The number of people affected by flu is on the rise in both the Philadelphia area and Pennsylvania as a whole, especially in recent weeks, writes Mari Schaefer for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“In the last two to two and a half weeks, the numbers have just rocketed up,” said Henry Fraimow, an infectious-disease specialist at Cooper University Health Care.
Statewide, there have been 6,435 laboratory-confirmed influenza cases so far. However, the actual number is likely significantly higher, as not all flu patients get tested.
In Chester County, there have been 165 confirmed cases of the flu so far, while in Delaware County, that number is 143. Currently, the highest-reported number is in Luzerne County with 952 cases.
The flu has also been affecting the nation, with 11 flu-related, pediatric deaths reported as of Dec. 22.
According to Fraimow, this year’s vaccine is a good match for the flu strains showing up in emergency departments. He said that, while it takes a couple of weeks for the flu shot to become fully effective, there is still a benefit to getting vaccinated now.
“Everything we are seeing is in the vaccine,” he said.
Read more about the spread of the flu in the Philadelphia Inquirer here.