Utah experiencing widespread flu activity, according to CDC

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WEST VALLEY CITY — A lot of people might have put off going to get checked out until after Christmas, so clinics like St Mark's Primary Care in West Valley were hopping today. No one wants to be sick on Christmas and a lot of people were.

"Lysol. We did laundry and Lysol all afternoon," said Wendy Widerburg, mother of two sick boys.

The flu hit the Widerburg household just before Christmas.

"We cancelled Christmas parties with friends and family," Widerburg said. "We couldn't go out at all. We were basically stuck in the house."

We cancelled Christmas parties with friends and family. We couldn't go out at all. We were basically stuck in the house.

–Wendy Widerburg

KSL asked their Facebook fans to recount their holiday flu stories, and the answers came by the hundreds.

Em Hurst said, "I ended up spending Christmas Eve and Christmas in bed while my husband did all of the family Christmas traditions with the kids."

Shauna Christensen wrote, "By Christmas night the influenza hit me like a freight train. So here we all are, all sick."

Candace Wilson's baby had to be hospitalized while her sick husband took care of their other sick child.

And Lori Holyoak summed it up nicely by saying "Ugggghhhh Its the holiday and we are supposed to be off playing in the snow not sitting in the house!"

According to the Centers for Disease Control Website, flu activity in Utah is considered "widespread", the highest level.

Utah and Wyoming are the only western states currently at that level. All of those parties are making it spread like wildfire.

You're in an enclosed space, you're hugging and kissing lots of people, it goes around pretty quickly.

–Randy Archibald, physician assistant

"You're in an enclosed space, you're hugging and kissing lots of people, it goes around pretty quickly," said Randy Archibald, physician assistant at St Mark's Primary Care.

And while you can't always prevent it, you can certainly do what you can to treat it quickly. At the first sign of symptoms, go in and get tested.

"Tamiflu has to be used within the first 48 hours of being sick and beyond that, it's not very helpful," Archibald said.

Flu season hasn't even technically peaked yet, so it's likely going to get worse before it gets better. And it's not just flu going around-- there are also a lot of strep and sinus infections out there.


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Jennifer Stagg


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