A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Flu cases creep up for third week in a row; nine more Kentuckians have died from it; get a flu shot

Amid all the headlines about the novel coronavirus, health experts warn that there is a much more prevalent and potentially deadly virus killing people in Kentucky: influenza. Through the week ended Feb. 8, Kentucky had reported 17,203 cases of flu this season, with 50 deaths from it, four of them people under 18, according to the state Department for Public Health. In an op-ed for the Lexington Herald-Leader,...

Eight more adults die from influenza in Ky. as cases continue to rise; many schools close due to illness

New cases of influenza inched up again in Kentucky during the week ended Feb. 1, and eight more adults in the state were reported dying from it. So far, 41 Kentuckians have died from the flu this season, three under the age of 18, according to the state Department for Public Health. The latest weekly report shows in the week ending Feb. 1, Kentucky counted 1,815 new cases, a slight increase from...

With flu cases on rise nationwide, take some simple steps to get your new year off to a safe start

There are several simple ways to protect yourself from the flu, says a Purdue University associate professor of nursing. (Illustration by Dan Page, via Purdue University) By Matthew Oates Special to KyForward It might be the start of a new year, but many Americans are still battling a flu bug from last year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting an increase in influenza and influenza-like...

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides recap of 2019 health threats and responses (Part 2)

From an outbreak of mysterious lung-injury deaths to America’s near loss of measles elimination status, the beginning of the end of the U.S. HIV epidemic to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), CDC worked around the clock – and around the globe – to protect Americans from domestic and global health threats in 2019. Here’s a closer look at some of the biggest health...

Constance Alexander: Flu shots for all, but especially the old and young, who remain the most vulnerable

Mother was ten when the 1918 flu pandemic hit. One of seven children, she and her parents lived in Brooklyn, New York, and at least one of her older brothers was fighting in the War. Perhaps it was the luck of the Irish, but no one in the Kelly family was stricken. The rest of the neighborhood was not so fortunate. My mother remembered how some families suffered multiple losses. As coffins got scarce,...

Flu cases hit new high for the season in state’s latest report with two more deaths reported week of Feb. 2

The number of influenza cases confirmed in Kentucky hit the highest level of the season, by far, in the week ended Feb. 2, according to the latest surveillance report from the state Department for Public Health. The department’s laboratory confirmed 1,876 cases that week, for a total of 7,285 in the season. All 17 health regions of the state have confirmed cases, and only one region did not...

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...

Ky. has 78 confirmed flu cases, two deaths this season; officials urge shots for all over six months

Kentucky is one of three states under an influenza threat defined as “regional,” with confirmed cases in 11 of the state’s 17 regions. During the 2018-19 flu season, Kentucky has had 78 laboratory-confirmed cases of the flu and two deaths from it, according to the state Department for Public Health’s weekly influenza surveillance report. The flu killed 325 Kentuckians in last...

Department of Public Health reminding all Kentuckians to get vaccinated against flu

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is reminding Kentuckians to get vaccinated against the flu. “Getting the flu can be debilitating and sometimes life-threatening,” said Jeffrey Howard, M.D., commissioner of DPH. “Vaccination is the best tool we have to prevent the flu and it is also extremely important to take simple preventive steps to avoid the flu and other illnesses...

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...

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,...

Department of Public Health reports flu activity across Kentucky now at epidemic levels

The Kentucky Department for Public Health now describes influenza activity in Kentucky as an epidemic. This season’s strain of the flu virus can be extremely serious, even deadly, not just for those in higher risk categories but to generally healthy Kentuckians as well. Kentucky is in its sixth consecutive week of widespread flu activity which is the highest level of flu activity and indicates increased...

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...

CHFS announces availability of weekly influenza surveillance report to track activity across Kentucky

Officials with the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), announce the availability of an online weekly influenza surveillance report used to gauge current flu activity circulating in Kentucky. This new public service is an example of the Cabinet’s priority to strengthen data collection and analytics and then to make the information...

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...

Flu season is just around the corner; here
are a few things the CDC wants you to know

  Tomorrow is the first day of fall — and in addition to the shorter days and cooler weather, that means it won’t be long before people start getting sick with the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.   (CDC photos) Influenza is a contagious respiratory disease that infects the nose, throat and lungs and can lead to serious complications, hospitalization,...

With flu cases on the rise, UK HealthCare temporarily amends hospital visitation policy

Note: The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department reports 18 confirmed cases of flu, compared to four this time last year. In addition to getting a flu shot, the department recommends proper hand-washing (soap and warm water for 30-40 seconds), which will also help fight the spread of flu and other winter illnesses.   UK HealthCare has temporarily amended its inpatient hospital visitation policy...

Five most common myths about flu shots debunked; first confirmed case in Lexington

Editor’s note: Lexington has its first confirmed flu case of the season, according to the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department. The department, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recommends a seasonal flu shot for all people ages 6 months and older. From now through Dec. 9, the health department offers flu shots 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at its Public...

Kentuckians urged to get vaccinated against the flu as officials confirm state’s first case

The Kentucky Department for Public Health is reporting the first positive lab-confirmed influenza case this week, indicating the presence of flu circulating in Kentucky. The case was in Jefferson County.   DPH officials are reporting the results to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of statewide flu surveillance efforts. Kentucky’s flu activity will be classified as “sporadic,”...

As widespread flu activity is reported, state officials say now is good time to get vaccinated

Kentucky Department for Public Health officials reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week that the 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...