A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentuckians urged to prevent coronavirus by same protocols as influenza; virus can spread rapidly

The Kentucky Medical Association (KMA), the Kentucky Foundation for Medical Care (KFMC) and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky are urging Kentuckians to practice known flu prevention protocols in light of Tuesday’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warning that the novel coronavirus is expected to spread within communities in the United States. “While novel coronavirus presents a low...

Number of new flu cases in Kentucky drops slightly; 66 adults have died from flu complications this year

The number of new cases of influenza dropped slightly in Kentucky during the second week of February, but 16 more adults in the state were reported to have died from the flu. So far, 66 Kentuckians have died from it this season, four under the age of 18, according to the state Department for Public Health. The latest weekly report shows that in the week ending Feb. 15, Kentucky counted 1,854 new cases,...

Baptist Health offers tips to help Kentuckians avoid serious respiratory illnesses, including flu

While the new strain of coronavirus that originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan is making headlines, there are many serious respiratory illnesses to watch for right here at home including flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and pneumonia. Symptoms of these illnesses, such as a cough, runny nose, and fever, might start out as mild, but in the very young, older adults, or people with weakened immune...

Pharmacies could help Ky. teens get vaccinated for virus that causes sex-related cancers

There’s a vaccine for a virus that causes sex-related cancer, but rural teens are less likely to get it or know about it. Rural pharmacies could help improve vaccination rates, writes Casey Daniel, a Ph.D. pharmacist who teaches in the family medicine department at the University of South Alabama. “Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection, with 80 million...

Officials encouraging Kentuckians to get flu shots now in order to be protected throughout the holidays

The Department for Public Health (DPH) is encouraging Kentuckians to get vaccinated against the flu, as the holiday season is approaching. “As the holidays approach, people will be traveling and families will gather together, increasing the potential for exposure to the flu,” said Dr. Angela Dearinger, Commissioner of DPH. “We are strongly urging anyone who hasn’t received a flu vaccine, particularly...

Widespread flu activity in Kentucky reported for 10th consecutive week; not too late to vaccinate

The Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, reports flu activity in Kentucky is at “widespread” for the 10th consecutive week. Widespread is the highest level of flu activity, indicating increased flu-like activity or flu outbreaks in at least half of the state’s regions. “With the traditional flu season running from October through May, it is...

Kentucky flu cases jump 65 percent in first week of the year; nearly half of all reported cases are children

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News The number of influenza cases confirmed in Kentucky rose by 65 percent in the first week of 2019, adding nearly 1,000 cases for a total of 2,408 in the current flu season, according to the latest weekly surveillance report from the state Department for Public Health. The department reported the first flu outbreak in a long-term-care facility, and for the first time...

Don’t let flu ruin your holiday plans, health officials urge vaccinations for everyone six months and older

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service With the holiday season here, health officials in Kentucky are urging people to take steps to help prevent spreading the flu. During last year’s flu season, 325 adults and five children died in Kentucky due to flu or complications from the virus, and there were a record number of hospitalizations. Christa Mitchell from Central Kentucky says she spent 49 days...

Kentucky health officials urge vaccination against the flu as best precaution against it; stop the spread

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky health officials are once again reminding residents to get vaccinated against the flu.

 Officials reported 28 laboratory-confirmed cases of flu and one influenza-related death. The state flu activity level is classified as “sporadic.” 

 The report consists of laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza that are defined by molecular virus testing and positive...

Officials reminding Kentuckians of importance of flu shots as Fayette Co. records first flu-related death

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky remains in the midst of its worst Hepatitis A outbreak in years, but now the flu has claimed its first victim of the season. The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department confirmed on Monday their first death due to the flu. Take the flu vaccine is being recommended. The first death of in Kentucky this flu season was reported in Lexington. (Fayette County Health...

Statewide campaign urges ‘Focus on Flu’ in advance of statewide flu shot day September 26

“Focus on Flu” is a statewide campaign launched in Frankfort Thursday to prevent another epidemic-level flu season like the one last year that hit every region of the state, infected 10,500 Kentuckians and led to the deaths of 325 people, including five children. The campaign urges Kentuckians to get their flu shots on Kentucky Flu Shot Day, which is September 26, or at least by the end of October,...

Officials report state’s first pediatric flu deaths this season as reported cases remain widespread

The Kentucky Department for Public Health has recorded the state’s first pediatric deaths for the 2017-18 flu season. “Of the thirty-six flu-related deaths reported so far this season, two of those were children,” said the Acting Department for Public Health Commissioner Dr. Jeffrey D. Howard. “The average age of death of the other thirty-four people who died as a result of flu is 75 years...

Flu is now ‘widespread’; increased activity is early this year, expected to continue for several months

Department for Public Health (DPH) officials, within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), now report “widespread” flu for the first time this flu season.  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 traditional flu season lasts from October through May....

Flu, pneumonia are 8th largest U.S. cause of death; officials urge all over six months to get flu shot

Flu season is here and will last through February or longer, prompting state health officials to encourage Kentuckians to get their flu vaccinations. “During the holidays families and friends will gather, which increases the potential for exposure to the flu virus,” Dr. Jeffrey Howard, the state’s acting health commissioner, said in a news release. “We urge everyone who hasn’t...

State Public Health Department identifies two early cases of flu in Jefferson County

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, reports two cases of laboratory-confirmed influenza, indicating the presence of flu activity in Kentucky. The cases are both from Jefferson County. The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends flu vaccine for all individuals aged six months of age and older. People who are strongly...

SmartHealthToday: Four good tips for helping you combat the flu at home — just stick to some basics

By Colleen Weinkam SmartHealthToday It’s flu season, and if you think your house is immune to the germs your child is bringing home from school, think again. The good news is, most studies have shown that the flu virus can only live and potentially infect a person for two to eight hours after it’s deposited on a surface. That means it’s not necessary to go to great lengths to clean and disinfect...

So you think you have the flu: Sore throat, cough, runny nose, aches — is it a cold or the flu?

You’ve got a sore throat, cough, runny nose and ache all over. Is it just a cold, or is it the flu? Tough to tell. “Colds and flu are caused by different viruses, but they share a number of symptoms,” said Prashanti Rajagopalan, DO, with Baptist Health Urgent Care at Brannon Crossing in Nicholasville. “Generally speaking, flu is more severe and comes on quickly. If you’re an adult, having...

Kentucky Department of Health raises flu level from regional to widespread in state

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) is raising the influenza (flu) level in the state 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. “With widespread flu activity reported...

Flu season in Kentucky may be starting early this year, state Public Health Department reports

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) received reports of laboratory-confirmed influenza cases, indicating the presence of flu circulating in Kentucky. The cases are from Bullitt, Fayette and Jefferson counties. Beginning in October, DPH officials will begin to report weekly influenza activity to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as part of statewide flu surveillance efforts. The...

State health officials encouraging flu vaccinations now to protect against more severe illness

With influenza (flu) activity increasing across the country, Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) officials are encouraging residents to get vaccinated against the flu if they haven’t already received a flu shot or other type of flu vaccination. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received recent reports of severe flu illness in young and middle-aged adults. Even...