Friday, February 23, 2018

State's flu-death toll of 147 includes woman who died two days after getting symptoms but didn't seek immediate treatment

The death toll from this year's flu season in Kentucky reached 147 as of Feb. 17, including a 34-year-old Grayson County woman who died of the disease Jan. 25, just two days after her symptoms began.

“Apparently she had a new strain of flu that medical professionals are having trouble treating,” Grayson County Coroner Joe Brad Hudson told Ken Howlett of WKHG-FM in Leitchfield, which did not name the woman.

"The state medical examiner’s office said the woman died from the A/H3N2 flu strain, according to Hudson," Howlett reports. "Hudson recommends seeking medical treatment as quickly as possible after first experiencing flu-like symptoms, something the Grayson County woman did not do."

In the week ended Feb. 17, the state confirmed 1,015 more cases of influenza, about the same as the week before, bringing the season total to 7,302. The weekly death toll dropped to 19 from 30 the week before, the season record.

Flu is heaviest in the Barren River district around Bowling Green, the Bluegrass Region and the Big Sandy district in Eastern Kentucky. Here's the report by region:

On Feb. 22, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported the death of Hope Hurst Lanham, 50, CEO of Hurst Office Suppliers, at the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center. "Steve Snowden, Hurst chief operating officer, said that Mrs. Lanham became ill in late January before being hospitalized first at Baptist Health Hospital before being moved to the UK intensive care unit," Janet Patton reports. The Herald-Leader placed with the story a video of the acting state health commissioner, Dr. Jeffrey Howard, discussing the flu epidemic:

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