More walk-ins treated for flu at area clinics

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - With the United Regional hospital overflow, walk-in clinics are treating more patients with the flu and other respiratory illnesses.

Jana Vieth a nurse practitioner with CommunityMed Urgent Care said preparations began at the walk-in clinic for a flu outbreak in August.

"[We were] stocking up for the flu testing and making sure we have plenty of strep tests and any other tests we have in our facility," Nurse Vieth said. The walk-in clinic also has a medical assistant and provider on call if the waiting room begins to overflow.

In just the past two days, Vieth said around 40 people made their way to the walk-in clinic and several were diagnosed with the flu.

"I feel like it hasn't been this bad since the swine flu outbreak," Nurse Vieth said.

Some doctors said that number could go up because the dry chilly wind can also cause secondary illnesses like bronchitis or pneumonia.

"After seeing your healthcare professional and getting your prescriptions, I would advise to stay home under the covers and drinking lots of fluids." Nurse Vieth said.

Many people said they already started their fight to recovery by going to their local pharmacies to pick up medicine including Alicia Guerrero whose whole family seems to be struggling to get well.

"I'm picking up my son's prescription," Guerrero said. "He's gotten a bad ear infection and it's been two weeks now since he's had."

She said six people in her family have gotten sick 'that includes my aunt, my grandmother, my mother at this time.'

Marilyn Barron said she takes her vitamins every day and got the flu shot in September to avoid getting ill altogether.

"I'm not sick and I'm not trying to get sick."

Nurse Vieth said the flu outbreak could get worse as peak flu season starts between February and March.

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