Clinics Filled With Flu Patients

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WILKES-BARRE -- We've all been there.

Struggling for a cough drop while you're waiting to see the doctor, bundled up indoors and still shivering.

This is how it's been for Dawn Howard of Wilkes-Barre for the last 24 hours.

"Chills, real bad cough like almost to where I wanted to gag and throw up and this morning it just got worse," said Howard.

As she waits to see a doctor at Geisinger's Urgent Care Clinic in Wilkes-Barre, she hopes she doesn't have the dreaded F-word.

The flu.

But 'tis the season and it's a been a busy one at that.

"At least in a 12 hour shift, probably half of them are respiratory type illnesses," said
Dr. Nancy Gilhooley, a doctor at the Geisinger clinic.

Such as the flu.

Which is what brought Albert Harris of Wyoming. He said he's been suffering for 2 weeks.

"That's what I thought in this case. Boy, this is going to go in no time. But no, it stuck with me," said Albert Harris, of Wyoming.

Doctors at the Geisinger Urgent Care Clinic said this is the least busy the waiting room's been in the past several days. But they said the reason it's been so busy is because so many people can't get appointments with their primary care doctors.

"I couldn't make it to my private doctor, so here's the next best place," said Howard.

Though doctors are busy seeing patients, both Dawn and Albert were able to get same-day appointments at the clinic.

In the hopes they'll finally get relief from their coughs, aches, and chills.

Distribution of flu cases reported in Pennsylvania this season by county, 10/02/12 - 01/05/2013 (n=11, 327)
Image courtesy: PA Department of Health