FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) – Health officials in Kentucky say flu activity this season has reached epidemic levels.
Officials from the state Department of Public Health say that this season's strain of influenza virus can be extremely dangerous and even deadly.
Kentucky is in its sixth consecutive week of widespread influenza activity, the highest level awarded by health officials.
Authorities say this flu strain is dangerous for Kentucky residents who are generally healthy, not just those at risk, such as babies and the elderly.
65 flu-related deaths have been recorded this season.
"It's probably the worst we've seen in 10 years," said Clarence Sullivan, the owner of the Pharmacy Shop in Lexington. "It looks like it could last six to eight weeks before it starts to decrease."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tips to stop the spread of germs, including:
· Try to avoid contact with sick people.
· While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to avoid infecting them.
· If you are sick with a flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home at least 24 hours after the fever has gone except for medical care or other needs. (Your fever should go away for 24 hours without the use of medications to reduce fever).
· When coughing or sneezing, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue. Throw the tissue in the trash after using it.
· Wash your hands often with soap and water. If you do not have soap and water available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
· Cleans and disinfects surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs such as the flu.