While it’s important to not compare the coronavirus and covid-19 and influenza, because top health officials report that the new disease is far deadlier, it’s also important to remember that the means of prevention are similar — and that flu season runs through May, that thousands of Kentuckians continue to be infected with flu each week, and at least 89 have died from it.
The latest weekly report from the state Department for Public Health shows that in the week ended March 7, Kentucky counted 1,882 new influenza cases, up from 1,591 new cases the previous week, and four adult deaths. During the current flu season, the state has reported 24,473 cases of flu and 89 deaths, four of them children.
The actual number of cases is higher, because not all are counted; flu does not have to be reported, and three counties didn’t contribute to the last report.
Measures to protect yourself from the flu could also provide limited protection from covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, for which there is no vaccine. They are:
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; only use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw it away.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Get a flu shot, which is recommended for everyone 6 months and older. Flu season runs until May.
Flu hotspots continue across the state. Barren County had 125 new cases, for a total of 1,379; Breathitt had 34 new ones, for a total of 271; Bullitt had 43, for a total of 956; Floyd had 79, for a total of 386; Franklin had 132, for a total of 680; Graves had 44, for a total of 254; Hart had 41, for a total of 303; Jefferson had 575, for a total of 8,339; Knott had 58, for a total of 484; Knox had 42, for a total of 204; Leslie had 42, for a total of 434; Letcher had 32, for a total of 325; Metcalfe had 45, for a total of 275; Perry had 91, for a total of 1,226; Pike had 58, for a total of 1,253; and Warren had 39, for a total of 855.