Urgent Care Centers Packed with Flu Patients - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Urgent Care Centers Packed with Flu Patients

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) -- Urgent Care Centers across Mid-Michigan are packed with people and it's expected to get worse. 

ln Jackson, the Express Care at Allegiance Health has seen a 125 percent increase in flu patients from this time last year.

If you walk into an urgent care waiting room in the Lansing area and you'll see. It's crowded with those who either have the flu or are afraid of getting sick. 

Those who had the flu didn't want to talk on camera, so 6 News had Lansing Urgent Care assistant medical director, Dr. Christina Helms explain how they feel.

"Typically people their worst complaint is high fever and body aches. People describe that they got hit by a truck," said Dr. Helms. "This is the worst influenza season that I've been a part of here."

Since Christmas, Dr. Helms says she's seen the amount of patients per day with flu-like symptoms double. In response, she's had to double the staffing at each of the clinic's locations.

"Our normal volume is about 160-170 patients between the three clinics and now since this flu season has peaked, about 250 to 260," said Dr. Helms. "We've gone through 900 flu tests, we have a box left at this point with more deliveries coming."

Dr. Helms links the large numbers to the flu season's early start. She also suspects many of those who are sick didn't get their flu shot.

If you believe you have the flu, Dr. Patricia Crowe, M.D. Medical Director of Sparrow Urgent Care in Mason says, "Generally speaking, people can take care of themselves at home, but if these symptoms linger for over 24 hours, they probably should go in and contact their primary health care provider."

If you can't get a hold of your primary health care provider, going to an urgent care center is the next best option. Health officials urge people to avoid the emergency room.

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