Flu

    Influenza kept spreading faster in Kentucky in the week ended December 21, the last week for which the federal Centers for Disease Control and Pre-vention and the state De-partment for Public Health have issued a weekly flu report.

    The report said 1,339 new cases of flu were re-ported that week, a 
big jump from 814 new cases reported the week before. During this flu 
season, 3,775 cases have been confirmed in Kentucky. No additional 
deaths from flu were reported during the week, but 30 of the 120 
counties did not report.
    The CDC recommends that those over six months of age get a flu 
vaccination yearly. There is still plenty of time to protect yourself 
from the disease; flu season usually runs into May.
    The spread of flu is prompting hospitals to restrict visitation. 
Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center in Leitchfield bans visitors under 
16 and people with flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, and sore throat); 
allows no more than two visitors in a room at one time, and allows 
"no visitors other than immediate family or other significant persons 
defined by the patient," wrote Krissy Logsdon, the hospital's 
director of infection prevention and employee health. "Exceptions to 
these restrictions may be made for cases involving critically ill 
patients and end of life situations."
    Perry County remained Kentucky's flu hotbed in mid-December, with 94 
new cases during the week for a total of 404 this season. That was 
1.5 percent of its estimated population. In adjoining counties, 
Breathitt had 24 new cases for a total of 59; Knott had 18 more for a 
total of 119; Leslie had 20 more for a total of 129; and Letcher had 
24 more, for a total of 82.
    Barren County and adjoining Monroe and Warren counties had big jumps during the week; Barren had 69 new cases for a total of 139, and 
Monroe had 29 more for a total of 58. Warren, which is much more 
populous, had 37 new cases for a total of 84.
    Bullitt County more than doubled its number of cases, adding 113 for 
a total of 224. Its infection rate was nearly 0.3 percent; in 
adjoining and much more populous Jefferson County (which had 684 new 
cases during the week for a total of 1,582) the rate was 0.2 percent. 
The statewide rate based on county reports was 0.08 percent, but the 
actual rate was higher because one-fourth of counties (most of them 
small) did not report.    Article courtesy of Kentucky Health News

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