Flu cases are up in Jefferson County
Louisville, Ky (WDRB) Some Indiana hospitals are seeing sharp increases in flu cases.
The Louisville Metro Health Department says there are hundreds of more flu cases now compared to this time last year.
Lynda Roberts was one of many who came to an immediate care center on New Year's Day. She has come down with the flu.
She says her symptoms include, "Coughing, cold, aches and pains."
She says she did not get a flu shot. Doctor Marco Louisse says, "We recommend that for everyone these days not just for the real old and young like we used to say."
Louisse says you can still contract the illness even if you had the flu shot. He says, "Last year for 2012-2013, it worked about 60 percent of the time, so it varies depending on the strain of the flu and what people are exposed to as well."
The Metro Health Department says flu cases are spread throughout the city.
Louisse says, "We have a flu test, a rapid test but it probably only picks up 60 percent of the cases, so we end up with falsely negative tests. But as far as positive tests, we might see 5-10, but in reality we're seeing maybe double that as far as the number of flu cases."
The Health Department says at this time last year, there were 366 positive flu tests compared to 883 now in Jefferson County.
Louisse says, "I would expect things to get worse before they get better because traditionally the peak is January of February."
The federal government says Indiana and Kentucky are among 23 states reporting regional flu outbreaks.
For the largest number of flu cases in Louisville, most were children under 10 and people between 30 and 49 years old.
As many know, the best ways to prevent the contagious flu is to practice good hand washing and cover your cough with your arm.
Since Roberts has had the flu for two days, the doctor says it's too late for Tamiflu to be effective, so she will just have drink plenty of fluids and get rest.
Roberts says, "I'm staying in bed til it's over with."
The flu season lasts until May. Doctors say if you can get a flu shot, it takes two weeks to work.
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