Pennsylvania reports drop in flu cases, 28 deaths

This chart from the Pennsylvania Department of Health issued on Feb. 20 2018 shows the path of flu cases during the 2017-18 flu season compared with those of other recent years

Pennsylvania reports drop in flu cases, 28 deaths

The Department of Health said flu activity for the week ending February 17 decreased in every part of the state except the southeast, but it's too early to say whether the season has peaked.

"This death is a somber reminder of the danger flu poses to our residents, especially those who are more vulnerable to develop serious flu complications" said Dr. Umair A. Shah, Executive Director of Harris County Public Health "Obtaining a flu shot and taking other preventive measures are your best lines of defense against the flu".

The OSDH said 3,440 hospitalizations have been reported in the state since the flu season officially began September 1. This year the influenza A and influenza B activity peaks were relatively close together leading to the surge in activity that we have seen over the last couple of weeks.

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department says 13 people have died in the county as a result of the flu - one more than last week. Interim findings show effectiveness for this year's flu vaccine was 36%, which was on the lower end of the typical range of flu vaccine effectiveness of 40-60%.

The Department of Health recommends New Mexicans talk with their healthcare provider or pharmacist about getting the flu vaccine.

Flu season generally runs from October to May, officials said. Eight of the deaths have been among patients over the age of 75. Doctors say a combination of inflammation, an increased risk of clotting in the blood and the stress the flu puts on your body could be factors that might lead to heart attacks in some people. Antivirals, if started early, can sometimes help reduce the severity and duration of disease.

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