influenza

vaccine
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Case of flu are widespread across the Commonwealth. The reported influenza cases are twice what it was this time a year ago.

flu
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The number of hospitalizations due to influenza rose by more than a third in Ohio last week. More than 800 people were hospitalized in the fifth week of the year, compared with 611 in the fourth week, and 332 a year ago.

coronavirus
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A public health expert says concerns about coronavirus are valid, but people should take steps toward controlling the seasonal flu first. Dr. Odell Owens, president of Interact for Health, says data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention prove influenza is the bigger deal.

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A survey of Northern Kentucky adults finds nearly 60 percent of them received a flu shot in the last 12 months. The poll from Interact for Health and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky also found 54 percent of adults statewide had received the vaccine.

For the fifth straight week Kentucky health officials are reporting widespread flu activity in the state.  

Deputy Public Health Commissioner, Dr. Kraig Humbaugh said that is the highest level of activity but not unusual for January.

“What is a bit unusual is that we started to report widespread activity in the early part of December and have continued to report it then for these last 5 weeks,” Humbaugh said.  “So it started a bit earlier this season.”

Humbaugh said best protection is still a flu shot.

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As the flu season ramps up, Greater Cincinnati hospitals say they have two special concerns:

  • The 2014-2015 flu vaccination may not offer the level of protection anticipated.
  • There are several outbreaks of pertussis  (whooping cough).

A Greater Cincinnati Health Council news release says many hospitals in Southwest Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana are implementing limited visitation policies to minimize the spread of respiratory diseases to patients.

The first flu-related death of the season is being reported in Northern Kentucky.

The Northern Kentucky Health Department says a Kenton County man died from complications of the flu. The department says the middle-aged man had a history of chronic health problems that may have made him more susceptible to flu.

So far this season, more than 330 cases of flu have been reported in Northern Kentucky.

More from the Health Department's release: