Clinics see influx of flu patients post-holidays - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Clinics see influx of flu patients post-holidays

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TEMPE, Ariz. -

It's the beginning of the New Year, but we are not out of the woods yet when it comes to viruses and the flu.

Valley doctors have been inundated with patients, and they're saying the time spent with loved ones wrapping up last year could be why some of us are starting off the New Year sick in bed.

Doctors have been busy diagnosing tens of thousands of people with the flu and other respiratory illnesses here in the valley.

Medics say the illnesses can be traced back to the holidays. It's a time when families come together to exchange gifts, hugs and germs.

Just a couple days into the New Year and doctors are working longer hours to help patients.

There have been lines of people waiting to see the doctor. On average the doctor might see 45 to 90 patients a day.

"We are seeing lots of flu right now, especially within the past 10 days, we've seen a huge flux of flu cases," says Travis Tirk.

Travis Tirk is a physician's assistant at NextCare in Tempe. Thousands of people in the valley have come down with something and their ailments can be traced back to the colder weather and the holidays.

"You get a lot of people in closer confines, it's not uncommon to pass viruses and bugs to each other."

Irena Meyer's entire family is suffering after spending the holidays together.

"I absolutely know that my niece got it, we all went to Christmas together, my daughter got it. At that point, then I got it, then my boyfriend got it," she says.

Meyer has flu-like symptoms.

"There's not really anything you can do at that point cause Christmas is about family, so we will all share the sickness."

The flu season in Arizona lasts from October to March.

It's too late to get a flu shot, but Tirk says you can ward off viruses and the flu by drinking lots of water, getting plenty of iron, vitamin c, and eating greens and vegetables.

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