Amid rising flu cases, Ky. doctors say fewer people are taking measures to protect themselves

Amid rising flu cases, Ky. doctors say fewer people are taking measures to protect themselves
Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 3:34 PM EST
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PULASKI COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Sickness is still spreading across Kentucky. Doctors in southern Kentucky say they are seeing a lot of flu cases.

Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital and its clinics have been really busy the past few days. The parking lot has been packed today, and getting a space has been a little challenging because of the walk-in traffic.

The clinic at the Somerset hospital saw 300 people from Friday through Sunday and 200 tested positive for the flu. Most of the illness is tied to the flu and while there are a handful of COVID-19 cases, it’s nowhere near the high level of community spread with the flu.

Doctors say fewer people are taking measures to protect themselves.

“One thing, their immunizations are down,” Dr. Barry Dixon said. “Normally, we give 5,000 flu shots a year here. To date, we have given a little less than 3,000.”

People are still getting COVID, but it’s not nearly as bad or even close to what doctors are seeing with the flu. Typically if hundreds have the flu, a handful may test positive for covid.

The flu is up because, coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are more prone to gather and not mask up, as they have the last several flu seasons.

“I think people are out more. They are tired of Covid. They are tired of masks. Everyone wants their mask off. Masks do work with the flu. We have proven that over and over,” Dr. Dixon said.

Dr. Dixon encourages people to get the flu shot, which takes about 10-to-14 days to become fully effective. He says this year, it has shown to work for most people.

“People need to stay home when they are sick,” Dr. Dixon said. “If you are running chills, fever, headache, and especially if you have a flu exposure, most likely it’s going to be the flu.”

Doctors say the flu started out spreading fast with children, but now it’s common with many adults also.