By Ken Molestina

TARRANT COUNTY, Texas (CBS11) – Tarrant County Public Health officials say the flu cases they’ve recorded this month are already three times the amount of December.

One of the hardest hit areas in the county is near Kennedale in the 76140 and 76028 zip codes.

Community Med Urgent Care is near the area and their staff members have reported seeing flu patients non-stop.

Dane Thurston, a physician assistant and one of the medical providers at Community Med, describes the influx of influenza cases in his clinic as staggering.

“It’s been the hot zone where we’ve been seeing a lot of strep and flu and sometimes both,” said Thurston.

In response to the high case volume, he says they are having to get patients in and out in less than 30 minutes.

“For lack of a better term we treat them and street them,” said Thurston.

He says getting them treated and sent on their way is the best way to keep flu patients from sitting around in waiting rooms and public spaces where the flu easily spreads.

He also said everyone who presents themselves at the urgent showing any signs of the flu are immediately ordered to wear a face mask.

Russ Jones, is the Chief Epidemiologist for Tarrant County Public Health. He says the cases are going to continue to rise in the next coming days before they start going down.

“It looks like we are going to peak somewhere in January,” said Jones.  “We don’t know if it’s this week or next week that we will peak.”

The county’s public health department says it’s keeping tabs on the number of flu cases mainly from reporting systems from emergency rooms, clinics and school.

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