N. Ky. sees first death of flu season

KENTON COUNTY, KY (FOX19) - A Kenton County man has died from complications to the flu, according to the Northern Kentucky Health Department. It is the first flu death reported this season.

The middle-aged man had a history of health problems that may have made him more susceptible to the flu.

"The loss of someone to the 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 (CDC) reported that a total of six children have died from flu through Dec. 28, 2013. The CDC estimated 6.5 percent of all adult deaths were attributable to flu or pneumonia for the week ending Dec. 28.

More than 331 cases of flu have been reported in Northern Kentucky to date. Statewide, Kentucky is reporting widespread flu activity.

To prevent the spread of the flu, the CDC recommends:

  • Get a flu vaccine if you haven't done so already. Vaccinations are available by appointment at the Health Department's county health centers, as well as most medical offices and pharmacies. Adults over age 65 are also encouraged to get a pneumonia vaccination.
  • 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.

You can visit the Northern Kentucky Health Department's website for more information about the flu: http://www.nkyhealth.org/Seasonal-Flu.aspx

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