flu vaccine

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With the holiday season often comes an increase in the number of flu cases across Kentucky. 

Over the last week state officials report rates of the flu virus jumped from 'sporadic' to a 'regional' designation. 

Brace yourselves: Flu season is coming. And along with the coughing, fevers and aches, you can expect a lot of unreliable or downright wrong information about the flu vaccine.

Many people underestimate the health risks from flu. Thousands of Americans die from flu-related complications in a typical year, and last season's H1N1 strain hit young adults particularly hard.

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Mid September marks a key point in the flu shot season across Kentucky. Health officials are urging all Kentuckians over six months old to get vaccinated.

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More than half of Kentucky’s regions have seen an increase in flu outbreaks in the past week prompting the state health department to raise the flu level to widespread. That’s the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s highest level for flu.

State epidemiologist Craig Humbaugh says this year the main strain is H1N1, which first emerged in 2009.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Kentucky has spent five weeks at its highest level of flu, which is far more than last year. That means more than half of the state’s regions have reported an increased number of cases. 

Flu Widespread in KY

Dec 12, 2012
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has upped Kentucky’s flu level from regional to widespread, the highest tier. That means at least half of all regions in the state have reported a flu outbreak. Purchase District Public Health Director Kent Koster says the best ways to stay well are getting a flu vaccination and keeping your hands clean.

“We are within the last two weeks seeing more of those being reported to the health department,” he says.

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Tennessee's county health department clinics are offering free flu vaccines to people of all ages until supplies are depleted. The state Health Department says seasonal influenza is already widespread in Tennessee. The department operates clinics in 89 of the state’s 95 counties.