CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Lowcountry doctors say they’re seeing a rush of patients suffering from the flu, common colds, and respiratory illnesses, especially after patients put off visiting in person at the height of COVID-19.

Lowcountry doctors say it doesn’t come as a surprise to see the rise in cases among patients as health restrictions from COVID-19 go away.

“We’re around people, we might not be as fastidious with hand washing and there comes sort of the nausea vomiting and things we’ve known about,” said Dr. Kenneth Perry, Assistant Emergency Director at Trident Medical Center.

Doctors say the pandemic has had an overall negative impact leaving patients dealing with the effects.

“We’re seeing people with new diagnosis of diabetes, high blood pressure that’s much higher than it should be and they just don’t realize it,” says Dr. Perry. “An overall sicker Emergency Room population.”

As illnesses and COVID-19 impacts evolve, Dr. Valerie Scott of Roper St. Francis says it shouldn’t deter people from returning to normal life.

“Meeting new people and just doing fun things, it’s time,” says Dr. Scott. “And sometimes when we do that, we get a cold.”

The hardest hit populations tend to be young students and families, but doctors say the illnesses are short-lived. Doctors advise getting flu shots and routine hand washing as the best ways to stay healthy.