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Hopkins Co. Woman Dies of Flu-Related Symptoms

A Hopkins County woman is the first western Kentuckian to pass away from flu-related symptoms.
A Hopkins County woman is the first flu-related death in western Kentucky. Coroner Dennis Mayfield says the middle aged woman died last week of flu-related symptoms. Hospitals across the Tri-State are seeing more cases recently.

Officials at Saint Mary's Hospital in Evansville and at Owensboro Health say they've seen more flu cases since New Year's. But it's who it's affecting that has some health officials concerned.

The snow, the wind, the flu. The unwelcome signs of winter.

"That's pretty normal for January," says Denise Beach of the Hopkins Co. Health Dept.

The Center For Disease Control and Prevention says flu activity's increased in the past week, and widespread activity's been reported in 35 states, including the Tri-State.  But in Hopkins County, Beach says there's been an average number of flu cases so far. But what isn't average is who it's affecting.

"The middle aged and younger aged adults have seen more complications, and we don't know why," she says.

CDC officials say more than 60% of cases are affecting those between the ages of 18 and 64.  Beach says those suffering from other illnesses are more vulnerable.

"A lot of times, it is related," Beach adds. "That means someone might have influenza, but may have other illnesses. That means they have other illnesses, and that's what you typically see with flu deaths is the fact they may have other illnesses."

Health officials say there are plenty of vaccines available to keep the unwelcome signs of the flu away.

Mayfield says the woman who died last week wasn't being treated for other illnesses at the time of her death.

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