Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hardin County Reports H1N1 Flu-Associated Death

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (October 27, 2009) The Kentucky Department for Public Health and the Lincoln Trail District Health Department are reporting the first H1N1 influenza-associated death in a Hardin County resident.  The victim was a male in his 30’s with no apparent underlying medical conditions.

“We are truly saddened about the death of this young man and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family,” stated Linda Sims, Lincoln Trail District Health Department Director.  “It is a tragedy to lose anyone to illness.”

Lincoln Trail District Health Department continues to work closely with local and state officials to obtain the H1N1 flu (swine flu) vaccine and to get the vaccine out to the target groups that health officials are recommending receive the vaccine first.  Those target groups are:
            - Pregnant women
            - People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months old
            - Health care and emergency medical services workers
            - Children and young adults 6 months to 24 years old, especially those
                with chronic health problems
            - People 25 to 64 years old with chronic health problems
People over the age of 65 appear to be at lower risk of catching the swine flu, and are encouraged to wait to receive the vaccine until after those in the target groups have received it.

So far, Hardin County has received over 2700 doses of the H1N1 vaccine.  About half of this vaccine has been in the form of the nasal spray vaccine, which can only be taken by healthy individuals ages 2-49, with the rest in the form of the H1N1 flu shot.

The most effective treatment for the flu is prevention.  You can help prevent the flu by:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 15-20 seconds or, or as an alternative, use alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel hand sanitizers.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into your elbow if a tissue is not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches an object that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Get an annual seasonal flu shot to help the human body develop antibodies to protect against seasonal flu virus infection.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick.
  • Stay home from work, school and errands if possible when you are sick. This will help prevent others from catching your illness.

For more information on the H1N1 flu, visit http://healthalerts.ky.gov for information on H1N1 and Kentucky, including updated information about H1N1 vaccine clinics, or follow KYHealthAlerts on Twitter. Kentucky's toll-free influenza hotline number is 1(877)843-7727, and operates from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. daily, Eastern time.                                   


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