HARRISBURG, NC (WBTV) - Workers at FastMed Urgent Care have been busy treating patients with flu-like illness this flu season. In January, the clinic treated 75 people for the flu - that was a 30% increase from the year before.
"The current pattern we have seen has been a pretty dramatic in flu," FastMed Physician Assistant Sarah Stephens said.
Stephens says the clinic had to get extra manpower to keep up with the patients who were coming in.
"We have been adequately staffed this year," Stephens said. "We are prepared with flu testing - flu vaccination as well as."
Some pharmacies in parts of North Carolina have reported running low on the flu vaccine. Local Charlotte hospitals say they have the vaccine as well as the clinic in Harrisburg.
"We've had to order several times," Stephens said, "but we currently do have the vaccine in stock and are able to vaccinate. I would say it is strongly recommended for everybody to get a flu shot."
Charlotte metro-area ranks near the top in the country for the most severe cases of the flu. The national report from Doctorsreport.com says the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia area is number two for severe flu while Minneapolis-St. Paul ranks number one.
Workers at the urgent care center believe the area's top ranking when it comes to the flu. Audra Dingle believes it, too. She took her father to urgent care on Wednesday to see if he has the flu.
"He's been in bed all day," Dingle said. "He's been coughing. I think probably the chills - just feeling really bad and sore a little bit."
She says he may have gotten it from her sister. Dingle says this is the first time her family has had to deal with the flu and now she is thinking about safety.
"It's kind of crazy," Aurda Dingle said. "And the thing about how many kids have passed away because of it is kind of scary, and it makes you think a lot about this flu and getting the flu shot."
It's still not too late to get the flu shot. The flu season ends in May.