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Widespread Flu Activity Prompts Renewed Calls For Immunizations

The Fayette County Health Department is urging people to stop putting off getting a flu shot.  This week the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that Kentucky's flu activity level increased from "regional" to "widespread," the highest level of flu activity. Widespread activity indicates increased flu-like activity or flu outbreaks in at least half of the regions in the state.

Health Department spokesman Kevin Hall says an increase in flu activity across the state is never a good sign heading into the holidays.

"Studies have shown that following Thanksgiving the number of flu shots actually decrease.  People think they're out of the woods.  In Kentucky that's not the case at all.  The peak flu season in this area is late January into early February," Hall said.  "As people head into those December holidays you're going to see a lot more close contact with friends and family, a lot of handshakes and hugging, and that's the easiest way to transmit those germs," said Hall.

As of Friday there have only been four confirmed cases in Central Kentucky, but Hall told WUKY that figure is somewhat misleading.

"That means there's only been four people who have had the test sent to the lab for confirmation.  The flu is definitely in Fayette County.  It's in Central Kentucky and that's definitely a good reason to go ahead and get that flu shot," Hall said.

The CDC recommends flu vaccination for anyone 6 months of age or older.  Those at higher risk are especially encouraged to get a flu shot.

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