As the flu spreads, doctors say there is still time to get your flu shot

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Flu numbers are on the rise in Lexington and Central Kentucky.

Doctors say they've noticed a spike in flu cases since the holiday break.

"We're definitely in the peak now ... getting toward that worst of the worst for the flu season 2017-18," said Dr. Ryan Stanton from Baptist Health Lexington.

Stanton said they used to see about five cases a day and now they see anywhere from 15 to 25. He said the holidays could be to blame.

"People don't want to miss holiday get-togethers, so they come even when they're sick. There's a lot of hugging, a lot of close contact," he said.

Stanton said compared to this time last year, they are seeing more flu cases.

"What we're hoping is that with the numbers earlier, that we are also starting to see it tail off earlier meaning that it kind of works its way through the population," Stanton said.

We're told it is best if you have flu-like symptoms to go get checked out.

"Just to make sure it is the flu, or a cold, or just to make sure there are no bacterial infections going on," said Nicole Wilson, NP from The Little Clinic.

While no one likes the idea of a bug going around, there is good news: it is not too late to get the flu shot.

"It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to be fully effective, so [you should get it] as soon as possible," said Dr. Marisa Belcastro from Lexington Clinic Veterans Park.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the following steps can help stop the spread of the flu and keep you from getting sick.

- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine).
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

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