LFCHD: “The flu is hitting hard and spreading fast”

Kevin Hall with the LFCHD says there were also 525 new lab-confirmed cases in the past week, bringing the total in the first nine weeks of the flu season to nearly 1300

LEXINGTON, Ky (WTVQ)- Alarming numbers released by the Lexington Fayette County Health Department this morning show flu cases so far this season total more than the last three years combined.

The health department is reporting six people have now died because of the flu. Kevin Hall with the LFCHD says there were also 525 new lab-confirmed cases in the past week, bringing the total in the first nine weeks of the flu season to nearly 1300.

“The flu is hitting hard and spreading fast,” says Hall.

The health department says these numbers are only lab confirmed cases, which means the numbers are likely much higher.

“If you look at how many so far this year, in only nine weeks into the season, there have been 1294 cases compared, that its more than the past 3 years combined,” says Hall.

Hall says there are possible reasons why numbers are so high, including COVID restrictions have eased up, students are back in the classroom, and people are once again gathering for the holidays.

That’s why the department says it’s important for people to take precautions to help prevent the spread, including getting your free flu shot and wear a mask when out in public.

“Stay home when you’re sick, wash your hands often. Anytime you go out and touch things, wash your hands,” says Hall.

The health department says they’re seeing a steady number of people coming in to get a flu shot. That’s despite a national report that shows fewer people are getting vaccinated..

Hall says its too early to know the vaccines’ actual effectiveness and says about 88% of the confirmed flu cases are from unvaccinated people.

“It’s not 100% effective but what we know with the flu shot is you are far less likely to be as sick for as long if you have the vaccine versus someone who is unvaccinated,” says Hall.

Flu shots are available for free all season by same-day appointment Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at LFCHD’s public health clinic, 650 Newtown Pike. You can call 859-288-2483 to make an appointment; walk-ins will not be accepted in the public health clinic.

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