Kentucky health officials say flu cases are being seen earlier this year. State epidemiologist Dr. Kraig Humbaugh says it's hard to predict if that could mean a more severe flu season or if we'll reach peak season earlier. "We've already reached what we call a regional level of flu activity in the state and that's one level away from widespread and that's the highest category," explains Humbaugh.
Flu season in Kentucky typically peaks in January or February. The earliest flu activity this season was reported in August in eastern Kentucky. Dr. Humbaugh says the number of statewide cases has climbed over the past few weeks.
The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over the age of six months.
Meanwhile, flu season is hitting a south central Kentucky school district especially hard. The Monroe County school system has canceled classes for the rest of the week due to illness. Superintendent Lewis Carter tells the Glasgow Daily Times attendance on Monday dropped to 81%. One kindergarten class that normally has 22 students dropped to only seven.
In addition to flu, students in Monroe county are also experiencing stomach viruses and strep throat.