Doctors still pushing flu shots due to high flu activity in Loui - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Doctors still pushing flu shots due to high flu activity in Louisville area

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The CDC has been reporting widespread flu activity for nine weeks in a row. Local doctors are saying people should still get their flu shots, because flu season is expected to last longer than normal.

“Body aches, fever, and just hurting all over,” said Dr. Robert Couch an emergency room doctor with Norton Audubon Hospital, who listed off just some of the symptoms of the flu.

Those, coupled with a cough, runny nose and sore throat, and the chances are you most likely have the flu.

“We've certainly seen a tremendous amount of flu patients in the past few weeks,” Dr. Couch said.

Those numbers are not only seen at Norton Audubon Hospital, but across the state of Kentucky. For the past nine weeks, the CDC has reported widespread flu activity, which means there is an increase in flu outbreaks in at least half the state.

“People who have the flu feel like it's deadly when they're suffering with it, but it can lead to other complications, particularly at the extremes of ages,” Dr. Couch said.

He said the flu, if not treated correctly, can lead to more serious illnesses like pneumonia. According to a flu index released by Walgreens Pharmacy every week, the Louisville area is third in the country for the respiratory virus.

Dr. Couch says that’s because not nearly enough people are getting their yearly flu shot.

“Well there are some people who say I don't believe in them, and there are others who say, 'oh I get the flu after I get a flu shot,' which is absolutely not true. It's very important to get that flu shot,” he said.

Even though the flu season typically lasts from October to May, doctors still suggest getting the shot, because the season is expected to last longer this year.

“Flu season will continue on for another month or two possibly, so we will still see new cases of flu ... So there's still time,” Dr. Couch said. “Hopefully we'll be through with this soon enough.”

Doctors say the flu can be spread through coughing and sneezing, so you should often wash your hands with soap and water.

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