Flu deaths up to 5 in Northern Kentucky

Mar 27, 2013

Northern Kentucky health officials are seeing an alarming trend this flu season; more people have to go to the hospital. Statistics from last week showed one in four people who had the flu required hospitalization.

The Northern Kentucky Health Department District Director Lynne Saddler says fighting the flu is hard on the body.

A woman tries to prevent the flu by getting the nasal spray vaccine FluMist
Credit CDC

"Most healthy people are able to handle that strain, but for someone who is elderly or has an underlying medical condition, the flu can lead to serious-and sometimes fatal-complications." Dr. Saddler says those who die from the flu get very ill, very quickly."

Since the beginning of March three more people have died from the flu in Northern Kentucky, upping the number to five since the beginning of the flu season.

The most recent deaths are a Campbell County female, a Boone County male and a Campbell County male. The Health Department says all three had other medical complications besides the flu at the time of their deaths. The Department is continuing to investigate.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not track adult flu deaths nationwide and neither does the Ohio Department of Health. Although the CDC reports an estimated 7.6 percent of all adult deaths could be attributed to the flu or pneumonia during the week ending March 16th.

Nationwide 105 children died from the flu through March 16th. In Ohio, as of March 20, four kids had died from the flu and the state saw a spike in adult cases.

For most people the flu can be treated at home. Here is a list of warning signs for adults needing urgent attention:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness or confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting

For children the emergency signs are different.

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash