Two more people in Louisville have died from the flu over the past two weeks. Both were elderly individuals with underlying medical conditions. This brings the number of flu deaths in Louisville this flu season to five.
Louisville had 600 laboratory confirmed flu cases last week, and 888 in the prior week. This compares to 522 and 429 laboratory confirmed flu cases respectively for the same two-week period last year. Kentucky’s Department for Public Health is reporting widespread flu activity. Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that key indicators that track flu activity declined slightly but remain high. CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 13 million flu illnesses, 120,000 hospitalizations and 6,600 deaths from flu
“Everyone age six months and older should get a flu shot,” said Dr. Sarah Moyer, director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness and the city’s chief health strategist. “If you’re sick, please see a healthcare provider right away. Antiviral medications may be a treatment option that can lessen your symptoms and shorten the time of your illness.”
People who are at high risk of serious complications from flu include:
“Many people can’t get a flu shot,” added Dr. Moyer. “They may be younger than six months of age, be undergoing chemotherapy or have other health conditions that prevent them from getting vaccinated. When you get a flu shot, you’re not only protecting yourself but you’re protecting others.”
Flu shots are available at physicians’ offices, pharmacies and at many grocery stores. The cost of flu shots is covered by most insurance plans, by Medicare and by Medicaid. To find a flu shot location near you click here.