Health clinics flooded, more people sick with the flu

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(Memphis) – It’s not how you want to spend your holiday break.
But 14-year-old Walker Russell is dealing with congestion and a cough that kept him in bed.

“If you don’t have tissues nearby you have to get up and you are coughing on the way, sniffling. When you get there you let it all out. Then you go back and have to get up again,” says Walker.

   His mom  isn’t much better.
She feels her cough in her chest.
   She just hopes that’s all it is.

“We just had a 7 night cruise and we were kinda like in a confined area with lots of people. So I just want to make sure it’s nothing more serious than your average cold,” says Lashea Russell.

   Baptist Medical Group Family Nurse Practitioner Heather Taylor says the holiday season can bring on more cold like symptoms

“We are out shopping around a lot of different people and people sometimes still go out when they are sick and then they cough and they sneeze and the germs are spread from one person to another,” says Taylor.

   At the Forest Hill Family Clinic they are seeing more people filling the waiting room with sinusitis, bronchitis and the flu.

“We have been extremely busy. We  are seeing now between 40 to 50 patients a day,” says Taylor.

  Normally they see between 20 or 30 patients a day.
There have been no severe cases, but they are serious enough to keep some people home.
  Taylor says if you are feeling bad, head to the doctor within the first two days while there is still enough time to shorten the length of the flu, if you have it.

Otherwise you will have to ride it out.

Luckily for the Russell family there was  no  bacterial infection.
  So they were able to get a prescription to treat their symptoms.
  But this is not even the height of flu season yet.
   We are told that came in February last year.
   So there is still plenty of time to go.
That’s why health workers encourage you to get a flu shot, it’s still not too late.