How to Survive Thanksgiving Around Sick Friends and Family

At Trusted ER in Hillcrest 19-month-old Mehki Neal is being treated on Thanksgiving Eve.

"He was running a fever," his mother April Neal said.

This sick little boy is causing some big problems for his family's Thanksgiving plans.

"We did plan to go to my parents' house tomorrow but we are not going to be able to go," Neal said.

The Neal family isn't alone.

Dr. Megan Pearce with Trusted ER said they’ve seen a 20%-30% increase in flu like illnesses at their facilities. With numbers rising she warns you should take extra precautions around family this Thanksgiving.

"Make sure you have everyone doing their own dishes," Dr. Megan Pearce said. "Make sure you give family members their own pillowcase. Hide your toothbrush so it doesn't come in contact with someone who may be sick."

Medstar Mobile Health reports through November 26, its flu-like illness calls per day are more than double what they were in October, and up 14% from November of 2018. These cases are those in which the MedStar crew’s clinical impression of their patient was a flu-like illness.

To try and prevent the spread of the flu you should wash your hands often.

That's something Dr. Charles Powell practices at his home. There's a lot of hand washing here so friends and family don't become patients.

"We see a lot people get together for the holidays, mix all their germs together, and on the backside and we wind up having to clean a lot of it up," Healthcare Associates of Texas Dr. Charles Powell said.

He says while you focus on making sure everything is served up, don't forget the wipe down to keep down germs.

"Pretty much any area that's going to have repeated contact," Powell said. "If you really want to get good about it doorknobs, telephones, surfaces and counter-tops you are commonly preparing food on."

Sadly, if you have a sick relative in your house there may only be one thing left to do.

"it might be best to quarantine that particular individual," Pearce said.

Doctors says it’s not too late to still get a flu shot. It won’t help for Thanksgiving but it will build up your immune system resistance to it by the Christmas holiday gathering time.

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