8 deaths, more than 2,700 flu cases reported in Northern Kentucky

NORTHERN KENTUCKY (FOX19) - Northern Kentucky has seen eight flu-related deaths so far this season, Emily Gresham Wherle with Northern Kentucky Health Department said Wednesday.

Wherle said of those eight, none have been pediatric deaths.

NKY Health says it's been an active flu season that began in October. As of Jan. 20, 2,729 cases have been reported.

"Influenza can be particularly risky for certain groups, including older adults and other individuals in long-term care facilities," said Lynne M. Saddler, District Director of Health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that flu activity is elevated throughout the U.S. right now.

The health department says that the best way to protect against the flu is still the annual vaccine that's available to everyone 6-months and older.

The health department says that those who still get the flu after being vaccinated will have more protections than those who did not and are less likely to be hospitalized.

Flu symptoms include fever, headache, and fatigue. The health department says doctors can prescribe anti-viral medications which can shorten the severity and duration of the virus.

NKY Health lists these tips for preventing the flu:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. After using a tissue, throw it in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Stay home from work, school and errands when you or a family member is sick with flu. Keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth because germs spread this way.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

The health department says that the 2016 to 2017 flue season saw a total of 157 cases through mid January. Five adult deaths were reported in that same flu season, according to a March 2017 report from the Northern Kentucky Health Department.

National health experts are comparing this year's flu season to the 2014 to 2015 season which saw more than 3,000 cases reported by mid January.

The Northern Kentucky Health Department covers Boone, Campbell, Kenton, and Grant counties.

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