A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Health department reports 40 flu cases,
UK Hospital to temporarily adjust visitation

By Megan Smiddie
KyForward reporter

Flu season is almost at its peak, with 40 confirmed cases of the flu in Lexington-Fayette County area as of Monday, Jan. 14. Flu season typically peaks in late January to early February, and it’s not uncommon to see it in central Kentucky in March, said Kevin Hall, communications officer for the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, .

Since the start of 2013, the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department has given 16 flu shots. “The CDC is reporting that this year’s vaccine is matching well with the primary strain of the flu circulating throughout the country, so it’s a good idea to go ahead and protect yourself and your family,” said Hall.

Last year, Lexington had 143 confirmed cases of the flu. The health department provided more than 5,000 flu vaccinations throughout the season.

In response to increasing flu numbers in Kentucky, UK HealthCare will announce and implement temporary inpatient visitation restrictions at UK Chandler Hospital, Kentucky Children’s Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital on Monday, Jan. 14. These temporary measures are designed to help protect patients, visitors and staff from exposure to the flu and will be in effect at all UK Healthcare inpatient units.

Since the flu activity level in Kentucky has been raised to widespread, some sensible steps that people can take to fight the flu would be to get vaccinated, wash your hands, cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough and stay at home if you are already sick.

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department urges people 6 months and older to get the flu shot which also protects against the H1N1 virus. Flu shots are now available 3-5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the Public Health Clinic at 805A Newtown Circle. No appointment is necessary, and the cost for a flu shot is $25. The clinic accepts Medicaid/Medicare, cash, checks, credit cards and some other types of insurances.

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