Two flu deaths are being reported in Kentucky. The Department of Public Health (DPH) says two children have died from the flu this season, and are the first flu deaths of the season.
In total, there have been 36 flu-related deaths this season, but the other 34 deaths were elderly. The most common flu strain identified in the 36 deaths is Influenza A.
To protect the family, the name’s of the children who died from the flu will not be released.
The flu virus can cause fever, headache, cough, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, and body aches. Anyone who develops flu symptoms should seek medical advice to be treated with antibiotics.
The CDC is offering tips on how to stop the spread of germs:
– Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
– While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
– If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine).
– Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
– Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
– Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
– Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
DPH is reporting widespread flu activity for the fourth consecutive week this season. This indicates flu-like activity or flu outbreaks in at least half of the regions of the state.
Anyone can receive the flu vaccine to lower their chances of catching the flu virus. There have been a number of flu outbreaks in Kentucky’s long-term car facilities. 49 outbreaks have been reported this season.
Flu season runs from October through May.
DPH officials report weekly to the CDC national flu surveillance system. The weekly report is now available online at Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and is updated each Friday before noon.