Local health clinic sees spike in flu symptoms

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MINOT, N.D.- We are in the midst of flu season and Minot walk in clinics say they've seen an rise in visitors since Christmas.

Staff at FirstCare Walk-In Clinic have been working around the clock this flu season. They say that influenza B and strep throat have been the main reason for visits.

FirstCare clinic has seen a 10 percent increase in patients since the beginning of February. The number of patients per day rose from 102 in January to 112 in February.

FirstCare Clinic registered nurse Chaunceymae Poissant says they staff has noticed and increase in flu patients.

"We saw this about two years ago as well, and then last year wasn't quite as bad, but then this year has really picked up a lot. Usually we're just really busy all around. I think that I've noticed that Influenza A has come in a couple more times now. But we still see so much of the Influenza B because that is the biggest strain that's going around right now.” said Poissant.

Dr. Marisa Albertson says that many patients come to the clinic with flu-like symptoms, but advise them to look for fever as a sure sign of the flu.

β€œIt's a combination of a lot of different upper respiratory symptoms so people come in a lot of the time for cough, runny nose scared that it may be the flu. We tell people if it's been a day or two and you're not running a fever, it's likely just a mild viral illness and it doesn't need to necessarily come in and be evaluated right away if everything else is going OK,” said Albertson.

Clinic staff recommend constant hand washing, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze and protecting yourself with a yearly flu shot.