LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As hospitals are seeing upticks in flu and COVID-19 cases, doctors say it is best to practice safety precautions going into the holiday season.
Since October, Baptist Health has seen single digits of influenza cases daily.
In November, the hospital went into double digits every week. Recently, they were into the 30’s.
“This week alone in the first three days, we are up in the 20’s, so we’re seeing an escalation of people with the flu needing admission to the hospital,” Dr. Kenneth Anderson, Baptist Health, said.
Norton Healthcare influenza rates increased drastically in the last five weeks going from 2% to now 50%.
Anderson said the flu strain we’re dealing with is the H3-N3 variant and the H1-N1 variant.
However, there is good news. The two variants are in the flu vaccine.
“So folks gotten their flu vaccines then they’re going to be better protected and hopefully won’t be visiting our hospital,” Anderson said.
When it comes to COVID-19, Baptist Health and Norton Healthcare have seen a decrease in cases.
A report from Norton also shows they have also seen a decline in RSV cases.
Heading into the holiday weekend, Dr. Anderson said it is best for everyone to be safe.
“Everyone’s tired of masks, but if you’re in closed environments, masking is the best thing. We’re still doing it in our hospital because we feel that we are protecting our patients and protecting our staff,” he said.
Handwashing and using hand sanitizer at this time of the year are also very important. Anderson also shares a very important tip.
“Don’t cough into your hands and then shake somebody’s hand because that’s just spreading the virus and the germs again.”
To check out flu/respiratory illness activity, visit the CDC.