Flu virus spreading throughout Texoma

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - With Texoma currently in the heart of winter, many people are getting sick.
And it is more than just one bug going around.
Numerous viruses have many people stuck at home for an extended period of time.
There are things you can do to try and prevent getting sick.
Coughing, sneezing and the sniffles is all your probably hearing and seeing at work, school and home.
What exactly is going around?
Kristina Halberg, Community Med Urgent Care Nurse Practitioner, said they are seeing a dramatic flu increase.
    "Over the last two weeks, we have seen more flu viruses," Halberg said. "We have two main components of that, A and B. We're actually seeing both in the community right now."
Halberg said the two types overlapping is not very common.
    "Usually you will see one at a particular time of year and then you will see the second one pop up later on," Halberg said. "There is obviously times of the year where those two overlap. And we are seeing more overlapping of the two viruses right now."
Lisa Harris, a Clinical Services Supervisor, said there are things you can do to prevent getting the flu.
    "We would strongly recommend that everyone get their flu shot," Harris said. "Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. It doesn't matter the temperature of the water. Just get in there and do that scrubbing. If you don't have soap and water available, then I highly recommend an alcohol based hand sanitizer."
Halberg said they look for secondary infections once the flu is gone.
    "The pneumonia's, bronchitis and the different things that can really make those immunocompromised type individuals at increased risk of complications," Halberg said.
The flu is not the only bug around town.
    "We are also seeing just a general gastric intestinal bug that is affecting a lot of people with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea," Halberg said. "That bug is lasting anywhere from 3-5 days and is really dragging people down."
The upper respiratory virus is also making it's rounds through town.
Harris believes it is important to clean all surfaces.
    "Wipe down your door handles, your light switches," Harris said. "That's another good way to keep that bacteria at bay."
    "Our goal is just to keep people healthy," Halberg said "Keep them from spreading things in the community and within their families because nobody wants to share this. That's for sure."
Halberg said the flu is active for five to seven days and can linger for weeks.
She adds if people have the flu, they should be at home while the virus is active.
Harris said it is important to stay home if your sick, not just for yourself, but because it will help significantly in spreading those germs.
If you think you might be getting the flu, it is recommended you go to the doctor.
They can test you and treat it with Tamiflu.
However, it only works the first 72 hours.
The longer you wait, the less options you will have to treat the virus.

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