Samantha Hayes ReportingChildren are very good at inadvertently spreading sickness around; many of us have been reaching for the medicine cabinet lately. In December we spread more than holiday cheer.
Karen Ellis-Benigni, Wee Care Pediatrics: “On Christmas Eve three tested positive for the flu.”
Doctors say this time of year they see lots of everything -- strep throat, colds, and influenza.
Karen Ellis-Benigni: “Christmas time, holiday time you do see more of an increase.”
Roxanne Kleinm, Mother: “We both visited the doctor last week. I’m feeling better, but I’m an adult, I can handle it better than he can.”
Doctors say the stress of the holidays wears us down, we spend more time indoors and around other people at parties, and the kids are out of school and bring the virus home with them.
Karen Ellis-Benigni: “A lot of children are getting together, cousins, family gatherings and things like that. Children are very lovey, kind of huggy, and things like that, so they tend to pass germs.”
Health care providers say at this point the flu is not at an epidemic level, but they do expect the number of cases to peak in January.
Karen Ellis-Benigni: “We have more providers in because we figure this is the time of year when children are getting ill. Yeah, I saw 44 patients yesterday afternoon in a ten hour period. We were really quite busy yesterday.”
The state health department has released the flu vaccination to anyone who wants it and doctors still recommend getting it.