's been hit hard. Nurse Louise Whitley says 10 percent of the middle and high students have had confirmed cases of the flu.

"After some of the basketball games, I think one of the other teams had some sick people and I think maybe that's where it started," Nurse Whitley said.

Doctors have been prescribing Tamiflu for those suffering from the flu. Pediatrician Donna Krutka says this strain of influenza is resistant to almost anything but Tamiflu, and is even attacking some who've gotten the flu shot. Doctor Krutka says in many cases, the flu shot isn't preventing the flu at all, it just makes symptoms, like fever, cough, aches and pains, less severe.

Young Luke Riley knows just what the doctor's talking about. He came down with the flu on Sunday, and will be home from school until next week. His mother thinks he got it from a classmate. In the meantime, the rest of the family has to find a way to say healthy.

"Don't drink after him, don't eat after him, ask him to cover his mouth whenever he coughs,” said Luke’s mother Tiffany Riley. “So we're trying everything we can so the rest of us don’t get sick with it too."

"We were being optimistic that maybe it wouldn't hit so hard but nope, it's hit," said Dr. Donna Krutka.

A typical flu season begins in December and ends in March, but a long season can last until May.