We are experiencing an early and intense influenza season this year with the activity level in Kentucky remaining at widespread. Influenza is a very contagious disease caused by the flu virus, which spreads from infected persons to the nose and throat of others. Flu can lead to pneumonia and can be especially dangerous for the elderly, young children, pregnant women, or those with heart or breathing conditions.
It is very important that the public remembers to practice good health habits to prevent the spread of the flu at home, work, or school. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a three-step approach to fighting the flu: the flu vaccine; everyday preventive actions (such as avoiding close contact with sick people, covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or your elbow when you cough or sneeze, frequent hand washing, and staying home when sick); and the early use of antiviral drugs, if prescribed by a doctor.
The Jessamine County Health Department (JCHD) wants to remind residents of the importance of getting the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older and offers the best protection against the flu. JCHD is offering regular flu shots for $25. The regular flu shot and the high-dose flu shot, for people 65 and older, are still available. Appointments may be made by calling JCHD at 859-885-4149. For more information on the flu, visit CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/flu.
Editor’s note: Kylie Chilton is the regional epidemiologist at the Jessamine County Health Department.