The Department for Public Health has reported the first child deaths from the flu for the 2017-2018 season. 36 deaths are reported currently. Acting DPH Commissioner Dr. Jeffrey D. Howard said of those flu-related deaths, two of those were children. He said the average age of death of the other 34 people who died as a result of flu is 75 years of age. This is the fourth consecutive week of widespread flu activity this season. The most common flu strain identified in Kentucky and in the 36 deaths is Influenza A. Officials say flu vaccination is the most effective protection against flu. The flu season typically runs until late spring so it is not too late to get vaccinated. After vaccination, it takes about two weeks to develop protection from the flu. Many health plans cover flu shots, and the vaccines are available at local health departments and pharmacies. 49 outbreaks of influenza have also been reported in Kentucky’s long-term care facilities.