Health officials monitoring influenza in Pennsylvania have seen a recent spike in the number of cases, indicating flu season is quickly spreading in the region.
As of Saturday, the state Health Department has recorded 3,800 laboratory-confirmed influenza cases for the season, with 1,600 of them coming in from the last week of monitoring.
“This year’s flu season is several weeks behind last year’s,” says Dr. Carrie Delone, state physician general. “It has not been as severe, but we are seeing marked increases.”
With a few more weeks before the season’s peak, Delone encouraged residents — especially young children and the elderly who are most at risk — to get vaccinated.
“All of the strains we have seen thus far in Pennsylvania have been covered by the vaccination,” she said. “So if you get vaccinated, you should be covered.”
Three of the six flu-related deaths in the state have been in Philadelphia, according to city Health Department spokesman, Jeff Moran. The most recently reported death occurred a little more than a week ago.