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Flu cases on the rise in eastern Kentucky


With flu cases on the rise across Kentucky, health officials in Rowan County urge people to protect themselves against the illness.

Dr. Alyssa Black is a family medicine physician with St. Claire HealthCare. She said flu season usually begins in late fall and continues through early spring, but this is the time of year when flu infections typically peak here in the Commonwealth. She added that many of the cases arise after the holiday season because of increased travel and kids returning to school.

Dr. Black said there are precautions people can take to stay safe this flu season.

“The most important thing is to vaccinate. The flu shot is available for six months of age and up,” she said. “Even though it’s later in the season, it’s absolutely not too late, and it does work to reduce your chances of getting the flu or potentially reduce how severe your illness is if you do get the flu.”

Black said most respiratory illnesses have increased in severity this season.

“You know, it’s certainly not just the number of cases that are increasing, but in relation to that, also the number of emergency department visits and hospitalizations for viral illnesses as well.,” she said. “Especially where it’s not just flu, but Covid and RSV, which we’re still seeing a fair amount of cases as well.”

Symptoms to watch out for include fever, body aches, congestion and coughing, said Black.