WORTHINGTON (WCMH) — As the flu season continues to grow so does the number of patients overcrowding urgent cares.
Worthington Urgent Care says they are seeing anywhere from 50 to 100 patients a week with flu-like symptoms. Now the clinic says they are close to running out of the flu test.
Waiting rooms are filled with people who are showing signs of the flu. The number of people showing up sick isn’t stopping anytime soon.
Patients like Paige Wilson finally checked herself in at an urgent care clinic after feeling sick for several days.
“I have a sore throat, kind of like body aches, a fever,” said Wilson. “I wanted to get checked out to make sure it wasn’t more than a cold.”
This year’s flu strain is more intense than in previous years, says physician assistant Morgan Leach, with H3N2 or “Influenza A” being the one hospitals and urgent cares are seeing the most.
“It’s tricky because it changes as it goes around the world,” said Leach. “So when we put those strains in a flu vaccine while we may be getting the worst of the strain it changes as we go from person to person.”
Doctors at Worthington and Upper Arlington urgent care are starting to run out of flu test kits. They are now only testing those who have a severely compromised immune system for Influenza A and Influenza B.
“[Influenza] A is what generally causes the most of want we would define as the flu epidemic,” said Leach. “It tends to have the most severe symptoms with the high fevers and people getting dehydrated or symptoms that would then lead to pneumonia.”
Physicians say they don’t see cases of the flu slowing down anytime soon.
The Ohio Department of Health has confirmed more than 7,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations this flu season since October. 567 people were hospitalized for the flu in Franklin County and more than 1,000 in Cuyahoga County up in Cleveland.
Doctors say it’s important you get a flu shot.
“It takes two weeks for that flu vaccine to kick in, so odds are if you’ve ended up with the flu after getting the vaccine it’s because you were just unlucky,” said Leach.