Union County doctors see an influx of flu patients

Union County doctors see an influx of flu patients

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By ERICA ESTEP
6 News Anchor/Reporter

MAYNARDVILLE (WATE) - Hundreds of children aren't feeling well in Union County. Schools are closed, and the students are filing into doctors' offices.

Union County schools are closed for the rest of the week because of flu and strep throat. Local doctors say they are seeing an influx of patients, most with flu symptoms.

Dr. Mark Farkhondeh said he's working extended hours, seeing as many patients as possible at Makzy Pediatrics. 

Four-year old Trinity Eastridge waited to see Dr. Farkhondeh Wednesday because she wasn't feeling well.

"She just has a real bad cough and congestion in her chest and stuff," said Trinity's father, Jody Eastridge.

Trinity also has a seven-year old brother at home since schools are closed. Their dad says he'd rather have him home than at school with lots of sick kids.

"Any day, because if he gets sick then he's going to be bringing it in on us," Jody Eastridge said. "I work and my wife goes to school so we can't afford to get sick either. So actually it's a good thing to call it off."

Dr. Farkhondeh said he already diagnosed 17 kids with the flu from Monday to midday on Wednesday.

"Kids usually get other problems, ear infections, throat infections and they can get pneumonia," he explained. "Normally flu itself doesn't kill. It's the secondary problems."

It was the same story down the street at Dr. Hal Moncier's office. "The common symptoms are fever, body aches, runny nose, cough, feeling tired, and the fever can be pretty high," the doctor said.

Dr. Moncier's first flu case this year was diagnosed Monday. "This year it's really sudden that it's come to Union County," he said. "We haven't seen almost zero cases. Then suddenly there's a lot of cases this week." 

There were more than a dozen cases in Dr. Moncier's office in three days, and he suspects many more than the flu tests confirm.

"Sometimes early on, the flu test might be negative when they first develop symptoms, but at the same time there's a high probability that it's the flu when other members of the family have the flu and the same symptoms at the same time."

Both Union County doctors believe the school system made the right decision canceling classes for the rest of the week.

They say a day or two out of school probably wouldn't have made much difference, but three days plus the weekend may help.

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