INFLUENZA

2020-2021 Flu Season Information

The 2020-2021 Flu Season runs from September 27, 2020 – May 15, 2021. The Kentucky Department for Public Health issues weekly influenza updates.  You can access all of the weekly updates for the current Flu season by clicking the image below.  Select the month you want to view for the current flu season and then select the weekly report you want to view.  A sample of one of the weekly reports can be viewed here.

How Flu Spreads

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Person to Person

People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.

Who should get the Flu Vaccine?

Vaccine experts recommend that everyone 6 months of age and older should be vaccinated against the flu. While vaccination against the flu is recommended for everyone, it is especially important for those at high risk for serious flu-related complications or those who live with or care for people at high risk. This includes:

  • Children younger than 5 years, but especially those younger than 2 years;
  • Pregnant women;
  • People 65 and older;
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions;
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities;
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including: 
    • Health care workers;
    • Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from flu; and 
    • Household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children younger than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated).

When should I get the flu vaccine?

Get your flu shot as soon as possible once annual vaccine is available. Flu season most often peaks in January or February or later, so for people not able to get the flu vaccine in the Fall, vaccination in December, January and beyond is beneficial in most years.

Good Health Habits to Prevent the Spread of Flu

The state public health agency urges all residents to take basic precautions to avoid the spread of germs and viruses. In addition to covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing, other good health habits that can help prevent the spread of flu and other respiratory viruses are:         

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 15-20 seconds or  use alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs often are spread when a person touches an object contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Get an annual flu shot to help you develop antibodies to protect against flu infection.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from contracting your illness.
  • Stay home from work, school and errands if possible when you are sick. This will help prevent others from catching your illness.
  • Remind children to practice healthy habits because germs spread easily at school and in child care settings, resulting in high rates of absenteeism among students and staff in our state’s schools.