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Flu Levels In Kentucky Among Highest In Country

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Kentucky is experiencing some of the highest rates of flu in the nation with more than 3,100 confirmed cases.

Kevin Hall is the spokesperson for the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department. He says it is important that as we reach peak flu season that people who are sick stay home, especially ill school children.

He says people need to remember that while they may recover, others they come in contact with could have underlying health conditions which make them more susceptible to the flu. That can have serious consequences.                                                      

“That’s not something that you want to live with, of potentially spreading the flu that causes a potential fatality”

So far, across the state, there have been nine flu-related deaths during the current flu season.  At least a dozen school systems, including those in Madison and Jessamine counties in central Kentucky, have closed because of the number of students missing school. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Kentucky, New Mexico, Colorado and New Jersey have the highest rates of flu in the country.   

Hall said there are a few simple, proven steps to preventing the spread of the flu.  

First, he says, people should get a flu shot, especially the elderly and those with chronic health conditions. Next, people with the flu should stay home from work or school. And finally, Hall says, a good hand washing goes a long way, especially in a school setting.

“Particularly, again in schools, young kids are not the best with washing their hands. So we need parents, we need caregivers, we need teachers making sure that kids are washing their hands frequently, 20 seconds with soap and water.

Hall says this looks to be a long flu season. The first cases in Kentucky were confirmed in September and he anticipates new cases being diagnosed into May. It was much the same last flu season.

“It is getting to the point that we are having a long flu season every year,” he said.

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