Erie County Sees Big Spike in Flu Cases - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Erie County Sees Big Spike in Flu Cases

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There's been a huge spike in flu cases here in Erie county, almost the most the health department has seen in a decade.

What's more, it may not even be the peek of the flu season.

The health department says there were 328 reported cases of the flu last week, that's the most flu cases reported since the H1N1 outbreak in 2009.

The total number of reported flu cases this season stands at 1,205.

Five people have died from the flu this season, all over the age of 65.

Charlotte Berringer, R.N., Director of Community Health for the Erie County Health Department says people should stay home if they're showing symptoms of the flu, "Certainly if you think you have symptoms, stay home, keep your children home stay home from work, social isolation is a valid public health approach," said Berringer.

Berringer also says you should take even more precautions as the flu spreads throughout the county, "What people often times don't realize, they can actually spread the flu a day before they even have their first symptom, so with that in mind cleanliness in your workplace or wherever you're working or playing should certainly be a concern also," said Berringer.

And because flu cases keep rising in Erie county, Berringer says this flu season could last into the spring, so if you haven't already, she says you should get vaccinated, "It is not too late to get a flu shot, even if someone has already had the flu disease, that was only one variety there are at least three different varieties circulating so someone could still get a different type of flu than what they had already," said Berringer.

Berringer says people in high-risk categories, like the very young or very old, or with chronic health conditions, should see a doctor immediately if they start to show flu symptoms, as an anti-viral will help decrease complications, which will keep hospitalization rates down.

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