Thanksgiving travel could spread the flu rapidly

Posted at 7:18 PM, Nov 26, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-26 19:18:47-05

Chesapeake, Va. (WTKR) - As thousands of Virginians get ready to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, doctors are warning that this is the prime time for viruses to be spread.

Dr. Robert Gormley is the Medical Director at Patient First on Battlefield Boulevard in Chesapeake. He says the holidays are prime time for folks to get sick.

"In the winter time, when people are indoors, socializing, spending a lot of time together - it's the opportune time for these types of infectious particles to be communicated from one individual to another," Dr. Gormley said.

The good news is that there has not been any flu activity reported in Virginia so far this season. The bad news is that other states have seen flu activity.

"Once we start seeing it in some states, it’s probably pretty rapidly going to spread to all the states," Dr. Gormley stated.

Thanksgiving can be a particularly troublesome time as families gather with close proximity to one-another.

Data from the CDC showed an increase in flu-activity in the United States after Thanksgiving in 2012.

"It increases the chance that not only will more people get infectious diseases, whether it's just a common garden variety virus or it's the flu, and then take it back to where they came from," Dr. Gormley explained.

Dr. Gormley said the best defense is to get a flu-shot and frequent hand-washing.