Lexington has experienced three flu related deaths so far during the current influenza season. Two of the deaths occurred Thursday.
Fayette County Health Department Communications Officer Kevin Hall says in all three cases the elderly patients had underlying health conditions. “This doesn’t mean that the people died from the flu. It’s almost better to think of it as they had the flu at the time of their death, and the flu complicates the other underlying conditions that they have,” said Hall.
It’s been reported this year’s flu shot is only 10 percent effective. Hall says that’s based on activity in Australia. “You can’t accurately measure the effectiveness of the flu shot until the flu season is over. So, when people hear that 10 percent, they looked at what was happening in Australia and making their best guess as to what could happen here in the U.S.,” noted Hall. “But, there is no confirmed 10 percent effectiveness.”
The health department spokesman says seniors and the very young, particularly those with other health concerns, are at the greatest risk of complications from the flu.
Kevin Hall says it’s certainly not too late to get a flu shot. He adds there should be plenty of vaccine available at doctors’ offices, pharmacies, and local health departments.