Sunday, December 21, 2014

Flu Hits Record Levels in Northern Kentucky

Cases of the flu have hit record levels in Northern Kentucky this year./CC

The Northern Kentucky Health Department is reporting that cases of influenza throughout the region have already hit record levels this year, and there is likely more to come.

As of December 13, Northern Kentucky has already seen over 600 cases of flu, what the Health Dept. is calling a "huge increase" from even the previous week, at which point fewer than 200 cases had been reported.

At this rate, in the 2014-2015 flu season Northern Kentucky is closing in on more than half the cases of flu reported last year, which totaled at 1,341 reported cases.

Fort Thomas has seen its own fair share, as demonstrated in below-average attendance in Fort Thomas Independent Schools earlier this month.

This graph demonstrates the spike in cases that occurred in just one week in Northern Kentucky alone:

Source: Northern Kentucky Department of Health

The Health Dept. also says that cases of flu have been highest in children ages six through 10 years old, and that 96% of the cases reported are type A flu, which is an indication that the prominent strain could be a mutation that does not match this year's vaccines.

It is also important to remember these numbers only reflect those cases reported by health care providers. Many who succumb to flu do not seek medical attention.

The Health Dept. urges people to continue making sure to wash their hands frequently and to cover their mouths and noses when they cough and sneeze, to prevent the spread of disease. They also recommend getting a flu vaccine.

For more information, click here.

- Staff report

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