Flu hits Kentuckiana hard - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Flu hits Kentuckiana hard

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --We all know the symptoms, right? Runny nose, coughing, fever. The flu is bad every single year, but doctors at Baptist Health say it's worse this year.

They've already seen 200 patients with flu-like symptoms in the Emergency Room alone.

"Actually, I had my first documented case of influenza in September of this year," Doctor Shawn McCarty explained.

That's way early, and McCarty is far from seeing his last case. On any given day, as of late, 20-30% of people coming into McCarty's ER test positive for the flu.

Kentucky and Indiana are among the 36 states where the virus is said to be widespread. There's one big reason for that. It goes back to last season.

The people responsible for making the flu shot basically have to guess which type of flu is going to be bad the following year.

They predicted the right strain, but it mutated-- making the shot less effective.

Don't get the wrong idea here though, the shot is still the best way to avoid getting really sick.

"Patients who come in and have been vaccinated, their severity of illness doesn't seem to be as great," said McCarty.

And then there's this, Tamiflu, the drug commonly used to get you back up on your feet after the flu, is hard to find in some parts of the country. Luckily, doctors say Kentucky and Indiana aren't among them, at least right now.

How do you avoid becoming part of the misery? Use some common sense. Wash your hands, cough into your arm, and above anything else call your physician as soon as you suspect symptoms.

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