Public Health Department Says More Than 100 People Have Died During the Current Flu Epidemic

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), says that the state just topped 100 flu-related deaths from the flu epidemic, with at least four of those being pediatric cases.

“Tragically, the influenza virus has claimed the lives of 100 Kentuckians so far this season,” said Dr. Jeffrey D. Howard, Acting DPH commissioner. “During this time of widespread flu activity, we want to remind people to avoid contact with others if you have influenza or an influenza-like illness.  If you are sick, seek care from your healthcare provider early. Lastly, take appropriate measures to protect yourself such as washing your hands with soap and water.”

This season’s H3N2 strain of the flu virus can be extremely serious, even deadly, not just for those in higher risk categories but to generally healthy Kentuckians as well.

For more information, please click here. Also, Kentucky reports weekly to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national flu surveillance system. That report is online and is updated each Friday before noon.

 

Kentucky Health Officials Say that Flu Activity is an ‘Epidemic’ Around the State

The Kentucky Department for Public Health, within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), is now saying that influenza activity in Kentucky is an “epidemic,” meaning that this season’s strain of the flu virus can be extremely serious, even deadly, not just for those in higher risk categories but to generally healthy Kentuckians as well.

Kentucky is in its sixth consecutive week of widespread flu activity which is the highest level of flu activity and indicates increased flu-like activity or flu outbreaks in at least half of the regions in the state, according to a news release.

“Widespread influenza activity means that Kentuckians are likely to encounter one or more persons shedding influenza virus at work, at school, while shopping, while traveling, at athletic or entertainment events, and in places of worship,” said the Acting Department for Public Health Commissioner Dr. Jeffrey D. Howard. “A person who will develop influenza illness actually can transmit the virus to other persons beginning one day before their illness begins.”

Health officials are inviting the public to participate in a Facebook Live discussion about the flu on the CHFS Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/kychfs/) at 6 p.m. Eastern, 5 p.m. Central on Thursday, January 25. People can submit flu-related questions beforehand to chfs.communications@ky.gov or post their question in the comments section during the event.

For more information, including tips to help prevent the spread of the flu, please click here.