Case of flu are widespread across the Commonwealth. The reported influenza cases are twice what it was this time a year ago.
Connie White with the State Department for Public Health said just over 15,000 flu cases have been registered this season. That compares with almost 7,300 cases last February. Thirty-eight adults and three children have died from influenza related illnesses. Twenty-one deaths were reported this time last year.
White noted a vaccination doesn’t provide complete protection, but it is always highly recommended. "You can still get the flu if you've had the vaccine, but the symptoms and the length of illness is much, much shorter," she says. "If you're healthy, that helps, because it's less annoying."
For those with existing health conditions, White said a flu shot can mean the difference between a hospital visit or not.
Students in several school systems across the Commonwealth including those in Lexington have not been in school due to widespread illnesses. White said the advice for preventing the spread of flu remains constant: Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water, cover coughs, and sneeze into elbows. And White added it certainly isn't too late to get a flu shot.
This story comes from our fellow NPR member station WEKU.