Flu cases on the rise in the US, Kentuckiana no exception


by Michelle Arnold


Posted on January 2, 2014 at 6:19 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- It's that time of year when people are sick and tired of being sick.

“Early on in the season, there was not a lot of flu detected, but as we got into December, we've seen a lot of flu,” Dr. Bill King said.

The Health Department reported they have more than 880 positive tests this year -- that’s nearly three times the amount they saw this time last year. This virus is contagious.

“Kids are wonderful, beautiful Petri dishes; they like to bring you all sorts of presents home from school and things like that,” Dr. King said.

Dr. King says children are getting the flu but it's affecting people of all ages. When patients come to his Norton Immediate Care Center most are getting the same medicine.

“Tamiflu is the drug of the choice if you catch the symptoms early enough,” said Dr. King.

The doctor says it’s very important to dress appropriately, eat well, get plenty of sleep and be extra careful if you are around someone who's sick.

“Avoidance is still the best way to avoid the flu, cold, strep, things like that,” Dr. King said. “When you're around someone who has cold- flu-like symptoms, basically keep yourself arms distance away.”

It’s not too late to get a flu shot; in fact the Health Department and doctors encourage it. 

“It takes about two weeks once you get the shot to actually have immunity so people can absolutely catch the flu in that 2 week period,” Dr. King said.

The Health Department said there is no shortage of the vaccine this year. The CDC estimates that last year the vaccine helped prevent more than 6.6 million influenza-related illnesses. Doctors also say if you’re sick, stay home.