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Urgent care visits spike after the holiday

A local infectious disease specialist told us there's more than the flu going around.

Posted: Dec. 26, 2018 5:49 PM
Updated: Dec. 27, 2018 11:40 AM

A health alert As urgent cares across North Alabama are packed this day after Christmas. One woman told us the wait at her doctor was two hours today. Illnesses like the flu spread during the holidays as people travel and spend time with friends and family. A local infectious disease specialist told us there's more than the flu going around.

Doctor Ali Hassoun with Huntsville Hospital said he hasn’t had many flu cases yet but what he is seeing a lot of is viral infections.

“There’s definitely changes in our ability to fight infections in general so you can see some strep throat and sinus infection.”

Dr. Hassoun said these are even more prevalent during the holiday season because people are gathering more and traveling more. He said this is why we see more respiratory transmissions.

“Meaning by coughing droplets will get from one person to another person as they inhale it and that can cause infections.”

One man from Georgia visiting family here in the Rocket City said he told me he noticed a couple of sick family members but he isn’t worried about getting sick. He told me he sticks to orange juice and aspirin to keep him well.

“I’ve never had the flu shot. I’ve never even considered getting the flu shot. I’m just blessed that I don’t get the flu perhaps," said Joe Plymel. 

Dr. Hassoun said he recommends everyone getting the shot and if you have any of the tell tale symptoms of getting sick...

“Sore throat, aching, fever...”

You want to see your doctor immediately before your symptoms get worse.

Dr. Hassoun said it's not too late to get the flu shot because the season can last until May. He said the shot can take two to four weeks to become effective. Even though flu hasn't peaked her yet, there is significant activity in North Alabama.

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