ST. LOUIS – If you're sick and tired of the cold, there's a good chance you are actually sick.
It's been a record-setting flu season in St. Louis City and county. Thousands of people are seeking out their nearest Urgent Care for help.
5 On Your Side got a behind the scenes look at the fight against the flu at the Total Access Urgent Care on Manchester in Rock Hill, where the patient load has doubled largely because of the flu.
"It hit pretty dramatically,” said Dr. Mollie Spire, the Medical Director at Total Access Urgent Care.
Dr. Spire said they've seen a 40% spike in sick patients this flu season. Typically, across the region, Total Access Care will see between 600 and 700 patients every day. Now, they're seeing as many as 1,300.
“The flu shot that covers for influenza A is only about 20-30% effective this year,” said Dr. Spire.
As Kasey Slinkard learned, sickness spreads with a quickness, especially in families.
"I have 2 twin nieces and they both had double pneumonia and then my dad got pneumonia right after that and then my mom got the cold,” Slinkard explained.
The same is true with Kendra Hunt. The flu kept her home for three days and it was even worse for her husband.
"I got my husband sick, he ended up in the hospital for 2 days,” she said.
In St. Louis County, cases of the flu have almost doubled since mid-December. Three weeks ago, there were 452 cases. The next week, 888 cases. Last week, just over 1,300 cases.
On Jan. 9, St. Charles County officials said they have 2,849 flu cases reported to the public department of health.
According to Dr. Spire, this year's strain brings along stomach issues too.
“Classic influenza is upper respiratory, so coughing, sore throat, runny nose, but we have also been seeing nausea and vomiting associated with those upper respiratory symptoms as well,” she said.
Dr. Spire said it's still important to get the flu shot. Even if you get the flu this year, having the shot can decrease the length and severity of your symptoms.