BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The number of confirmed flu cases continues to rise across the state and in South Central Kentucky number are more than triple than what they were last year.
Kentucky's current flu activity level is widespread and the Center's for Disease Control and Prevention ranks Kentucky as one of the highest states for reported flu cases.
According to the Barren River District Health Department, the number of confirmed flu cases from September through December 2019 is 766. This number is more than triple the same time frame in 2018, which only saw 134 confirmed cases.
The Department for Public Health, Cabinet for Health and Family Services issued a report with numbers from December 22-December 28, 2019. In South Central Kentucky, Barren County tops the list of confirmed flu cases so far this year with 265 and Warren County comes in second with 184. the other counties are as follows:
Simpson County 36 cases
Hart County 61 cases
Butler County 11 cases
Logan County 10 cases
Edmonson County 7 cases
Allen County 49 cases
Metcalfe County 58 cases
Monroe County 110 cases
Nearly 6,000 cases of flu have been confirmed in the state so far this flu season.
"It's hard to tell why the numbers are higher this year than last year," said Layne Blackwell, the Regional Epidemiologist at the Barren River District Health Department. "The state of Kentucky was considered in widespread flu activity [last year] and it is still considered widespread flu activity this year."
The official flu season runs September 29, 2019 - May 16, 2020.
Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headaches, and body aches.
"It's hard to tell why the numbers are a lot higher this year than last year," said Blackwell. "Last year at this time the state of Kentucky was considered in widespread flu activity and it is still considered widespread flu activity this year."
Officials say the flu vaccine is available to anyone six months or older.
They say high-risk populations for the flu include children under the age of five and the elderly.
To contact the Barren River District Health Department about getting a flu shot call 270-781-8039.