CAMPBELL COUNTY, KY (FOX19) - A Campbell County man died from complications to the flu on Friday.
According to the Northern Kentucky Health Department, he had a number of underlying medical conditions. This is the first reported death from the virus in Northern Kentucky this season.
"The loss of someone to flu is a tragedy, and our thoughts go out to the individual's family," said Lynne M. Saddler, MD, MPH, District Director of Health. "We tend to forget just how serious influenza can be, particularly for those with other health problems. Flu can lead to serious complications and even death, as it did in this case."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 16 children nationwide have died from the flu, through December 22nd. The CDC also estimates that 6.5% of all adult deaths were caused by flu or pneumonia during the week of December 22nd.
Over 550 cases of the flu have been reported in Northern Kentucky to date and the number of cases is trending upward in Ohio. " The CDC has been saying all along we're expecting a bad flu season and that's exactly what we're getting," said Mike Samet, Public Information Officer with the Hamilton County Public Health department. To prevent the flu from spreading "its always a good idea to sneeze or cough into your elbow so its not going into your hand where your touching surfaces or other people and get that vaccination," said Samet.
In order to prevent the spread of swine flu, the CDC has several recommendations:
- 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, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- Get a flu vaccine if you haven't done so already.
Flu vaccinations are available by at the Health Department's county health centers, in addition to most medical offices and pharmacies. CDC officials also encourage adults over age 65 to get a pneumonia vaccination.
In most cases, the flu can be treated at home with fever-reducing medication, sleep and plenty of liquids.
The CDC says there certain warning signs in children that need urgent medical attention, including:
- Fast breathing or trouble breathing
- Bluish skin color
- Not drinking enough fluids
- Not waking up or not interacting
- Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough Fever with a rash
For adults, those signs include:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- Sudden dizziness or confusion
- Severe or persistent vomiting