Flu Activity Now 'Widespread' Across Kentucky

Jan 8, 2014

Kentucky health officials are reporting widespread flu activity in the state and say it's not too late to be vaccinated against the disease.

The state reports the level of influenza activity to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and this week increased the level from regional to widespread, which is the highest level. It indicates increased flu-like activity or flu outbreaks in at least half of the state's regions.

The Fayette County Health Department has seen 14 confirmed cases of flu so far this year.

"We can't predict the peaks, or how long things are going to last but it would be safe to say that activity will increase over the next several weeks and the best method of prevention remains getting that flu shot," said Dr. Derek Forrester, UK’s Medical Director for infection prevention and control.

Forrester says this vaccine covers all of the most common flu strains, including an oldie but a goodie.

"The predominant strain that's out there right now is the H1N1 which reared its head in 2009.  It has really become a continuous seasonal flu strain since then and it's accounted for the majority of the cases so far," Forrester said.

Anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated should check with their health care provider, health department or pharmacy, especially anyone who is at risk for flu-related complications.

Infection with the flu virus can cause fever, headache, cough, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing and body aches.