Kentucky Health Officials Report Widespread Flu Activity

Sick boy in bed

The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness rose to 3.3 percent - 50 percent higher than the national baseline of 2.2 percent. All three had underlying health issues.

In Arkansas last week, 52 of the state's 75 counties reported influenza cases.

Although there have been no local confirmed cases reported to the state, that simply means they have not been reported, officials said. During the entire flu season there were 333 flu-related deaths in Kentucky previous year, five of which were pediatric.

The CDC doesn't track adult deaths from flu, but they do keep tabs on pediatric deaths. "This is an unfortunate and solemn reminder that the flu can be deadly".

Get the flu vaccine, as well as the pneumococcal vaccine (a secondary illness), if you are able. Other diseases like the common cold produce flu-like symptoms. All visitors are urged to wash their hands before and after their visits. Therefore, covering the mouth while coughing and sneezing, in addition to good hand-washing techniques, can help prevent spread of the virus.

Avoid close contact with sick people. "When you have a lot more people get sick, you have more people who are hospitalized and more people who die".

Influenza symptoms typically emerge suddenly and may include fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and body aches. Some people get complications including pneumonia, bronchitis and sinus and ear infections.

Influenza A (H1N1), more commonly known as swine flu, is the dominant strain circulating this winter. Adequate supplies of flu vaccine are available for this year's flu season.

The flu activity level in Kentucky has been raised to widespread by the Department for Public Health. For more information about the flu, visit flu.delaware.gov/ or call DPH at 1-800-282-8672. For all ages, including children age 6 months and older. Walk-ins welcome on Thursdays only from 9:00 a.m.to 11:00 a.m. "I expect activity to continue for several more weeks". The relay operator types the hearing person's spoken words back to the TTY user.

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