Fri January 11, 2013
Flu Still Widespread in Kentucky; Indiana Death Toll is 15
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Kentucky has spent five weeks at its highest level of flu, which is far more than last year. That means more than half of the state’s regions have reported an increased number of cases. Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services spokesperson Gwenda Bond says although this year’s outbreak is more severe than previous years, it is not too out of the ordinary.
"There seems to be at least one point in every flu season when all states are experiencing heavier activity and it seems like we’ve just gotten there a little earlier this year," she says.
Bond says the number in some other states has already begun to taper off, which could indicate that flu season is nearing its end. However, she says predicting the end of flu season is near impossible.
"It’s really hard to judge year to year how heavy or light a flu season will be, and we’ve been lucky for the past several years we’ve had relatively light flu activity," she says.
She says to prevent the flu, people should regularly wash their hands. Health officials still encourage people susceptible to the flu to get this year's vaccination, which is 60 percent effective against the illness.
In Indiana, officials say there have been 15 influenza-related deaths.