Flu activity in Louisville has increased sharply over the past two weeks, and health officials are urging people to get immunized. In the last week of December, there were 10 laboratory-confirmed cases, and already this week there have been another 10 confirmed cases.
These 20 laboratory-confirmed cases in Louisville in less than two weeks compare to only eight for the preceding seven weeks. Every year there are far many more flu cases than those tested for or reported.
“We are definitely starting flu season,” said Dr. Sarah Moyer, Medical Director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness. “The best way to prevent getting the flu is through immunization, and we urge everyone 6 months and older to get a flu shot. It’s not too late to get a shot if you haven’t already done so.”
Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu shot. Vaccination to prevent the flu is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications, including:
Flu shots are available at physicians’ offices and pharmacies, such as Walgreen’s Rite Aid and CVS, and at many grocery stores. The cost of flu shots is covered by most insurance plans, by Medicare and by Medicaid.
To find the nearest flu shot provider, visit https://www.cdc.gov/flu/consumer/index.html and enter your Zip Code in the Flu Vaccine Finder.
The CDC estimates that 3,000 to 49,000 people in the United States die each year from flu and related complications. The CDC also estimates that approximately 310,000 people across the country were hospitalized with the flu last flu season.
“It doesn’t matter where you get a flu shot,” said Dr. Moyer. “What matters is that you get a shot to protect yourself and your loved ones.”