Doctors see increase in winter illnesses this summer

Doctors see increase in winter illnesses this summer

BRISTOL, Tenn. - If you're coughing and sneezing but can't figure out how you got sick in the middle of summer, don't worry -- you're not alone.

Some area doctors say this season they're diagnosing illnesses typically seen in winter months.

Bristol resident Anthony Townsend is getting a breathing treatment for what doctors suspects is pneumonia. "I have no idea how I got this in the middle of the summer and I don't like it," he told us.

But he's not alone. Dr. Leigh Ann Livingston at Holston Medical Group's urgent care says there have been plenty of patients spending the summer with illnesses commonly seen in the winter months. "We've been seeing a lot of pneumonias, bronchitis, a whole lot of upper respiratory sinus stuff. A lot more than we normally do," she said.

Dr. Livingston says Mother Nature may be to blame. "I think it's a lot of pollen and we've been having a ton of crazy weather blowing through," she explained.

We found out treating the illnesses typically requires antibiotics, breathing treatments and sometimes several doses. "We've seen people who are having to do rounds and rounds of steroids, nose sprays and congestion medicine. It's just miserable," Dr. Livingston said.

Patients like Anthony Townsend are hoping this treatment works so he can get back to enjoying the summertime.

Dr. Livingston tells us if you have regular allergy symptoms, like coughing and sneezing, you probably don't need to see a doctor.
However, if you begin to feel sick with aches, pains and fever, it's a good time to seek additional help.

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