New Castle News

Closer Look

January 11, 2013

Health department: Flu widespread in state

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 health department’s data Tuesday reported just 20 confirmed flu cases in Lawrence County. This figure is updated every Tuesday.

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.”

Eighteen of the 22 flu-related deaths statewide were reported in the past week, the health department said in statistics updated Tuesday. The majority were reported among Pennsylvanians older than 65, but two involved “otherwise healthy young individuals” under 50, the state said.

An infant died last weekend from flu-related symptoms, said Matthew Burns, a spokesman for the Lehigh Valley Health Network. The state update said no pediatric flu-related death had been reported.

The state also reported 971 flu-related hospitalizations.

The Lehigh Valley medical system’s Cedar Crest location recently set up a secondary emergency department in a “mobile surge tent” outside the hospital in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus. The hospital directed patients experiencing flu-like symptoms to report to the main emergency room entrance for assessment before being escorted to a treatment area.

A flu shot is the best way to prevent influenza, the health system said in guidelines posted on its website.

Experts advise people to stay home if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms including fever, cough, fatigue, sore throat, muscle aches and headaches. Other recommendations from the Lehigh Valley Health Network include disinfecting common areas in the home or work area daily, and using hand sanitizer frequently.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Closer Look
  • Yauger.jpg Yauger enters guilty plea in federal court

    The former executive director of the local intermediate unit has entered a guilty plea in federal court.

     

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lottery.jpg Lottery officials: Seniors should get smaller payout

    State lottery officials say less means more for seniors. The lottery took in $3.8 billion in sales last year and will give more than $1 billion of it — or 28.5 percent — to programs for senior citizens.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • phone.jpg Attorney general warns of phone scams

    Assorted scams in the commonwealth have prompted a warning from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane said several scams have been reported to the Bureau of Consumer Protection in recent weeks.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • disability.jpg Disabilities group unveils new icon

    Disability Options Network is joining forces with the Accessible Icon Project. Officials of the community organization, located at 1929 E. Washington St., said its new icon will replace the current international symbol for accessibility.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • well.jpg Auditor: State doesn’t have enough inspectors to monitor wells

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

     

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • vote.jpg Independent hopefuls may widen gubernatorial field

    Just when Pennsylvania voters were getting used to the idea of a gubernatorial election showdown between Republican incumbent Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf, other hopefuls may soon be joining the fray.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • manna.jpg John K. Manna: Measuring the money

    Should we even bother to have an election in November? By some accounts, maybe the results of some contests are already in.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • shooting.jpg Man injured in city shooting

    A man was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital Thursday morning following a shooting on West Lincoln Avenue.

     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • police.jpg Police: Man pulls gun on construction workers

    Construction workers in Neshannock Township flagged down police Thursday claiming a business owner had pulled a gun on them.

     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Shooting witness arrested for giving false name

    State police have arrested a second Detroit area man after questioning him about Sunday’s fatal shooting in Ellwood City. DeMarco Dorian Hoskins, 22, of Highland Park, Mich., was the third man in a private car that transported the deceased to look for a hospital. Hoskins allegedly gave police a false identity when they questioned him as witness.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Seasonal Content
Section Teases
Must Read
Continuous Super Bowl Coverage