The influenza activity level in Kentucky is reported as “widespread” for the third consecutive week, according to the Kentucky Department for Public Health. This means that 13 of the 17 regions of the commonwealth had confirmed flu cases in the last reporting week, which ended Dec. 30.

“If you’re a healthy, working adult with no chronic health problems, most of the time you can take something for the symptoms and do just fine,” said Beach.

Should flu-like symptoms appear, it’s important to know when a visit to the doctor may become necessary.

Baptist Health Madisonville has reported 48 hospitalizations for the flu since Jan. 1. Visitation restrictions remain in effect at the hospital in an effort to protect patients from influenza. Visitors are limited to those determined to be “immediate family” or “significantly participating in the support of the hospitalized patient,” free of influenza-like symptoms and aged 18 or above.

Over-the-counter medications, rest and increased fluid intake can help with symptoms, and those affected should stay home if possible to avoid the spread of illness.

“You should be improving at least within four days,” said Dr. Richard Lee, medical director for the health department. “If you’re not better in 72 to 96 hours, then see someone because there is a chance of developing pneumonia and other complications.”

Residents of Madisonville continue to be dogged by a statewide influenza outbreak.

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