LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville has had two more flu-related deaths according to the latest numbers released by city and county government officials. One of the people who died was unvaccinated and the other person's vaccination status is unknown at this time. Both individuals were elderly, the report states.
Since the flu season started, Louisville had 880 laboratory-confirmed flu cases last week, and 886 in the week before. This compares to 570 and 565 laboratory-confirmed flu cases respectively for the same two-week period last year, the news release states.
"It's been a significant flu season so far. Kentucky is one of the states in the nation that has high flu numbers. One of the odd things about this year is we're seeing higher incidents of flu B cases which normally come later in the year," Dr. Mitchell Elliott said.
Dr. Elliott, a physician at Norton Healthcare, said he's seen a large number of flu patients already this year, and flu season is far from over.
"In the city, we've had thousands of cases of flu so far. The hospitals are also full with patients from my understanding with the flu," he said. "A lot of the patients I'm seeing who have the flu haven't had the flu shot. The number one thing you can do to help prevent yourself from getting the flu is get your flu shot."
Kentucky’s Department for Public Health is reporting widespread flu activity. Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that flu activity is high, continues to increase and has been elevated for eight weeks. CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 6.4 million flu illnesses, 55,000 hospitalizations and 2,900 deaths from flu.
“It’s not too late to get vaccinated if you haven’t gotten the flu yet. Flu vaccination is always the best way to prevent flu and its potentially serious complications,” said Dr. Sarah Moyer, director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness and the city’s chief health strategist.