A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Cases of flu keep accelerating in Kentucky; there’s still time to get a flu shot

Kentucky Health News

Influenza kept spreading faster in Kentucky in the week ended Dec. 21, the last week for which the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state Department for Public Health have issued a weekly flu report.

The report said 1,339 new cases of flu were reported that week, another big jump from the 814 new cases reported the week before. During this flu season, 3,775 cases have been confirmed in Kentucky.

No additional deaths from flu were reported during the week, but 30 of the 120 counties did not report.

The CDC recommends that everyone over 6 months of age get a flu vaccination each year. There is still plenty of time to protect yourself from the disease; flu season usually runs into May.

Perry County remained Kentucky’s flu hotbed, with 94 new cases during the week for a total of 404 this season. That was 1.5 percent of its estimated population. In adjoining counties, Breathitt had 24 new cases for a total of 59; Knott had 18 more for a total of 119; Leslie had 20 more for a total of 129; and Letcher had 24 more, for a total of 82.

Barren County and adjoining Monroe and Warren counties had big jumps during the week; Barren had 69 new cases for a total of 139, and Monroe had 29 more for a total of 58. Warren, which is much more populous, had 37 new cases for a total of 84.

Bullitt County more than doubled its number of cases, adding 113 for a total of 224. Its infection rate was nearly 0.3 percent; in adjoining and much more populous Jefferson County (which had 684 new cases during the week for a total of 1,582) the rate was 0.2 percent. The statewide rate based on county reports was 0.08 percent, but the actual rate was higher because one-fourth of counties (most of them small) did not report.

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