LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky's latest flu numbers show more than 8,000 cases this season, and that's causing a big back up in doctor's offices.
Flu activity in Kentucky is widespread, with 8,000 cases so far this season. (WKYT)
Doctors say children going back to school following the holidays is only making it worse.
One Lexington pediatrician said flu activity in Kentucky started months ago.
"We have seen major increases starting about the time Thanksgiving yeah, We were really busy over the December especially right before the holidays," said Pediatric & Adolescent Associates Dr. Katrina Hood.
The Lexington-Fayette County health department said the number of confirmed cases here jumped by almost 40 cases last week, up to 180.
"Once people travel or their relatives come in, they pick up new things. And then go back to school and spread new things from the holidays," said Dr. Hood.
Dr. Hood also said she's still giving the flu shot to patients who haven't had it. Young children and the elderly are most at risk for serious complications.
Dr. Hood said those who still got the flu after getting the shot seemed to get less sick.
"It does help if you get the flu vaccine, it doesn’t make you that much better because your immune system is already prepped for that virus," said Dr. Hood.
It is also important to try to prevent that illness from spreading in your home if someone does get the flu. That includes wiping down areas like door and toilet handles and faucets where the virus can live.
"Definitely all those surfaces that are a potential where they’ve touched, because the virus can live for quite some time on a surface," said Dr. Hood.
Dr. Hood also suggests making sure any children who could potentially have the flu gets treatments as soon as possible.
"If they’ve got a fever. If they’ve got cough or congestion it is much better to get into your provider within 48 hours of the symptoms because the medications and things that we can use for it don’t work as well after 48 hours," said Dr. Hood.
Dr. Hood said they are still giving the flu shot even this far into the flu season. She also said those shots are seasonal, so even if you get one this spring you'll still want to get another when fall comes around.