Updated: Feb 26
This article is now out of date. The CDC released a news update on Feb. 25th. Please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html to better understand COVID-19.
Over the past few weeks, we have watched the world react to the spread of the Coronavirus. Fear is in the air--to say the least. Perhaps it's the fear of the unknown. This form of Coronavirus, known as COVID-19, has a lot of uncertainties. The medical community is working tirelessly to understand how exactly the virus is spreading. However, at this time we do not have all of the answers.
We do have one certainty. The flu is causing more havoc in the state of Kentucky compared to COVID-19. Thus far, the flu has killed over fifty people in the bluegrass state. The number of deaths in Kentucky connected to COVID-19 is currently zero. Thousands have fought the flu virus off successfully this flu season. Currently, there are no diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in the state.
With this data in mind, it appears that, at this time, we should be more concerned about the flu. Here in Grayson County, the health department continues to track cases of the flu and monitor the spread. Most recently, we have noted a rise in absences in our school system due to flu-related illnesses. This is no surprise as the flu season usually peaks in January or February, according to the Kentucky Department of Public Health.
"For people not able to get the flu vaccine in the fall, vaccination in December, January, and beyond is beneficial in most years (KDPH)." Unlike COVID-19, there is a vaccine for the flu. Although flu season is well underway, you can still receive the vaccination to help prevent this deadly virus.
There is an old saying..."You can't win a battle if you don't know your enemy." Although it's understandable to fear COVID-19, it's a mistake to overlook the flu and have the misconception that COVID-19 is the true enemy. At this time, that's not true. Our enemy has returned like it does every single year--and that enemy is the flu.