North Texas

Holiday Travel Season and Flu Season Collide

Friday marks the first day of a busy Thanksgiving travel season and just as travel traffic ramps up, so are the flu numbers across the country.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data Friday showing Texas, along with six other states and Puerto Rico, with high levels of flu activity.

Urgent care clinics across North Texas expect to see an increase in patients with flu-like symptoms over the holiday week.

"It’s one of the major reasons that we see such an uptick in volume. It’s patients who are traveling," Janus Jacobs of Minute Clinic said.

Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport expects to welcome a record 2.5 million people over the holiday week. Many of those people will come with germs and viruses.

"When you are traveling, I think it is important first of all to think about where germs live. Usually they live on surfaces," Jacobs said. "If you are traveling on an airplane, I always carry antibacterial wipes with me."

From arrival at the airport to your destination travelers will in contact with countless surfaces covered with germs.

Surfaces to be aware of include:

  • Security checkpoints plastic bins.
  • Check in kiosks
  • Utensils at airport restaurants left in open air.
  • Airplane headrests, armrests and seat belts.
  • Luggage after it is claimed from baggage claim.

"I also like to recommend a travel package that contains care items such as over-the-counter pain relievers, over-the-counter decongestants and cough medication," Jacobs said.

Jacobs also reminds you to be careful when you are traveling and are not feeling well.

"If you are going to be around family members who are elderly or very young, you don't want to put them at risk," Jacobs said.

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