The Kentucky Department for Public Health announced this morning that it has raised the state's flu level to "widespread" this week as apparent swine flu cases have continued to multiply.
"Widespread" is the highest level of flu activity, which indicates increased flu-like activity or flu outbreaks in at least half of the regions in a state. This level of flu activity is consistent with other southeastern states that are also currently reporting widespread activity, according to a DPH press release.
"Having widespread flu activity being reported in Kentucky is very unusual in mid-September," said Dr. William D. Hacker, commissioner of DPH. "This high level of activity so early in the flu season is mainly due to the H1N1 swine flu virus circulating, not the seasonal flu.
"We are urging individuals to get vaccinated against seasonal flu now and also receive a swine flu vaccination when the vaccine begins to arrive in Kentucky, which should be by mid-October."