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Health report: 107 counties are mostly COVID green; large spike in flu cases; two new moneypox cases

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

In data released on Friday, Kentucky COVID-19 Community Levels are mostly green, however the number of cases in the new 2022-2023 influenza season have seen a large spike in cases, and there were two more cases of monkeypox reported.

The COVID Community Levels map, which is generated from data compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rates counties as having a low, medium, or high community level by whether their color is green, yellow or red.

According to the Oct. 28 map, 107 counties are green, indicating a low community level, with the other 13 showing a medium level, which is shown by yellow on the map. No counties are red, which would mean a high community level.

This was a big improvement over last week, when 89 counties were green, 27 others yellow and four in the red.

With cold weather and the holidays coming, Gov. Andy Beshear urged people to get vaccinated and boosted against COVID and had a message for those who are vaccine hesitant. “Talk to a medical professional, talk to your faith leader, talk to your family and other people. There are billions of people across plant Earth who have been vaccinated. Please talk to them about it.”

For more details on Kentucky’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, community levels, guidance and more, go to the state’s website, http://kycovid19.ky.gov/.

The Department for Public Health released data for the third week of the 2022-2023 flu season, covering the period Oct. 16-22. During the first week, Kentucky had 42 confirmed flu cases, and in the second week reported 64. However, there significant jump for week number three, with 286 cases, making it a total of 392 confirmed cases for the season, thus far, with one death.

Montgomery County reported the highest number of new flu cases during Week Three with 51. Graves had 42, Scott 23, Jefferson 18, and Barren 14, rounding out the top five.

The current flu activity level is widespread, the highest of the five levels, which are no activity, sporadic, local, regional and widespread.  By comparison, week one was sporadic and week two was regional.

The Kentucky Department for Public Health says vaccine experts recommend that everyone 6 months of age and older should be vaccinated against the flu. While vaccination against the flu is recommended for everyone, it is especially important for those at high risk for serious flu-related complications or those who live with or care for people at high risk.

Monkeypox cases in Kentucky have risen by two to 67, in this week’s report. Jefferson County continues to have the most cases at 38, including the two new cases this week.  Fayette has had 9, Warren 4, Kenton 3, Boone and Christian each have had two, and one apiece in Barren, Floyd, Hardin, Hopkins, Jessamine, McCracken, Montgomery, Oldham, and Simpson counties.  66 of the 67 cases occurred in men.

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