Friday, September 15, 2017

Two flu cases reported in Kentucky; CDC recommends everyone over 6 months old get a flu vaccination

Two confirmed cases of influenza have been reported in Jefferson County, signaling the coming start of the flu season in Kentucky.

The federal Centers for Disease Control recommends that every American over six months of age get a flu vaccination, and especially encourages people who may be at higher risk for complications or negative consequences:

• Children aged six months through 59 months;
• Women who are or will be pregnant during the influenza season;
• Persons who are 50 years of age or older;
• Extremely obese persons, those with a Body Mass Index of 40 or greater;
• Persons with chronic health problems;
• Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities;
• Household contacts (including children) and caregivers of children younger than 5, particularly contacts of children younger than 6 months and adults 50 or over;
• Household contacts and caregivers or people who live with a person at high-risk for
complications from the flu; and
• Health-care workers, including students who have contact with patients.

Adequate supplies of flu vaccine are expected to be available for this year’s flu season, the state Department for Public Health said in a news release. "Only injectable influenza vaccine formulations will be distributed in the United States," the release said. "Vaccination can be given any time during the flu season."

"Getting the flu can be debilitating and sometimes life-threatening. Vaccination is the best tool we have to prevent the flu," state Health Commissioner Hiram Polk said. “It’s also extremely important to take simple preventive steps to avoid the flu. You should also follow the advice your parents gave you to prevent flu and other illnesses that tend to circulate at this time of year – wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and stay home when you’re sick.”

The flu can be very contagious, and can cause fever, headache, cough, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing and body aches. For more information on influenza or the availability of flu vaccine, Kentuckians should contact their primary-care provider or local health department. Information is also available online at

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