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Midstate county has highest number of flu cases in Pa. (so far)

Written by Rachel McDevitt | Dec 14, 2017 2:44 PM
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(Harrisburg) -- A midstate county has the highest number of flu cases in Pennsylvania so far, but that might be due to differences in testing and reporting between counties. 

Berks County has 226 confirmed cases of flu so far this season, compared to 32 in Lancaster County and 61 in York County. 

State Deputy Health Secretary Dr. Loren Robinson said a few reasons could be behind behind why Berks seems to have a higher number of cases. 

"These are confirmed cases--so, people who have been tested for the flu at a doctor's office, or tested for the flu at a hospital or some other health care setting," Robinson said. 

Robinson said the department can't count people who don't seek care, or aren't tested. 

Some health care providers may not test patients if they've been sick for a few days, because flu medicine is only effective in the first 48 to 72 hours. 

Overall, Pennsylvania's flu season is shaping up to be a little worse than last year's. More than 1,400 cases have been documented so far.

Robinson said the weather may have been a factor.

"With us having an unseasonably warm fall, people weren't really thinking, 'hey, flu season's approaching, it's time for me to get my flu shot,'" she said.

Robinson said the Health Department encourages everyone over the age of six months to get a flu shot if they haven't already this season. People who get the flu are advised to stay home to reduce the risk of spreading it to others. 

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