Holiday cases of flu flooding doctor offices - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Holiday cases of flu flooding doctor offices

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TUSCALOOSA - AL -

   Dr. Phillip Bobo, who runs the Emergi-Care center of Tuscaloosa has been asking one question to patients lately..."how long have you been sick?'

   It helps Bobo tell if patients like Brittany Thomas have the flu.  "I don't want to eat. I'm extremely tired. My whole body hurts. The normal sinus stuff," she said of her flu experience.

   By the time we visited Dr. Bobo's office at 2pm Monday, he sad seen 88-patients.  About half of those patients had the flu.  He says that's been the trend. "I've been seeing it now for the past three weeks and its getting progressively worse."

   Doctor Bobo says most patients he's examined are testing positive for Influenza A.   Surprisingly, 80-perence of those previously had a flu shot.  Bobo says they probably still contracted the virus because it produced a strain the virus was not designed to fight off.  "A new strain shows or strains mutate which they do frequently and then you've got something that vaccine didn't protect you from."

"Runny nose, cough, you name it -- my head hurts," added Thomas.

  Physicians recommend those who have escaped the virus so far to wash and clean your hands frequently.  Although its the season to meet and greet..."Stay out of people face, don't eat or drink after anyone," stressed Dr. Bobo.  He says you will know if you contract the flu "People describe it as like a truck ran over them. That's what I ask them, did a truck run over you and what time and basically you have a pretty good idea if they have the flu then."

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