Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster

Flu Level Raised to Widespread in Kentucky

cdc2 300FRANKFORT, Ky. (1/7/14) - Kentucky Department for Public Health officials reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week that the influenza (flu) activity level in the state has increased from regional to widespread. Widespread activity is the highest level of flu activity, which indicates increased flu-like activity or flu outbreaks in at least half of the regions in the state. The activity levels for states are tracked weekly as part of the CDC's national flu surveillance system.

"With current widespread flu activity being reported in Kentucky and across much of the nation, now is a good time to protect yourself and your family by getting vaccinated for flu," said Stephanie Mayfield, M.D., commissioner of DPH. "We are strongly urging anyone who hasn't received a flu vaccine, particularly those at high risk for complications related to the flu, to check with their health care provider, local health department or pharmacy about vaccine availability."

The flu season can begin as early as October, which is when Kentucky reported its first cases this year, and last through May. January is still a good time to get vaccinated against the flu because peak activity often comes in the early months of the year. Vaccination can be given any time during the flu season, and there is a plentiful vaccine supply this season. Since it takes approximately two weeks for vaccine to become fully effective, Kentuckians should not delay vaccination, Dr. Mayfield said.

The best way to protect against the flu is to receive a flu vaccination. The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends flu vaccine for all individuals 6 months of age and older. People who are especially encouraged to receive the flu vaccine, because they may be at higher risk for complications or negative consequences, include:

 * Children age 6 months to 19 years;
 * Pregnant women;
 * Young and middle-aged adults for the 2013-2014 influenza season;
 * 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.

Kentuckians should receive a new flu vaccination each season for optimal protection. Influenza strains currently circulating most widely in Kentucky appear to be covered by this season's vaccine, according to officials.

During the current flu season, CDC has received a number of reports of severe respiratory illness among young and middle-aged adults infected with the influenza A (H1N1) pandemic strain, which first emerged in 2009.

Hospitalizations and some fatalities have been reported. During the H1N1 pandemic, children and young adults tended to experience more serious illness, compared to older adults, although severe illness was seen in all age groups.

"In this flu season so far, H1N1 has continued to circulate and there have been reports nationally of severe illness in young and middle-aged adults," said Dr. Mayfield. "We strongly recommend vaccination of children, teenager and young to middle-aged adults, even if they are healthy, to prevent the spread of and complications from the flu this year. All forms of flu vaccine available in Kentucky this year provide protection against the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus."

Healthy, non-pregnant people age 2-49 years can be vaccinated with either the flu shot or the nasal vaccine spray. An intradermal influenza vaccination uses a smaller needle and can be given to adults 18 through 64 years of age. Children younger than 9 years old who did not receive a flu vaccination during the last flu season should receive a second dose four or more weeks after their first vaccination.

Infection with the flu virus can cause fever, headache, cough, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing and body aches. Flu is a very contagious disease caused by the flu virus, which spreads from person to person.

Approximately 23,000 deaths due to seasonal flu and its complications occur on average each year in the U.S., according to recently updated estimates from the CDC. However, actual numbers of deaths vary from year to year.

For more information on influenza or the availability of flu vaccine, please contact your local health department or visit http://healthalerts.ky.gov.

In addition to flu vaccine, DPH strongly encourages all adults 65 or older and others in high risk groups to ask their health care provider about the pneumococcal vaccine. This vaccine can help prevent a type of pneumonia, one of the flu's most serious and potentially deadly complications.

"The pneumococcal vaccine is extremely safe, effective, can be taken at any time of year and is currently available in an adequate supply," Dr. Mayfield said.

Caused by bacteria, pneumococcal disease can result in serious pneumonia, meningitis or blood infections. According to the CDC, pneumococcal disease kills more people in the U.S. each year than all other vaccine-preventable diseases combined. Between 20,000 and 40,000 deaths are attributed to flu and pneumonia nationally each year, with more than 90 percent of those deaths occurring in people age 65 and older.

SurfKY News
Information provided by Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
3/13 - 16

Stock Report

1 DOW 17,079.57
-42.44 (-0.25%)    
2 S&P 1,996.74
-3.38 (-0.17%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,557.69
-11.93 (-0.26%)    
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
3/13 - 16
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
3/13 - 16

In Other News...

Five Injured in Three-Vehicle Accident

CENTRAL CITY, Ky. (8/27/14) — A three-vehicle accident with injuries occurred at 3:43 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27 at the… Read More

Police Pursuit Spans Parts of Northern Muhlenberg

BREMEN, Ky. (8/28/14) — A report of a suspicious vehicle near Bremen Wednesday, Aug. 27 resulted in a police chase and… Read More
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

August 25, 2014 4380

Flooded Central City Church's Seven Day…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
August 25, 2014 4348

14-Year-Old Suffers Gunshot Wound; Air…

in Top Stories by Ami Clayton, SurfKY News
August 25, 2014 3858

Camper Stolen in Utica Recovered in…

in Top Stories by Martha Clark
August 25, 2014 3368

44th Mount Saint Joseph Picnic is Sunday,…

in News by Jennifer Kaminski
August 25, 2014 3330

Daviess County Health Department…

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

August 25, 2014 4348

14-Year-Old Suffers Gunshot Wound; Air…

in Top Stories by Ami Clayton, SurfKY News
August 25, 2014 2471

Two Injured in Two-Vehicle Collision Near…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
August 25, 2014 2375

Former Co-Workers Trying to Raise Money…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
August 24, 2014 2299

Two Injured in Two-Vehicle Collision…

in Top Stories by Officer Jeff Miller
August 26, 2014 1841

Two People Injured When Vehicle Overturns…

in Top Stories by Matt Sanderson

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

August 25, 2014 3368

44th Mount Saint Joseph Picnic is Sunday,…

in News by Jennifer Kaminski
August 25, 2014 3330

Daviess County Health Department…

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
August 25, 2014 3214

GRADD Seeking Ombudsman Program Volunteers

in News by Woody Maglinger
August 26, 2014 2741

Owensboro Board of Commissioners…

in News by Beth Cecil
August 26, 2014 2409

City Street Closures on Strawbridge and…

in News by Abby Shelton

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

August 25, 2014 4380

Flooded Central City Church's Seven Day…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
August 25, 2014 3858

Camper Stolen in Utica Recovered in…

in Top Stories by Martha Clark
August 25, 2014 3085

Job Corp Celebrates 50th Anniversary

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 25, 2014 3082

Mustangs Marching Classic

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 26, 2014 2384

Family Has Close Call with Tornado

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 03social 04social 22social 21social 06