Flu Widespread in Pennsylvania, May Have Peaked in Clarion County

flu-manCLARION, Pa. (EYT) – The State Health Department recently confirmed what a lot of us already suspected.  The flu is widespread, but it may have peaked in Clarion County.

The flu is now considered widespread in Pennsylvania, according to figures released on February 8 by the State Health Department.  The total number of confirmed flue cases is 16,518 so far this season.

“We actually saw our peak cases in late part of January,” said Lori Lencer, infection preventionist and employee health nurse at Clarion Hospital.  “We send off positive sub tests of patients that are admitted to the Hospital to the state lab and they sub type it. Pretty much everything that we sent off was the h1n1 flu strain.”

“We’re still seeing a case or two every couple of days in our ER.  It’s certainly not what we were seeing in January when we were seeing four or five a day. This week I’ve probably only seen four of five cases this week where as January it was a lot more.”

There have been 54 deaths as of February 8, including 17 people over age 65, 21 people between the ages of 50 to 64, and one child between the ages of 5 and 9. The others were between 19 and 49 years of age.

The breakdown in the number of confirmed flu cases is as follows for area counties:

  • Clarion: 136
  • Jefferson: 146
  • Venango: 78
  • Forest: 14

There is a confirmed case of the flu in every county in Pennsylvania.

Lab-confirmed flu cases represent only a fraction of those with the flu, state health officials say, since most people — including those who seek health care — are diagnosed without lab testing.

It’s not too late to get a flu vaccine to better protect yourself from the flu — and the fever and body aches that go with it.

The state Department of Health’s website and the flu vaccine finder provide information by county or zip code as to where to get flu shots.

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