NORTH RICHLAND HILLS The family medicine office of Dr. Karen Smith has been flooded with patients for the past few weeks.

Staffers attribute the sharp spike to the outbreak of the flu.

'One woman had a temperature of 105,' Smith said. That patient ended up in the emergency room.

But the outbreak has caused a backlog in some parts of the office.

While emergency rooms and bigger clinics can handle a surge, it can create a strain in offices where there are just a handful of nurses and one doctor.

'It either this is going on, or this is going on, or insurance, and this adds to all of that,' said nurse Cresha Alexander.

Dr. Smith's staff said it will likely be weeks before there is a letup.

At times, they are seeing four patients an hour, and estimate there have been 'dozens' of patients in their care suffering from H1N1.

Local schools are taking note of this year's severe outbreak. In both Fort Worth and Dallas, districts are urging parents to keep children with any symptoms out of the classroom and at home.


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