Early jump in flu cases reported in past two weeks in Tri-State

Early jump in flu cases reported in past two weeks in Tri-State (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - If you aren't careful, you could bring grandma a whole lot more than just gifts this holiday season.

There's been a big jump in flu cases in the Tri-State, and it's likely to continue to spread.

At the Northern Kentucky Health Department, they have an educational sign that lists the ten most common causes of infection.

The first reason? Your hands. They are one of the main ways you can pass along or even pick up the virus that causes the flu and flu cases have jumped almost 50 percent in some parts of the Tri-State this week, earlier than usual in the season.

“We're not exactly sure why we are seeing that increase earlier this year, but we are watching it,” said Stephanie Vogel of the NKY Health Dept.

Northern Kentucky gets actual cases of the flu reported. Hamilton County reports flu activity such as emergency room visits.

There were reports that the flu vaccine is only ten percent effective against the flu this year, but Vogel contests how comparable that data is to local populations.

“The study was out of Australia and it's not really comparable to what we see in the United States, simply because we have differences in our healthcare system and how we vaccinate folks,” said Vogel.

You also can get a much milder case by getting the vaccine if you do catch the flu.

The vaccine is your best protection against the flu, especially around the holidays, and so it's a good time to get the vaccine and to be prepared before you hit those holiday gatherings and those family parties.

The Northern Kentucky Health Department does still have flu vaccine if you are not able to get it through your own doctor’s office.

There is usually a co-pay if you have insurance, but nobody will be turned away.

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