– [Carolyn] Well, if you
haven’t gotten sick this season, you are one of the lucky
ones, it sounds like. This year’s flu season
has been hard hitting and Kansas City has been
seeing a big uptick, from last year especially. So, here to talk about
it is Dr. Ameet Deshmukh with Overland Park
Regional Medical Center. Thank you so much for coming in during this busy time for you.
– Thank you for having us. Appreciate it. – So, let’s talk about the severity. I feel like I know so many people who are sick with something and they don’t quite know what. How is the flu severity? – So, we have definitely seen an insurgence of flu
over the last few weeks. And actually, the Australian studies we had spoken about before, probably like a month ago
when we were on the show, we talked about predicted
a really bad flu season. At that time, we hadn’t seen
a lot of the positive cases, they were just beginning. Now, there are several. There’re millions across the U.S. There’re approximately 3,000
deaths involving the flu. – Already.
– Several hospitalizations. Yes, very severe. (patients getting examined by doctors) It’s hitting very hard. – [Carolyn] Okay, and let’s
talk about the timing of it. Where are we in the
length of the flu season? Are we at a midway point? – [Dr. Deshmukh] Unfortunately, I think we’re at the beginning of it. – You do?
– Yep. I think we just started seeing
positives a couple weeks ago (patients getting flu shots) and there’re many viruses along
with the flu virus hitting. The flu virus is also weakening your immune system in several folks and causing bacteria to enter, so we’re having a lot of very sick people from the flu this year. – [Carolyn] A flu and then some. – And then some, yes, for sure. – Okay, so, I know you
always push very hard, flu shot, flu shot, flu shot. – I do.
– For anyone who can get it but I have many friends who say, yeah I forgot, it’s too late now. – It’s never too late to get a flu shot, unless you’re actively sick at the time. So, if you haven’t had one
yet, you can still get one. Flu shots will cover the main strains that they identify ahead of time. If those are the strains
you’re infected with, it will shorten the course of your flu and actually help prevent
you from getting a lot worse. – Okay, so, this is a
question that hit in my home. My daughter felt really bad, so I took her in, they had already run out of the rapid flu test. That means that probably a lot of people had been asking for it.
– A lot of people, yes. – Can you fight the
flu on your own at home or do you need to see a doctor or when do you know when to go? – Nobody knows your
body better than you do. If it is your child, nobody
knows your child’s well-being or health better than you do. Same if you have an elderly or disabled person in your family. You know them the best or they know themselves the best, also. So, if you feel like you’re
more sick than a usual cold or if you’re feeling dehydrated, you’re having a rapid heart rate, you’re feeling real nauseated, you can’t keep anything down, you’re short of breath
when you even get up and just try to walk to the
bathroom, things like that. If you’re feeling more sick
than usual, go get seen. Just make sure it’s not anything else or if you’re dehydrated,
we can hydrate you. If you have a secondary
infection, we can treat it. – Use all of these things that you bring by
– Yes, for sure. – and keep on hand for this season because we’ve just begun, it sounds like. Dr. Deshmukh, it is always a pleasure to chat with you.
– Thank you so much for having us. We appreciate it. – Let’s hope we wind this
flu season up quickly. Remember you can always
get more health tips from HCA Midwest Health on our website. Just go to KCTV5.com/HCAMidwest.