LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Across Kentucky, flu is considered to be at a ‘widespread’ level. It’s far from over; the flu season continues for the next few months. As it ramps up, Norton Healthcare in Louisville has launched an interactive heat map online, to show where the flu has hit the hardest across the city.
Norton Healthcare Physician Mitchell Elliott, MD, told Spectrum News 1 he had already diagnosed two patients with the flu by 10:15 a.m. on Thursday. Dr. Elliott said there’s an abnormal amount of the ‘b’ strain of flu this season. Although it’s now late in the season to be vaccinated, he says it’s not too late. However, the vaccine can take a couple of weeks to be effective.
One thing to keep in mind, Elliott noted as he examined the latest map online, is that not all cases go reported. “For the thousands of cases that have been confirmed with our testing in the urgent care, we don’t test everybody that comes in sick. If they’re a healthy person and we’re not necessarily going to need to treat them, there’s not always a need to know if there’s the flu,” he explains.
“A lot of people who get sick don’t necessarily go to the doctor,” Elliott adds, “and so I’m sure a lot of people in the surrounding counties, in an area that’s hard to get healthcare, will get sick and just not go to the doctor.”
According to the latest report from the Kentucky Department for Public Health, there have been 13 deaths statewide, victims ages 18 and older, and one person under 18 who died from flu this season. That report is updated each Friday.