The Kentucky Department of Health says influenza is now “widespread” across the Commonwealth. This designation indicates flu outbreaks in at least half of the state’s regions.
Amanda Taylor, epidemiologist for eight southeast Kentucky counties, said there are about a half dozen confirmed flu cases in that region of the state. But, she said, that number could be higher because it doesn’t take into account the rapid nasal swab tests. She says only DNA-based tests are required for reporting purposes. “Up until about this month, it was the northern part of my counties and now I’m starting to see more from my lower counties as well. So, it is widespread across my counties as well,” Taylor said.
State Deputy Health Commissioner Connie White said it’s certainly not too late the get a flu shot. She said the peak period is approaching and can run for a couple more months. “We’ve declared 'widespread' and someone hasn’t contracted the flu, that doesn’t mean they’re in the clear,” said White. “They still have two and a half months that flu will still be at the peak season and we’ll actually see cases on into the spring.”
State officials say there are adequate supplies of flu vaccine still available this season.