DFW Flu Spike Increases Wait Time for Patients and Hours for Healthcare Providers

A 60-year old in Dallas County has become the county's sixth death from a flu-related illness this season, officials said Tuesday.

Health departments in Tarrant, Collin and Denton counties reported more than 3,100 cases of flu just in the past few weeks.

"This season is definitely one of the worst," said Karina HInojosa, a certifed nurse practitioner at PediPlace in Lewisville. "A lot of them are coming in with fever."

PediPlace is adjusting its hours to accomodate the demand that spiked over the holidays.

"So we have to double-book sometimes and stay a little longer just to get them in, but we're trying our best," Hinojosa said. "If we know they have a fever, we want to make sure they can receive Tamiflu, which has to be given in the first 48 hours."

NBC 5 heard reports of hours-long wait times at some other Dallas/Fort Worth area health clinics due to possible flu cases.

Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth said it was bringing in extra staff to help with the number of flu cases arriving at the hospital's emergency room.

"Everyone's coughing and congested," Hinojosa said.

She says even though this year's flu shot is less effective, it's still better than nothing.

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