State Epidemiologist Provides Status on Flu Season

Apr 8, 2018

Credit Weerayut Ranmai, 123rf Stock Photo

What has been a very significant and, in some cases, deadly flu season appears to be winding down across the Commonwealth. State Epidemiologist Dr. Jonathan Ballard said data at the end of March showed 251 flu associated death including four pediatric deaths.

Ballard said that compares with 76 such deaths a year ago. The state health official said it’s been a few years since Kentuckians have experienced a somewhat similar flu season.

“The 2009 H1N1 outbreak, which was atypical,” said Ballard. “It was after the flu season and into the summer season that we saw a significant number of deaths including pediatric deaths.”

Ballard said the highest number of flu cases now are being seen in portions of northern Kentucky. He said the largest majority now are B strain cases, which is an indicator of the end of the flu season.

Ballard said health officials are learning more all the time about transmission of the virus.

“There was a recent study this year that indicated that just breathing alone will disperse the flu virus into the air and can infect the persons near one’s self,” said Ballard.

Ballard said typically the flu season winds up by May.