Baptist Health Hardin physicians ask for community support during flu season
With the large increase of patients being seen in the Emergency Department, providers are asking for the community’s support to ensure that people are seeking care at the appropriate location.
ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (Dec. 27, 2022) – With COVID-19, flu and RSV numbers rising, Baptist Health Hardin is experiencing an sharp increase of patients seeking care, with a large number of those patients coming in with respiratory symptoms.
"By far, we are seeing more influenza as far as numbers go – and primarily influenza A,” said Peter Popovich, DO, Baptist Health Hardin emergency medicine physician. “We are seeing a lot of people coming in with a range from mild upper respiratory symptoms like runny nose and sore throat that progresses into cough. The sickest people tend to have fever, chills, muscle aches and severe lethargy."
Case numbers for all three illnesses, collectively dubbed a ‘tripledemic,’ have been high in local communities. Flu has been particularly challenging this season, according to Dr. Popovich.
With the large increase of patients being seen in the Emergency Department, providers are asking for the community’s support to ensure that people are seeking care at the appropriate location including primary care clinics, urgent care clinics, virtual care and emergency departments.
"If you have these upper respiratory symptoms along with headaches, fever, chills, and muscle aches, it is reasonable to seek medical care with your primary care physician or urgent care. If you experience persistent vomiting or cannot keep fluids down, have severe shortness of breath, or changes in mental status, or if your symptoms feel unmanageable, you should seek emergency care."
People who need emergency care should visit the nearest emergency department or call 911.
Dr. Popovich says that going back to the basics of self-care is the best way to stay healthy when contagion is high. “Practice good hand hygiene and common sense. Avoid close contact with people who are infected, and isolate yourself if you are sick with fever and other symptoms. These are the tried and true things that may help you avoid getting sick."
For patients who have milder symptoms and wish to avoid wait times, Baptist Health offers convenient virtual care options. To set up a video visit, sign up for a Baptist Health MyChart account at BaptistHealth.com/MyChart. Virtual care is not meant to treat emergencies, major injuries, or other urgent health conditions.
For more information about when to visit an emergency room verses an urgent care clinic, visit https://share.baptisthealth.com/urgent-care-vs-emergency-room-whats-the-difference/.
For more information on when to use virtual care, visit: https://share.baptisthealth.com/virtual-care-when-to-use/
To find a provider, visit https://www.baptisthealth.com/provider
About Baptist Health Hardin
Baptist Health Hardin serves approximately 400,000 residents in 10 central Kentucky counties — Hardin, LaRue, Meade, Breckinridge, Grayson, Nelson, Hart, Bullitt, Green and Taylor. The Elizabethtown hospital operates 300 acute care beds. Additionally, Baptist Health Hardin includes more than 60 outpatient facilities across the service area, including a Cancer Care Center, Outpatient Surgical Center, and three Urgent Care locations. The hospital’s network includes nearly 500 physicians and advanced practice clinicians representing more than 40 specialties plus primary care, including hospitalists and OB hospitalists available 24/7; emergency care; cancer care; heart care; ear, nose and throat care; orthopedics; neurosurgery; plastic and reconstructive surgery; pulmonology; rehabilitation and therapy; urology and vascular services; medical and surgical services; diagnostic imaging; pediatrics; and obstetrics, which includes a Level II Neonatal Intensive Care unit. Baptist Health Hardin has also been awarded the Pathway to Excellence® designation for excellence in nursing services by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). With more than 2,900 employees and an active volunteer corps of 130, Baptist Health Hardin is the third largest employer in Hardin County.