Henry Beverly, 73, battles the flu while tended to by nurse Kathleen Burks at Upson Regional Medical Center in Thomaston, Ga., Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. "I believe if I stand up right now I'd just collapse," said Beverly after days of battling the flu. Beverly came to the emergency room earlier in the week and was scheduled to go home after being treated before his symptoms took a quick turn for the worse. "I felt like my body was just going to blow up. A lot of people don't realize what the flu really is. It takes a lot to put me on my feet. I believe I would have died if I went home."
Sarah Boden covers health, science and technology for 90.5 WESA. Before coming to Pittsburgh in November 2017, she was a reporter for Iowa Public Radio where she covered a range of issues, including the 2016 Iowa Caucuses.
Sarah’s reporting has appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition Saturday and WBUR's Here and Now. She has won multiple awards, including a regional Edward R. Murrow for her story on a legal challenge to Iowa's felon voting ban.
(Pittsburgh) — If you’ve noticed more coworkers have been calling in sick with the flu, it’s not just your imagination. Data show nearly twice as many Pennsylvanians have gotten the flu so far this season, compared to this time last year.
However, flu-related fatalities and hospitalizations are not particularly high this year.
That’s because Type B is that strain of influenza that’s been circulating for most of this season. Compared to Type A, the B strain is less deadly.
“The number [of people who] are hospitalized or who pass away with it is much less. B strain [is] less virulent, less likely to cause severe disease,” said University of Pittsburgh Dr. Richard Zimmerman, who studies the flu as part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Zimmerman also noted that flu season came early this year, with a “big wave” in December. The state is starting to see a second peak of flu cases, with more caused by the Type A strain.