Louisville healthcare providers seeing high cases of flu

Doctors see rise in flu cases in Louisville

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Did you get your flu shot?

Kentucky is one of nine states reporting high flu activity right now and the city of Louisville is also seeing a big jump in flu cases.

Immediate care centers have been swamped with long waits. At noon New Year’s Eve, the Norton Immediate Care Center on Dixie Highway reported a five hour wait.

“We have been flooded with flu cases,” Janel Willingham, a DNP at Norton Healthcare Immediate Care Centers, said.

It started out as strep and flu cases, but now mainly flu cases are being treated, Willingham said.

She reported 10 to 15 cases a day -- and that’s just one Jefferson County provider. That means there are many more across Jefferson County, where the CDC has confirmed the most cases in Kentucky.

The flu and its fever, body aches and chills, headache, coughing and congestion, sometimes vomiting and diarrhea, are spreading.

Why? According to Willingham, it’s hard to say.

“We hope people are getting vaccinated,” she said. “Maybe people aren’t.”

The message? If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, get it. There’s still plenty of flu season ahead and many people you know are already suffering.

“You’re sitting at home and you’re like, ‘Oh, I haven’t gotten my shot yet,’ -- it’s not too late,” Willingham said. “It will take about two weeks for your immunity in your body to build up those antibodies.”

The elderly, young children and those with health conditions are most at risk.

Some wonder if it’s safe to get the flu shot if you’re recovering from a sickness, and aren’t sick anymore but aren’t 100 percent.

“If you have a fever, wait until the fever is gone and you’re feeling a little better," Willingham said. "But if you have a little cough and running nose but overall you’re doing well, go ahead and get the flu vaccine.”

Eleven children have died nationwide with flu this season.

Children with fever need to be monitored closely. Keep them hydrated with water and Gatorade and see your pediatrician.

Of course, always cover your mouth or nose if you cough or sneeze, keep your workplace clean and keep washing your hands.

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