Department for Medicaid Services (DMS) Health Information Page
The purpose of this website is to encourage all Kentuckians to see their health care providers for well-care visits and to take steps to stay healthy.
Health care providers are also important in encouraging all Kentuckians to participate in preventive healthcare services, such as well-care visits, immunizations and screenings. Health care providers also teach Kentuckians about the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle.
The disease management and preventive programs were developed in response to April 2006 Health care Reform legislation. The Department for Medicaid Services encourages Kentuckians to learn more about the following:
Influenza, also called the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Some people, such as older people, young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease) are at increased risk for serious complications from seasonal flu illness.
Flu viruses spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.
Symptoms of season flu include:
- Fever (often high)
- Extreme tiredness
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle aches
- Stomach symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can occur but are more common in children.
The best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get a seasonal flu vaccination each year. Yearly seasonal flu vaccination should begin in September, or as soon as the vaccine is available, and continue throughout the flu season into December, January and beyond. There are two types of flu vaccines, the flu shot - an inactivated vaccine that is given with a needle and the nasal-spray flu vaccine - a vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that do not cause the flu.
Follow these steps to help prevent catching the flu virus:
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
- Wash your hands with soap and water.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you are sick with symptoms listed above, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends you to stay home at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without using a fever reducing medicine.
Anyone who wants to reduce their chances of getting seasonal flu can also get vaccinated. Certain people should get vaccinated each year because they are at high risk for having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for high risk persons. If you have questions about whether you should get a flu vaccine, contact your health care provider.
For more information go to the Kentucky HealthAlerts Web site.