Flu activity now widespread in Kentucky

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ)- If you haven’t gotten a flu shot yet, now is probably the time.

The Department for Public Health has upgraded the level of flu activity in the state to widespread.

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Widespread means more than half of the commonwealth’s regions are seeing increased flu cases or outbreaks. Widespread is also the highest level of flu activity and this is the first time this flu season the state department for public health has described it as such.

The flu can be dangerous and if you want to avoid it, the department says make sure you’re washing your hands well…And it’s best to get a flu shot.

There are almost 1,500 reported cases so far, slightly more than what we saw this time last flu season.

Louisville has the most confirmed cases with almost 900. Flu has killed five people this season in Kentucky, four adults and one child.

Even though, we’re seeing slightly more cases right now than this time last year, there have been fewer deaths.

This time last year there had been 12 flu related deaths.

There were 333 total last year, five of which were children.

The CDC reported a severe flu season across the country last year and already this year 19 states are showing high levels of flu compared with nine last week.

The CDC recommends a flu shot for those who are six months and older. You can also prevent the spread of flu by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Stay home if you’re sick, cough and sneeze into your arm, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth because those are easy ways to spread germs.

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!