Flu Floods Clinics
Early outbreak sends wave of patients into emergency rooms and clinics.
For the last few days Ashlea Caldwell has had a stuffy head. As a preschool teacher she knows a cough could mean bad news. So on Wednesday she went into Urgent Care. Getting in wasn't easy.
"I stopped somewhere else on my way in and there was a three hour wait there so I thought it would be a little while but not that long," Caldwell said of her two hour wait.
Waiting times at other clinics and emergency rooms are surpassing the two hour mark too. Some places reported a 4 hour wait period at peak times with many people coming in with symptoms of the flu. If you think people are getting sick more, it's not just in your head.
"The activity that we're seeing is very vigorous," Kris Ehresmann, director of immunizations for the Minnesota Department of Health, said.
The flu season started earlier than usual and it's on track to be perhaps the highest since the H1N1 outbreak in 2009.