Media contact: Emily Gresham Wherle, Public Information Administrator, 859.344.5470 or Emily.Gresham-Wherle@nkyhealth.org.
Thursday, January 9, 2014
A Kenton County man has died from complications of the flu. It is the first death reported to the Northern Kentucky Health Department this flu season. The middle-aged man had a history of chronic health problems that may have made him more susceptible to flu.
“The loss of someone to the flu is a tragedy, and our thoughts go out to the individual’s family,” said Lynne M. Saddler, MD, MPH, District Director of Health. “We tend to forget just how serious influenza can be, particularly for those with other health problems. Flu can lead to serious complications and even death, as it did in this case.”
Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that a total of six children have died from flu through December 28. Though it doesn’t track adult flu deaths nationwide, the CDC estimated 6.5 percent of all adult deaths were attributable to flu or pneumonia (a common complication of flu) for the week ending December 28.
To date, more than 331 cases of flu have been reported in Northern Kentucky. Statewide, Kentucky is reporting widespread flu activity, meaning that outbreaks of influenza or increases in influenza-like cases and recent laboratory-confirmed influenza in at least half the regions of the state with recent laboratory evidence of influenza in the state.
“The flu virus has several strains, and the predominant one that we’re seeing this winter is the 2009 H1N1,” said Saddler. “This particular strain tends to affect young and middle-aged adults disproportionately when compared to other strains. If H1N1 continues to circulate, then we expect to see more people in these age groups getting severe respiratory illnesses this year. Fortunately, H1N1 is included in all flu vaccines, so if you’re vaccinated, you’ll be protected.”
To prevent the spread of the flu, the CDC recommends that individuals:
In most instances, flu can be treated at home with fever-reducing medication, rest and liquids. Certain symptoms signal a more serious infection and require immediate attention. In children emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
For more information on flu, please visit http://www.nkyhealth.org/Seasonal-Flu.aspx.
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Media representatives should contact Emily Gresham Wherle at 859.344.5470 or Emily.Gresham-Wherle@nkyhealth.org, about any request or information before calling any other Health Department employee. Your calls and requests will be handled expediently with your deadlines in mind. Thank you for your interest and support in educating the community about public health issues.
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