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Friday, December 13, 2019

First Flu-Related Deaths Reported in Northern Kentucky

Flu activity is increasing, and the first flu-related deaths have been reported in Northern Kentucky. As of December 7, 335 flu cases have been reported across Boone, Kenton, Campbell and Grant counties. In order to protect yourself and your loved ones during this flu season, especially during the holidays, now is the time to get your flu shot.

“Our condolences go out to those who have lost someone due to flu illness,” stated Lynne Saddler, MD, MPH, NKY Health’s District Director of Health. “Sadly, this is a tragic reminder to all of us that flu is a serious condition.  We strongly urge everyone to please protect yourself and your loved ones from serious illness by getting a flu shot. It is the best way to reduce the risk from flu and its serious complications.”

For many people, the flu can make them feel miserable, with symptoms lasting 5-7 days. For some groups, including very young children, pregnant women, people ages 65 and older, and people with certain health conditions, the flu can cause very serious illness and can even be life-threatening.

Flu shots are widely available in our region. Medicaid, Medicare and most private health insurance providers cover flu vaccination as a preventive service. You can visit your health care provider, or the many pharmacies and clinics in Northern Kentucky offering the flu shot. The Health Department also offers flu vaccines by appointment at its four county health centers. For contact information, go to

In addition to getting vaccinated, these everyday preventive actions can stop the spread of germs that can cause respiratory illness like the flu:

- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. After using a tissue, throw it in the trash and wash your hands.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- Stay home from work, school and errands when you or a family member is sick with flu. Keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth because germs spread this way.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

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