Kentucky reports first flu case of the season

Officials from the Kentucky Department for Public Health are urging Kentuckians to get a flu vaccination after the season's first lab-confirmed case of influenza was reported this week.
The case was from Jessamine County. The DPH is reporting the results to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of its statewide flu surveillance efforts. The state's flu activity is currently being classified as "sporadic," the lowest level of flu activity, Big Medicine reports.
The flu season can begin as early as October and last through May. It usually peaks between January and March and vaccination can be given at any time during the flu season. Health officials recommend that Kentuckians contact their healthcare provider or local health department for more information.
"Getting the flu can be debilitating and sometimes life-threatening, so it’s extremely important to take simple preventive steps to avoid it," Steve Davis, the acting commissioner of DPH, said, according to Big Medicine. "The best way to protect yourself and your family is to get a flu shot now. You should also follow the advice your mother gave you to prevent flu and other illnesses that tend to circulate at this time of year - wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and stay home when you’re sick.
Davis urged anyone over six months old who hasn't received a flu vaccine to check with local health departments or other providers. Infection with the flu virus can lead to symptoms such as fever, headache, cough, sore throat, sneezing, runny nose and body aches. There are approximately 23,000 deaths due to seasonal flu and its complications on average each year in the United States, according to estimates from the CDC.