Many doctor offices say their waiting rooms are filled with patients complaining of stuffy heads, aches and pains an runny noses.
Sounds like the flu, but it's not.
Tim Craven woke up on Wednesday morning feeling sick.
"My head was about to explode," he said. "My nose was stuffy. My throat was real sore. I felt flu-ish. I don't know if I have the flu. I just felt bad, achy."
Doctors don't believe that Craven has the flu, but the early summer bug.
"A lot of the symptoms are originating from allergies that turn into a sinus infection that might require anti-biotics," said Kimberly Slate, Baptist Hospital nurse practitioner.
Last month at one Mid-South doctor's office about 300 patients called complaining of a cold, and aches and pains.
"I got up and I started moving around, felt bad," Craven said. "Talked to my wife. I said something is wrong."
The Shelby County Health Department reports physicians in the region have seen an increase in the number of bacterial respiratory infections. Health department officials believe the recent high pollen count is to blame.
"Some people develop allergies, may not have ever had allergies before but you can, particularly in this part of the country," Slate said.
Unless you visit the doctor at the first sign of trouble, which can include the nasal drip, a nagging cough or a slight congestion. Those symptoms can develop into an full blown infection.
By then, you are sick and in need of medication, rest, and maybe time off from work.
Health experts say the crud-like flu can range from 10 days to three weeks, and you can spread it to others. The best way to protect yourself from catching the summer bug from someone else is to wash your hands and disinfect areas you might share.
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