Winter is over, but flu season continues on

Cutout Photo: ZaldyImg / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 (MGN)
Cutout Photo: ZaldyImg / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 (MGN)(KKTV)
Published: Mar. 20, 2019 at 4:19 PM EDT
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Yes, spring is officially here, but flu season doesn’t go by our calendar, and the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is telling residents not to let their guard down.

“It's still going to be hanging around for a few more weeks,” says nurse Jill Keys. “Take care of yourself, try to stay healthy, and if you're sick, stay home."

The health department says at this point, Lexington has seen fewer cases this season than last, although it's unclear why.

"It's hard to say one specific reason,” says Keys. “It could be the strains that are circulating in the community, whether or not more people are vaccinated this year."

With that in mind, health leaders say if you never got a flu shot in the fall or winter, it's still not too late to get one. They’re also reminding the public that it takes a couple of weeks after getting a flu shot for it to take effect. That being the case, anyone still planning on getting a flu shot, should do so as soon as possible.

Officials in others states warn they're now seeing a stronger strain of the flu come around. The good news for Kentuckian’s: the state’s Department of Public Health says they’re not seeing the same trend here.

Lexington health leaders, however, are urging the public to keep in mind that different strains often do go around in the spring than in the fall, so residents aren’t in the clear just yet.

"If you come in contact with one and develop flu from that strain, that doesn't mean you're immune to all the strains that are circulating," says Keys.

The health department says flu season here typically lasts until April or May. As spring begins, Lexington health leaders say the city's flu numbers have gone down. It’s a trend they hope continues.