The 1918 influenza pandemic was the most severe pandemic in recent history. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published a History of the 1918 Flu Pandemic with links to photographs that can be found on the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/1918-commemoration/1918-pandemic-history.htm
The 1918 influenza pandemic was the most severe pandemic in recent history. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published a History of the 1918 Flu Pandemic with links to photographs that can be found on the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/1918-commemoration/1918-pandemic-history.htm
Both the State of Indiana and the Commonwealth of Kentucky were placed on high and widespread influenza activity ratings on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly activity estimates for the week ending Dec. 29, 2018.

Influenza has claimed three lives in Indiana so far this season. The specific location of the deaths in the state was not available. One death was in the age 50 to 65 group and the other two were in the 65 and older group.

Among the reported flu-related cases throughout Indiana, 36.2 percent were between the ages of 0-4; 25.5 percent between ages 5 and 24; 19.1 percent between 25 and 49; 9.6 percent between 50 and 64, and 9.6 percent 65 and older.

News reports have indicated that among the Kentucky areas hardest hit by the flu this season is the Louisville Metro, with more than 550 cases. Five flu-related deaths throughout Kentucky have been reported — four adults and one pediatric.

Officials with the Jefferson County Health Department said young children and the elderly are at the highest risk this season, and those compromised by a chronic disease. The department encourages everyone to get flu vaccines and to wash hands.

Cancer patients and survivors are at a higher risk for flu-related complications, and pregnant women may experience more severe symptoms, according to the Indiana Department of Health’s Facebook page.

The CDC reminds citizens that flu can cause mild to severe illness, and at times lead to death. It usually comes on suddenly.

Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby.

Courier staff writer Trenton Scroggins can be reached at (812) 265-3641 or at tscroggins@madisoncourier.com