Doctors report springtime spike in flu-like illnesses - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Doctors report springtime spike in flu-like illnesses

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The flu appears to be hitting our area later than usual this year. Schools are dealing with low attendance, and one private school closed for two days last week.

Local pediatricians are also seeing a spike in patients with flu-like illnesses. 

The nurse's office at Orchard Knob Elementary school has been a busy place lately.

School nurse, Regina Hickman, has seen many students with flu-like symptoms. As a result, she's had to send several children home each day.

"The most common complaint they have is, 'I have a headache,'" Hickman said.

With one week until Spring Break, it seems a little out of season.

"A lot of people think that flu season is actually in the winter time, but this is the peak flu season right now," Hickman explained.

While many people are fighting spring allergies, local doctor's offices have been full of patients with flu-like illnesses.

"Now that we're starting to see some warmer temperatures, everyone feels like the flu should be out of here," said Dr. Mary McKenzie, DO, CHI Memorial.

The CDC says the influenza virus can be unpredictable.

But doctors say, despite the recent spike in symptoms, this flu season shouldn't last much longer than it normally does.

"Typically towards the end of March, beginning of April, we should start seeing a decline," McKenzie said.

Doctors advise parents to be on the lookout for early flu symptoms. Those tell-tale signs usually include respiratory tract symptoms like runny nose or congestion; headaches, chills and body aches.|

If you catch the symptoms early, your child has a lower chance of needing to be hospitalized.

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