Flu cases widespread in Kentucky nursing homes

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - The Kentucky Department of Public Health says this year's flu season has already been far worse than the past few flu seasons.

Health experts say there are now widespread flu cases in 64 long-term care facilities in Kentucky, many of which are nursing homes.

Nursing homes in Pulaski, Casey and Clinton County are all reporting flu outbreaks. The nursing homes have started limiting visitors to keep the flu from spreading even farther.

For the past five weeks, health experts say Kentucky has seen the highest possible level of flu activity.

We're told the flu has been spreading especially fast in nursing homes.

That's giving doctors, such as Kraig Humbaugh with the Kentucky Department of Public Health, reason to worry.

He says nursing home patients are much more likely to develop severe cases of the flu that can then worsen into more serious sicknesses, such as pneumonia.

"There are a couple of reasons why this flu season has been more severe. One is when we have a H3 strain predominate a year we normally have a more severe year. Another, is the vaccine this year is not a good match for it," he said.

Doctors say even though the flu vaccine may not be very effective against that strain of the flu, doctors tell WKYT it is still the best way to protect yourself.

Even though we're well into flu season, health experts say it's not too late to get the vaccine.

When it comes to protecting others, health experts say if you have loved ones in the nursing home or a hospital and you're feeling sick, stay home and wait to visit them until you feel well again.



 
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