Flu Outbreak Hasn't Reached Barren River Area

By: Lauren Forsythe Email
By: Lauren Forsythe Email

Nationally the CDC is seeing outbreaks of the flu popping up throughout the south

"The level of activity that we are seeing right now. We normally don't see until the end of December. So, it seems to have arrived a little bit early this year," says Tom Skinner, Public Information Officer for the CDC.

Locally, Monroe County has experienced it's own flu outbreak, and even had to close down the schools for the remainder of the week.

Fortunately, that outbreak has not reached the Barren River Area yet.

"We are not in an outbreak situation. We have typical flu activity going on that we see every year," says Crissy Rowland with the Barren River District Health Department.

The health department says the H3N2 strain is the only known type of flu in Kentucky.

"It's a type of flu that is currently in the vaccine this year so if you have received a shot you are currently protected from that," Rowland says.

Doctor's offices and clinics in the area have seen several cases of the flu this week.

"Most of our patients that we see here are having high fevers, a lot of the vomiting that's going on, and the waiting room is usually very packed," says Angela Jessie, nurse practitioner for All About You Urgent Care.

In the last week, It's All About You Urgent Care has diagnosed about fifteen people with the flu.

Jessie says the early flu season may mean more cases going into the new year.

"Last flu season we did not see a lot of flu cases at all. The flu season last year was very light, but I think the flu season will make up for that and then some," Jessie says.

Our area may not be in an outbreak situation, but that doesn't mean the wide-spreading virus won't infect us this season.

"We want everyone to get a flu shot because you protect yourself, you protect the community," Rowland says.

Rowland says getting your flu shot may prevent a major outbreak.

Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee, and Mississippi are currently experiencing the nation's biggest flu outbreaks.

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