71 Pennsylvanians Killed by Flu So Far This Season
Seventy-one Pennsylvanians have been killed by the flu since late September.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health tracks influenza during flu season and updates totals every week. This season, the state began tracking the flu on September 28th of last year and will stop tracking on May 23rd.
The state has recorded 25,201 instances of the flu this season already, though only 514 in Philadelphia County — almost all due to the influenza A virus. In contrast, Allegheny County, home of Pittsburgh, has 3,300 recorded cases.
The state also releases an age breakdown of flu deaths.
|Age Group||Number of Flu Deaths|
As you can see, most flu deaths occur for those over the age of 65. Though cases dipped in the last week, the 2014-15 flu this season is particularly widespread.
One of the reasons this is such a strong flu season? The vaccine this year is a dud; the major strain of influenza circulating this year was not included in this year’s flu shot. This year’s vaccine is only 33 percent effective. Even in good years, the flu vaccine is only about 60 percent effective. “The virus is smarter than we are at this point,” Robert Daum, a Chicago doctor, told the Washington Post.
You should still get a flu shot, and there may even be more reasons to get one in the future: Scientists say a “universal” flu vaccine is on the way. This would protect people from all strains.
In the meantime? Do like The Geator says and wash your hands.
[via We Are Central PA]