Flu Season Over, But Not Far From Mind

Posted at 2:11 PM, Jun 06, 2018

LEXINGTON, Ky (LEX 18) Flu season is officially over in Kentucky, but doctors are already gearing up for the next one.

In Fayette County, there were 744 confirmed cases of the flu and 27 deaths.

Less than a month ago, the CDC classified Kentucky’s flu level as regional, but that’s now been downgraded to sporadic, meaning only small numbers of lab-confirmed cases are being reported.

Eight states are still dealing with higher numbers, including Ohio.

Right now, pediatricians like Dr. Elizabeth Hawse of Commonwealth Pediatrics are in a bit of a waiting period. They’re doing more checkups than anything else and of course, seeing some illnesses related to the Spring allergies. 

"It’s a nicer time of year for us pediatricians because we’re seeing lots of people for sports physicals, and checkups, and I much prefer that to seeing you sick," said Dr. Hawse.

Dr. Hawse said that they’ve already ordered the flu vaccine for next year. She recommends getting the flu vaccine as early as late August or early September. 

Just this week, the CDC is reporting two more child deaths from flu-related illness, bringing the total number of pediatric flu deaths nationwide this season to 171. It is the highest death toll for a season that was not declared a pandemic. One of the newly reported deaths was in mid-May, but the other was in early February. Officials said that more reports could trickle in over the coming months.