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Jefferson County Health Officials Report 121 Cases Of Influenza

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Jefferson County Health Officials Report 121 Cases of Influenza

Flu.jpgJEFFERSON CO., Pa. (EYT) – As Pennsylvania encounters a higher than normal number of flu illnesses, the flu season has hit at least 121 people in Jefferson County.

According to statistics from the Pennsylvania Dept. of Health, 26 cases of Influenza A and 95 cases of Influenza B have been diagnosed in Jefferson County.

There has been a noticeable uptick of cases diagnosed at the Brookville Hospital since the holidays, according to Beth Keth, Organizational Performance Improvement and Patient Safety Officer at Penn Highlands.

“The flu is a virus. It’s different than a cold. If you have the flu, it’s important to stay home until at least 24 hours after your fever goes away,” Keth told exploreJeffersonpa.com.

Most people experience mild symptoms that will go away on their own. For those individuals who have the flu but find they not getting better, or are in a high-risk category.

Keth recommends seeing their primary care doctor.

At the Primary Health Network’s Clarion Community Health Center Express Care, Nurse Practitioner Paula Scalise said they have seen only Influenza type B so far this flu season.

“We haven’t seen a whole lot of symptoms that are like the flu,” Scalise told exploreVenango.com. “We haven’t done a lot of testing (for the flu) because we haven’t seen, clinically, the symptoms that coincide with the diagnosis of the flu.”

While Influenza B may is a milder version of the flu, Scalise said it still makes you sick.

“Typically, you’re sick for about five or six days. It’s very contagious, so you don’t want to go to work.”

Scalise recommends individuals get a flu shot. Shots are available from a doctor or just about any pharmacy in the area.

January is typically when the flu season peaks.

According to Brittany Lauffer, Public Information Officer with the Department of Health, the western Pennsylvania region is currently the heaviest hit by the flu season.

“It’s not too late to get the flu vaccine. Cases (reported in the state) are doubling just about every week. When you get a vaccination, you’re protecting yourself as well as others.”

The nasal vaccine for the flu was also approved this year.

According to Lauffer, it’s considered to be as effective as the flu shot.

Vaccines are especially encouraged for the very young, the elderly, and those who may be immune suppressed.

Throughout the state, 477 people have been hospitalized with flu symptoms since the flu season began in October. Lauffer said most of those are children under the age of 15.

Thirteen people have died from flu-associated illnesses this season through the week ending on Saturday, January 4. Of that number, ten were age 65 or older.

Individuals may have the flu if the following symptoms exist:

– Fever
– Headache
– Tiredness (can be extreme)
– Dry cough
– Sore throat
– Nasal congestion
– Body aches

Getting a flu shot cannot cause the flu, according to Lauffer.

As with any medical product, vaccines can cause side effects such as soreness, redness, or swelling at the injection site. Patients may also experience headaches, fever, nausea, or muscle aches.

The following precautions can be taken to prevent spreading the flu:

– Cover your cough;
– Thoroughly wash your hands;
– Clean all surfaces;
– Stay home if you are sick;
– Wear a mask if you go out when you’re not feeling well; and
– Use hand sanitizer and wipe down grocery store carts before use.

For those who believe they have the flu, taking antiviral medication as prescribed as soon as possible is essential.

See local flu statistics from the Department of Health here.

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I am currently sitting In the hospital in North Carolina. My daughter has influenza A and double pneumonia. She is one sick girl. Of course as soon as we got the call that she was admitted, this mamma bear got the first flight there. She was in ICU at first because she was having trouble breathing but is now in a regular room and will be here for the next few days.

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9 hours ago, Lyndsey33 said:

I am currently sitting In the hospital in North Carolina. My daughter has influenza A and double pneumonia. She is one sick girl. Of course as soon as we got the call that she was admitted, this mamma bear got the first flight there. She was in ICU at first because she was having trouble breathing but is now in a regular room and will be here for the next few days.

Glad she is on the mend.  That is scary!  She is lucky to have such a caring mama.


Every day is a gift from God; that's why we call it the "present!"

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11 hours ago, Cacao said:

https://www.health.com/condition/cold-flu-sinus/flu-shot-mix-up-not-effective

Flu shot is not effective against this year's major strain.  Never had a flu shot, never will.  Found that regular exercise works better.  Haven't had the flu 1994.  Had the beer flu from 1996-2000, haha!

Nope. She had the shot before she left for college. The Dr said it should have at least given her a milder case but it didn't.  She is being hit hard with it and then adding in the pneumonia in both lungs. I have to wear a mask in her room ( their rules).

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12 hours ago, Lyndsey33 said:

Nope. She had the shot before she left for college. The Dr said it should have at least given her a milder case but it didn't.  She is being hit hard with it and then adding in the pneumonia in both lungs. I have to wear a mask in her room ( their rules).

Sucks.  Wear that mask and wash your hands as often as possible.  This too shall pass.

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