North Texas hospitals are filling up with patients not only experiencing flu-related symptoms, but also patients with severe alleries.
Allergy sufferers say mountain cedar pollen is so bad, they’re rushing to the doctor as well.
“You feel like you have a cold," said Dallas resident Amy Carwile. "Just the stopped up and the headache and the non-stop runny noses. It’s hard to tell the difference between a cold and your allergies."
Carwile just recovered from the flu, but found herself back in the doctor’s office on Thursday for an allergy shot.
Carwile is not the only one experiencing severe allergies this season.
"I have kids coming in all day long with headaches and running noes," Carwile said. "It's hard for them to concnetrate in class. So I definitely see it."
Allergy physician Steven Cole in Dallas said the mountain cedar pollen comes from Juniper trees and there are some in North Texas. However, most are in Central Texas, where Cole said heavy rainfall has caused the trees to produce extra pollen.
“It’s the only tree we know of that’s pollenating in the winter,” Cole said. “The pollen is really high in Central and North Texas and whenever you have these winds that kick up, they blow the pollen for hundreds of miles and that’s what we see here.”
Cole said many people are having trouble differentiating if they have the flu or allergies.
He said the biggest difference is with the flu you will have a fever and severe body aches.
However, if you are struggling to breathe, in either case see a physician.
“The biggest thing is go to the doctor," Carwile said. "If it’s that bad and you’re really run down, either way if it’s allergies, cold, strep- I would recommend seeing the doctoring and not taking chances.”