Increase in flu cases due to dramatic weather changes

The past week brought families a lot of fun with the first snowfall in Corpus Christi in years, but there is a drawback -- a lot of people are getting sick.

CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - The past week brought families a lot of fun with the first snowfall in Corpus Christi in years, but there is a drawback -- a lot of people are getting sick.

Doctors in the Coastal Bend said their practices are much busier than usual, and the weather is a likely factor.

Instead of at school, many kids are stuck home sick or visiting local clinics. Kids like seven-year-old Anthony Torres, just one of dozens of kids in Corpus Christi who have been diagnosed with the flu.

The symptoms came on right away.

"The fever spiked out of nowhere, all the way up to 103," his mother Felicia Torres said.

Doctors said they are seeing more patients than normal for this time of year.

"Like 8 to 10 probably more a day, and just in here," pediatrician Dr. William Fader said. "We're just a solo practice."

He said the massive drop in temperature, from sunny in the 80s to snowy in the 30s, likely plays a role.

"You can get just a runny nose and congested just from the temperature difference, and then that gets you congested and it kind of stops up the drainage," Fader said.

In addition to that, doctors said with more people spending time inside to avoid the cold, germs are spreading much faster. It's not just the kids -- it's adults too.

The steps you can take to stay healthy are simple, and physicians say everyone needs to be reminded of them now.

"The best thing, you know, keep your hands clean," Fader said. "Keep your hands away from your face. Use hand sanitizer."

The pediatrician also said if your child is sick with cold and flu symptoms or a fever, don't try to send them to school. Keep them home while they are contagious to prevent it from spreading even more.

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