HAZARD — The flu season is taking its toll on the area again, with many counties in the state, including Perry, seeing school closings due to illness.
Dr. Mitchell Wicker, Jr. with Hazard Clinic said his clinic is not immune to the growing number of patients due to the spreading disease.
Wicker said he does not only treat his patients who come in testing positive for the flu with prescriptions.
“I point my finger at them, and tell them they should have taken their flu shot,” he said.
Besides good hygiene, Wicker explained, getting a flu shot is the most important thing for anyone trying to avoid the flu this year to do.
“We’re trying to reinforce that this year, so for next year they’ll hopefully have learned a lesson,” Wicker said.
Wicker also said there are precautions to take if someone finds out they do have the flu, including resting and making sure not to spread the germs to others by not staying at home after being treated.
“We do tell people that if they have the flu to avoid any of their family members or significant others who may have underlying chronic illnesses, if they take chemo, are really severely sick or debilitated, things like that,” Wicker explained.
While the type of flu that is making the rounds this season may not be as severe as the swine or super flu of years past, Wicker said his office is still seeing a high number of patients with the illness and that this strain of flu might be slightly different than the normal.
“In terms of the numbers we’re seeing, maybe a little more severe,” Wicker said.
Like many facilities across the state and country, Wicker’s office is currently out of flu shots.
“Of late, people have had an increased demand for it,” Wicker said. “We don’t currently have any, but we’ve got some on back order.”
Wicker reiterated the most important thing right now is to get your flu shot.
“The flu shot is not a guarantee, it’s insurance,” he said. “The more people that get the flu shot, the less likely we are to see people get sick.”