Monday, 23 April, 2018

Public Health predicts 'more severe, heavy' flu season

Flu not hitting area as hard as other counties Flu activity in Kentucky now 'widespread'
Marty Perkins | 22 December, 2017, 01:20

The Kentucky Department for Public Health says the flu activity level in the state is now widespread. Also, last season, widespread flu activity wasn't announced until mid-January.

Flu activity season begins in October and lasts through late May, with cases peaking between December and February. The weekly FluView report for week 49 ending December 9, 2017, adds California, Wisconsin, Missouri, Ohio, New York, and CT to the list of states seeing widespread flu. In addition, they say medical staff can wash hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub - and keep all surfaces clean and disinfected.

"There's no single virus that causes the flu and there is no one shot that protects against all of them", said an MCMC nurse.

"The actual vaccine effectiveness was overall about 33 percent", said Wu. That's the way health officials measure the severity of flu season.




Last week, a Yukon elementary school was forced to close its doors after 115 students and 10 teachers called in sick. Vaccination is more important for people with weakened immune systems, as well as those who are pregnant, elderly or live with or care for others at high risk. He says despite the large numbers now, it doesn't necessarily mean the season totals will be more than usual.

"The Department for Public Health is strongly urging anyone who hasn't received a flu vaccine, particularly children six months and older and those people at high risk for complications related to the flu, to check with local health departments or other providers about getting the vaccine". Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.

It sounds very simple, she said, but everyone should dispose of all used tissues immediately after using them.

"People who are sick should stay home from holiday gatherings where influenza and other illness can spread", Dr. Scott Lindquist, the state epidemiologist for infectious diseases, said in a press release.

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