Kentucky's widespread designation comes from a weekly report on influenza surveillance in the United States. This designation indicates increased flu-like activity or flu outbreaks in at least half of the regions in a state. Only five other states have been given the same designation.
As the weather in South Central Kentucky gets colder, the number of flu cases in the state goes up.
" Since it's colder, the temperature is changing, we're likely to see more flu activity in this area," said Crissy Rowland with the Barren River District Health Department.
The Barren River District Health Department has a few tips to help prevent the flu.
According to the health department, the best prevention method is the most obvious. "Handwashing is the number one most effective method of prevention with the flu," Rowland said.
It's also important to know which category you fall into when it comes to the flu, and according to Rowland, "It's important to get your flu shot, especially if you're in a high risk category."
Those who are considered high risk for the flu include, people 65 and older, children six to 59 months old, anyone with an immune system suppressant and anyone with a heart or breathing problem. The flu shot also takes a couple weeks to kick in, so it is possible to catch the flu during that two weeks. It's also important to know when the flu season tends to peak.
"Last years peak of flu season was in March, and this year during this flu season we have not reached the peak yet."
Most flu activity happens in or later than January and the flu season can last until May. If you're needing to get a flu shot, the Barren River District Health Department is offering shots for $10.