“Widespread” classification means that flu activity is at its highest level, with laboratory-confirmed flu cases occurring in at least half of the regions of the state. In a press release from the CHFS, William Hacker, commissioner of DPH and acting undersecretary for health at the CHFS, said that vaccines for the flu and pneumonia are currently available throughout the state.
“We are letting our residents know that it is not too late to vaccinate against flu and pneumonia, especially since there is a plentiful supply of flu vaccine this year,” Hacker said. “An annual flu vaccine – either the flu shot or the nasal-spray flu vaccine – is the best way to reduce the chances of getting the flu.”
Gail Franks, the chief nursing officer at Trigg County Hospital, said that fewer flu patients had come to the emergency this year compared with last year. She added, though, that most people suffering from the flu tend to see their family physicians instead of going to the hospital.
Holly McCormick, nurse practitioner at Trigg County Primary Care, said that she had seen quite a few patients lately who had come in with the flu, strep throat and mono. She said she had also seen a few patients come in with a viral illness that has the same symptoms as the flu, but turned out not to be.
“With that, there’s not a whole lot you can do except let it run its course,” McCormick said. “It takes about a week.”
McCormick said that Primary Care still has some vaccines left. She said that a few people who had already gotten vaccines this season has still come down with the flu. She said this was because they get a few different vaccines each year and they can never be sure what will turn out to be the most common strain. She said, though, that the vaccinated patients’ symptoms were not as severe as those who had received no vaccinations at all. McCormick encouraged people to get a shot if they hadn’t already because the flu can sometimes circulate as late as April or May.
The Trigg County Health Department also still has flu vaccines.
Learn more about this winter's flu by reading The Cadiz Record.