Flu cases on the rise, medications hard to find

Doctors said social distancing and isolation during the pandemic may have compromised people’s immune systems.
Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 6:55 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Doctors are seeing more cases of the flu and flu-like illness earlier this season. They said social distancing and isolation during the pandemic may have compromised people’s immune systems.

Now, people are gathering in large groups and are exposed to more viruses.

“We at Baptist Health Floyd, when we look at this November compared to last November, we are seeing a little over 600 more patients,” said Dr. Emily Volk, Chief Medical Officer.

From Thanksgiving to Nov. 30, UofL Health saw 208 cases of COVID-19, 924 cases of influenza, and 54 cases of RSV.

More patients are trying to fill their prescriptions and pharmacies are having a hard time keeping up.

Last week, after 12-year-old Landon caught the flu, the Jarvi family searched multiple pharmacies to fill his prescriptions. 

Supply chain issues combined with the rise in flu cases are hurting pharmacies. Many stores are out of over-the-counter flu medicines and cough drops.

“There was not a pharmacy that had Tamiflu within 20 miles of any direction,” Kristen Jarvi, Landon’s mother said. “We ended up filling his other prescription. It was $100 for one pill. That’s a lot of money.”

Experts said that as more people get sick, shortages will increase.

“We really do need our community to do everything they can to keep themselves and their neighbors well,” Volk said.

Baptist Health Floyd is seeing a decrease in flu vaccines and COVID-19 booster shots. They advocate for people to take necessary precautions this flu season.

Doctors add that wearing a mask in public can lower one’s risk of catching the flu or COVID-19.