Doctors across New England are dealing with patients who have put off their lingering cold, until now.
The waiting room at Convenient MD in Windham, New Hampshire, was busy all day long on Tuesday. In fact, workers say it’s been busy since Christmas and there are two extra providers trying to treat patients as efficiently as possible.
Richard Paquin of Atkinson, New Hampshire, was there on Tuesday after finally giving in and calling out sick for work.
“I don’t like to be out of work, it backs up,” Paquin said.
Turns out, Paquin had a pretty bad upper respiratory infection.
Dr. Emily Nields says she is treating most adults for the same sort of thing Paquin is dealing with, but the kids are a bit different.
“Lots of strep throat, pink eye, viral stuff, bronchitis,” Nields said.
She says it’s always busy this time of year. There’s been a 20 percent uptick in patients just since Christmas.
“Everyone is a little run down, having seen their families for the holidays, and germs spreading,” she said.
Nields hasn’t seen many people with the flu yet. But cases are on the rise down at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
“We’re beginning to see uptick in cases of flu,” said Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes. “Typically, flu peaks late February, early March and this year we appear to be on track with the epidemic.”
Paquin admitted to the nurse that he’s been feeling lousy for a while now.
But Dr. Nields says it’s less about time and more about temperature.
“When you have a fever, it’s a good time to stay home, rest, get some fluids and feel better,” she said.
Both doctors NBC Boston spoke with said there’s still plenty of time to get a flu shot. Flu shots are free at all nine Convenient MD locations across New Hampshire.