Kentucky health officials say there have been at least 26 flu-related deaths in the state during the current influenza season.

State epidemiologist Dr. Kraig Humbaugh said on Thursday that the fatality rate is rising as the flu becomes more widespread.

“Two of them are pediatric deaths—that’s children under 18 years—five are people that are age 18-64 years and then the rest are age 65 and older,” Humbaugh said. “And of those, actually, eight are over 90 years of age that have been recorded.”

Humbaugh said during the previous flu season, there were about 50 deaths.

He recommends flu shots for everyone age six months or older, especially those in high risk groups, even though this season’s vaccine is not as effective as those in years past.

At least 36 Indiana residents have died from flu-related illness this season.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."