Flu level raised to 'widespread' in Kentucky


by Michelle Arnold


Posted on January 7, 2014 at 6:30 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Feeling under the weather? You're not the only one. This year the flu is spreading quickly in Kentucky and Indiana--especially throughout the home.

“My in-laws were in town visiting us for the Christmas holiday and my father actually ended up in the hospital with the flu. That's how it all started,” Jill Olivier said.

Like many others--Jill Olivier has the flu.

“I woke up Sunday morning with a scratchy throat and coughing through the day. It’s just downhill from there,” Olivier said.

She just found out today her daughter tested positive as well.

“She tested positive for the flu but was not able to get Tamiflu because I didn't catch the symptoms within 24 hours,” Olivier said.

The Kentucky Health Department let the public know today the flu is widespread in Kentucky. That's the highest level of activity possible.

In Louisville, there are nearly 1200 positive tests so far. 300 of those occurred in the last 4 days. There has also been one confirmed flu death in Louisville.  Doctors say to be overly cautious.

“When you're around someone who has cold or flu-like symptoms, basically keep yourself arms distance away,” Norton Immediate Care physician Dr. Bill King said.

This year, there's no shortage of the vaccine. The metro and state health departments are encouraging everyone to get a flu shot. But even if you get one, that doesn't mean you won't get sick.

“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.

“I got the flu and I got the strand of flu that is not in the vaccine. I'm on Tamiflu and Ibuprofen for a fever,” Olivier said.

Doctors say the shot, rest, washing your hands, and avoidance are the keys to getting well and staying well.