Hospitals filling up with flu patients and those who think they have it

Hospitals filling up with flu patients and those who think they have it
Source: KFVS

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Several children are being counted among the more than 100 flu deaths in Kentucky and Indiana.

That scary information may be panicking some folks to head to emergency rooms. Make no mistake, doctors want you to take flu symptoms very seriously, but unless you're suffering from symptoms like shortness of breath or dehydration, you probably don't need to go to the emergency room.

"One can die from the flu," said Dr. Joshua Honaker, Norton Chief Medical Administrative Officer.

Honaker says for most people that will not be the case, but if you come down with symptoms related to the flu, you should seek medical help.

"We are very busy, our volumes are much higher than last year for the flu, this is an atypical season," Honaker said.

Many people with flu symptoms are heading to the ER.

"We're having a lot of people come to the ERs for all kinds of symptoms related to the flu and as a result we're there to make sure we get everybody," Honaker continued. "Circumstances may not be ideal, but we're going to make sure we see everybody and give them the quality of care they deserve."

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Doctors say, the ER may not be the best option for those at higher risk for complications:, including seniors, infants, and those who have other illnesses or conditions like asthma.

If you're experiencing shortness of breath, dehydration, becoming weak, mentally fuzzy, or can't go to the bathroom for several hours, that's when you should go to the ER.

With other flu symptoms, try your doctor or an immediate care center first. There are also E-visits now, that allow you to stay home and talk on-line with a medical pro.

To try and stay healthy, the Archdiocese of Louisville is working with the Metro Health Department.

"We have concerns about the flu, it's especially bad this year," said Director of Worship, Dr. Karen Shadle.

The Archdiocese of Louisville is focusing on common sense solutions for all parishes, starting with, if you're starting to feel bad, don't come to Mass, God will understand.

"During the sign of peace, instead of shaking hands, they can choose to simply not," Dr. Shadle added. "Communion with the cup, they can always bypass the cup, if they're not comfortable."

Norton says that's great advice. Another thing Norton says to do frequently, is to wash your hands.

Norton says right now, there's no shortage of Tamiflu but Louisville is running low on flu test kits.

To see a full list of flu symptoms, click here.

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