KENTUCKY PRESS NEWS SERVICE
Kentucky Department for Public Health officials have reported to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week that the flu
activity level in the state has increased from “regional” to
Widespread activity is the highest level of flu activity, which
indicates increased flu-like activity or flu outbreaks in at least half
of the regions in the state. The activity levels for states are tracked
weekly as part of the CDC’s national flu surveillance system.
"With current widespread flu activity being reported in Kentucky and
National Influenza Week still ongoing, now is a good time to protect
yourself and your family by putting a flu shot on your holiday to do
list," Dr. Stephanie Mayfield, commissioner of DPH, said in a news
release. “As the holidays approach, people will be traveling and
families will gather together, increasing the potential for exposure to
the flu. We are strongly urging anyone who hasn’t received a flu
vaccine, particularly those at high risk for complications related to
the flu, to check with local health departments or other providers.”
National Influenza Vaccination Week began Sunday and will run through
Saturday, coinciding with the holiday season to help reduce the spread of
illness as Kentuckians gather for shopping, travel and holiday parties
and family events.
Flu vaccinations are widely available at local health departments,
provider offices, local clinics and pharmacies. Many health plans cover
the cost of the vaccine.
Public health officials emphasized that it isn’t too late for the
vaccine to be effective. The flu season can begin as early as October
and last through May. The holiday season is still a good time to get
vaccinated against the flu because it takes about two weeks for immunity
to develop and offer protection against flu.
However, vaccination can be given any time during the flu season, and this year there is a plentiful vaccine supply.