ATLANTA, Ga. (WKYT) – Flu cases in Kentucky continue to rise, according to new numbers released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday.
Two deaths in Kentucky linked to influenza brings the total number of flu deaths in the state up to 6 this season. (Photo: Associated Press)
"It's starting to pick up fairly rapidly," Pharmacist and Owner of The Pharmacy Shop Clarence Sullivan said.
Sullivan is talking about the foot traffic through his store of people with the flu, but the same applies to the number of confirmed cases statewide.
"Which is kind of interesting because usually, we don't see a direct correlation between those numbers versus what the real numbers are here," Sullivan said.
The report says that two more deaths in the state have been linked to the flu. That makes a total of six deaths so far in Kentucky this season. There are also 814 newly confirmed cases of flu in the state, for a total of 2,400.
Flu cases have been reported in 87 of Kentucky's 120 counties. The state's flu activity remains at a widespread level, which is the highest level classified by the CDC. Jefferson County reports the greatest numbers of cases at 898. Perry County follows with 310 cases. There are 33 cases in Fayette County.
In Sullivan's case, those that he's seen catch the virus didn't heed the doctors' warning.
"In most cases, it's people who did not get the flu shot," Sullivan said.
But there are still several months left in the official flu season and an even bigger push to vaccinate as the number of cases is only expected to continue climbing.
"It's still not too late, and with the holiday gatherings in the next few weeks, you're going to have a lot of interactions with people," Sullivan said. "So, you're going to have a lot of cases for flu to occur, so you need to get in and get your shot."
Across the country, the CDC says flu has killed 1,800 people and sent 32,000 to the hospital. Influenza has sickened 3.7 million people since the official season began in late September.