FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Department for Public Health says flu activity in Kentucky is now considered widespread.

A statement from the agency on Thursday says that means outbreaks or flu-like activity has been reported in at least half of the state’s 17 regions. The flu season typically lasts from October through May, but officials say there’s been an increase in cases earlier than normal and the uptick is expected to continue for several months.

Health Commissioner Jeffrey D. Howard urged anyone who hasn’t gotten a flu shot yet to get vaccinated.

The flu virus is contagious and can cause fever, headache, cough, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing and body aches.

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