First Confirmed Death Due To The Flu Confirmed In Allegheny County

There are over 5,000 confirmed cases compared to 212 this time last year

Andrew Limberg
January 08, 2020 - 3:21 pm

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PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - Allegheny County has seen the season’s first death related to the flu.

Health Department Epidemiologist Dr. Kristen Mertz said in a statement that a woman over 90-years-old had died due to complications from the flu.

Dr. Mertz adds the woman had “underlying medical conditions.”

“We have seen a larger number of flu cases this year compared to last year at this time, particularly Type B flu. Despite the increase in overall cases, less than 1% of reported flu cases resulted in hospitalizations. It’s still too early this flu season to make any predictions or speculate what’s to come.”

It’s been a very active flu season for Pennsylvania, with a large majority of the cases in Allegheny County.

Last year at this time the number of confirmed cases was 212. That number this year is at over 5,000.

The good news is that data indicates flu cases are declining, but the virus could continue to circulate through April.

Dr. Mertz says the best way to fight the flu is with a shot.

“The best way to fight the flu is to get vaccinated. While the effectiveness of this year’s vaccine has not yet been determined, it’s very important to get a flu shot every year. Not only does it protect you from getting sick, it can protect you from spreading the flu to your loved ones and those that cannot be vaccinated. It’s never too late to get a flu shot and we encourage residents to get one if they haven’t already done so.

“To prevent flu transmission, you should also wash your hands frequently, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder and not your hands and stay at home if you’re sick.”

13 Pennsylvanians have died from the flu so far this season.

Most of those are 65 and over.

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