“The loss of someone to the flu is a tragedy, and our thoughts go out to the individual’s family,” Lynne M. Saddler, MD, MPH, district director of health, writes in a press release. “We tend to forget just how serious influenza can be, particularly for those with other health problems. Flu can lead to serious complications and even death, as it did in this case.”
While the CDC doesn't track adult flu deaths, they estimate 6.5 percent of all adult deaths nationwide were attributable to the flu or complications from the flu for the week ending Dec. 28. And Kentucky is reporting widespread flu activity, particularly a strain (H1N1) that disproportionately affects young and middle-aged adults, according to Saddler.
The CDC recommends the following precautions to avoid getting the flu:
2. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze (and then throw it away).
3. Wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleanser after you cough or sneeze.
4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
5. Avoid sick people.
While the flu is commonly treated at home, these symptoms require immediate medical attention.