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Flu cases continue to rise across the state - abc27 WHTM

Flu cases continue to rise across the state

Posted: Updated:
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

Flu cases continue to rise in Pennsylvania. The state Health Department says 4,256 new cases were reported last week, bringing the total to 11,327.

Last year, there were 3,020 cases reported for the entire flu season.

"We are concerned," said Ram Nambiar, director of infectious disease epidemiology for the Health Department. "We are still looking at the numbers and they still keep climbing."

The department reported 22 flu-related deaths in Pennsylvania, with 90 percent of deaths among the elderly. The outbreak has not been deemed an epidemic. The determination would be made by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The dominant strand has been identified as Influenza A H3N2.

"This strain is a match to our current vaccine that people are getting, so that is a big plus," Nambiar said.

Discovery Kids Child Care in Middletown said they are keeping a close eye on flu reports.

"We are definitely keeping an eye on this. We have to," director Amy Schreffler said. "That means we have to amp up our sanitation. We sanitize daily as far as bleach and water solution, the toys the babies mouth we put in a bin and clean, and we also spray door knobs, handles, gate entrances and things like that."

Schreffler said parents should check their day care's policies on illness.

"They should be asking when day care centers are sending children home, how long they are asking them to be out for, and how do they amp up the sanitizing of the rooms," Schreffler said.

The Department of Health will continue to monitor the numbers and is stressing prevention.

"Getting that flu shot, washing your hands, covering your cough; these are main prevention messages that we can control right now," Nambiar said.

The Health Department is giving free flu shots all week at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. The vaccine will be available through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The stand is located in the Main Hall off the Maclay Street entrance.

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