Posted by Rich Miller - email
OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) - Kentucky's current flu activity level is now being reported as widespread.
Widespread activity is the highest level and is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as: "Outbreaks of influenza or increases in ILI cases and recent laboratory-confirmed influenza in at least half the regions of the state with recent laboratory evidence of influenza in the state."
Surveillance efforts serve as a tracking system to follow the patterns and types of flu each year; they are not meant to reflect a full count of all flu cases.
"We are now beginning to see an increase in seasonal flu activity in Kentucky, as well as in the Green River District counties," said Janie Cambron, Senior Regional Epidemiologist for the Green River District Health Department. "If they haven't already, persons ages 6 months and older should receive their seasonal flu shot or nasal vaccine spray. It's not too late to receive the vaccination to protect you and your family."
Cambron also urges everyone to practice common sense precautions to prevent illness, including: avoiding close contact with those who are ill; staying home when sick; covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing; avoiding touching the eyes, nose or mouth; and frequent hand washing.
Vaccine is still available at local health departments and at many other locations throughout the area.
Although everyone ages 6 months and older should receive the flu vaccination, it is especially important for the following groups because they may be at higher risk for complications or negative consequences:
• Children age 6 months to 19 years;
• Pregnant women;
• People 50 years old or older;
• People of any age with chronic health problems;
• People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities;
• Health care workers;
• Caregivers of or people who live with a person at high risk for complications from the flu and out-of-home caregivers of or people who live with children less than 6 months old.
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