Kentucky doctors say fewer people are taking measures to protect themselves against the flu

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 5:30
Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 6:50 PM EST
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PULASKI COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Sickness is still spreading across the Commonwealth.

Doctors in Southern Kentucky said they are seeing an increase in flu cases.

“Friday, Saturday, Sunday, at our walk in clinic, we saw over 300 patients. Over 200 were positive for the flu,” Dr. Barry Dixon said with Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital.

Doctors said fewer people are taking measures to protect themselves.

“One thing, their immunizations are down,” Dr. Barry Dixon said. “Normally, we give 5,000 flu shots a year here. To date, we have given a little less than 3,000.”

People are still testing positive for COVID-19, but positive tests are drastically down compared to the flu. Doctors said if hundreds of people have the flu, a handful may test positive for COVID-19.

Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are more prone to gather without masks, and officials said this is increasing flu cases across the state.

“I think people are out more. They are tired of COVID. They are tired of masks. Everyone wants their mask off. Masks do work with the flu. We have proven that over and over,” Dr. Dixon said.

Dr. Dixon encouraged people to get the flu shot, which takes about 10-to-14 days to become fully effective.

He said, this year, it has shown to work for most people.

“People need to stay home when they are sick,” Dr. Dixon said. “If you are running chills, fever, headache, and especially if you have a flu exposure, most likely it’s going to be the flu.”

Doctors said the flu started out spreading fast with children, but now it is also common with many adults.