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Flu, GI virus going around Central Texas

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The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says we haven't seen such an early flu season since about 2003. Texas is one of 29 states with reported high levels of flu activity.

Between four and five flu cases a day are being diagnosed at one local clinic. Compare that to last week, these doctors were only seeing one patient a week with the flu.

Rob Northcutt gets one every year.

"I was right there at the front end to make sure I got my shot taken care of," said Northcutt.

He got the shot, but rob's been having flu-like symptoms for ten days now.

Northcutt said, "I'm having a real tough time with my upper respiratory, coughing a tremendous amount. I'm afraid it might have turned into walking pneumonia, which is something I've been diagnosed in the past."

The doctors at Cedar Park Pediatric and Family Medicine say the number of patients with the influenza virus has doubled.

"Within the past month, it has really picked up...me, personally, have been diagnosing at least four cases of flu each day," said Dr. Lindsey Moore.

She says the flu is extremely easy to spread.

Northcutt said, "My wife is starting to experience the same kind of thing. She has a really sore throat and she was in bed last night, drinking hot tea, looking really sad...for me...it's a wonderful ab workout."

Flu cases are happening earlier than usual this year, but it's not the only virus bringing more people in to see the doctor.

"A lot of adults they have been seeing have been having vomiting and diarrhea without the other flu symptoms, which means the high fever, the body aches and chills and typically, without those other symptoms, it's some other virus and not the flu itself," said Moore.

It's called the GI virus.

Dr. Moore said, "The GI viruses can actually go year round. Their typical seasons are actually in the summer and you can get it year round."

"From my experience, both of them are very highly contagious," Dr. Moore said. "The influenza virus can, in addition to causing the typical symptoms...can also lead to vomiting and diarrhea as well."

Rob doesn't have the flu, but he won't be singing in church any time soon.

"The day before I started having the symptoms, I sang a solo at church...I was very fortunate this didn't hit me until the next day," he said.

The doc suggests some over the counter medicine and letting the virus run it's course.

Rob's okay with that.

"The Barry White voice is kinda cool," he added.

These doctors expect to see people with flu-like symptoms through March.

If you haven't already been exposed to the virus, it's not too late to get a flu shot.

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