LFCHD concerned with upcoming flu season

Fayette Co. Health Dept. concerned with upcoming flu season
Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 11:00 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Health officials are concerned that this flu season could be the worst in the last number of years.

Here in the states, health leaders tend to look at the southern hemisphere to gauge how bad a seasonal illness, like the flu could be, and the indications coming out of Australia aren’t providing a lot of optimism.

Kevin Hall with the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department says that this could be the year we really see the flu reemerge out of the shadow of COVID-19.

“We need to think back to how this was in 2018-2019,” said Kevin Hall with the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department. “The flu was serious then. It remains serious now.”

Data coming out of Australia is showing just that.

Laboratory-confirmed cases of flu are higher than they’ve been at any time since 2017. This means that we could see more cases of the flu than we’ve seen in the last five years.

Hall says that these laboratory-confirmed cases probably don’t tell the entire story either because not everyone goes to the hospital to test for flu.

“During the peak of flu season, go on social media and look at these caregivers, look at these teachers who are talking about the number of cases that they’re seeing, how many students are out, how many people in households are sick,” said Hall. “You’ll get a real picture of what we’re facing here. You’ve got people who are showing symptoms, whether it’s the flu or COVID-19, and of course so many times those are similar symptoms, they’re going to work, they’re going to school, and they risk spreading this to others.”

Hall says that the best way to make sure you stay safe is to get vaccinated, mask up, social distancing, and stay home if you’re sick.

All those precautionary measures led to a dramatic drop in flu cases during the pandemic, and it can help limit cases this year.

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is hosting a flu shot clinic out at Consolidated Baptist Church on Thursday, October 13th from 3 pm until 7 pm. You can register for an appointment online at the Health Department’s website.

You can also sign up for a flu shot appointment during the health department’s public health clinic on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.