The Lake Cumberland District Health Department is reporting the death of a McCreary County resident as the second H1N1 influenza-associated death in the area. The deceased was a woman in her 50s. It is not yet known if there were underlying health conditions involved. Health officials are continuing to investigate.
Kentucky has now reported 13 H1N1-related deaths.
Lake Cumberland 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.
Shipments of vaccine are being received regularly and school vaccination clinics are being planned. Beginning Wednesday, November 4th, elementary schools within the district will start holding vaccination clinics. After all elementary schools have been completed, middle schools and high schools will be done. Due to the limited amount of vaccine that is being received, it is not possible to vaccinate all schools at one time. For specific information about when school clinics are scheduled, please visit www.lcdhd.org and look under the H1N1 information button. You may also call 1-800-928-4416 ext 132 for more information.
The most effective treatment for the flu is prevention. You can help prevent the flu by:
- Washing 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.
- Coughing or sneezing 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 www.lcdhd.org or http://healthalerts.ky.gov for information on H1N1 and Kentucky, including updated information about H1N1 vaccine clinics. Kentucky's toll-free influenza hotline number is 1(877)843-7727, and operates from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. daily, Eastern time.