STATE COLLEGE — Flu cases are mounting in Pennsylvania, and 22 deaths have been attributed to the illness, state health officials said.
The number of cases could continue to spike because the flu season typically doesn’t peak for at least another couple weeks.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health designated flu as now “widespread” throughout the commonwealth. There have been more than 11,000 laboratory-confirmed flu cases in the state since the flu season began in mid-December, with nearly 4,300 of those reported last week alone.
The Health Department’s flu-tracking website (www.flufreepa.com) said “widespread” is the highest category for tracking the virus. That means there have been outbreaks or increases in flu-like or “laboratory-confirmed influenza in at least half the regions of the state with recent laboratory evidence of influenza in the state.”
The holidays offer a chance to gather with faraway family and snuggle by the tree. But according to the latest numbers from the state Department of Health, many of us have been sharing a lot more than gifts.
The number of reported flu cases soared the week before Christmas to 2,196, more than double the 933 reported one week earlier. Before Dec. 8, there had been a total of 848 cases statewide. One influenza-related death has been reported as well.
The trend in Pennsylvania is consistent with the numbers nationwide.