Kentucky Reports First H1N1 Death, Summit Meets in Frankfort

by scrosby on September 3, 2009

Kentucky is reporting its first death associated with H1N1 influenza, or swine flu. She’s a Fayette County woman in her 50’s, who had other significant health problems.

Health officials gathered in Frankfort for the Governor’s Pandemic Influenza Summit are urging Kentuckians to be vigilant, but not panicky, about H1N1.

Public Health Commissioner William Hacker says, so far, swine flu is comparable to seasonal flu.

“The virus itself and having one death, doesn’t mean that we expect large numbers of deaths,” says Hacker. “I don’t expect that. I can’t predict what’s going to happen, but we’ve just got to be able to handle the facts.”

Kentucky has 400 to 500 seasonal flu deaths every year. Dr. Hacker says everyone should just keep practicing good hygiene, like washing your hands, covering your coughs and staying home if you get the flu.

He says go ahead and get a seasonal flu shot now, and then be prepared to get a swine flu vaccine late next month or early November.

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