By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News
Kentucky has reported its first death from influenza this season, even as flu cases have remain low and stable for about four weeks.
The state Department for Public Health says that in the week ended Feb. 19, it counted only 83 flu cases, down from 85 the previous week. The state has recorded 2,744 cases this season and one flu-related death, recorded this reporting week.
The state’s flu level is “regional,” which applies when increases in flu cases have been confirmed in at least two, but fewer than half, of the state’s 16 regions. Flu season usually peaks between December and March, but can run through May.
Flu cases could be higher than the report says, since it only lists cases that have been laboratory-confirmed, not those confirmed by a rapid test.
As long as there is any flu activity, health officials recommend getting a flu shot.
“An annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect against flu and its potentially serious complications. CDC continues to recommend that everyone ages 6 months and older get a flu vaccine as long as flu activity continues,” says the national flu report, which says flu activity is sporadic across the country, but is increasing in some states.