PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – From coughing to chills and fever, influenza can take it’s toll on even the healthiest person.
Severe flu is being reported nationwide, but here in southwestern Pennsylvania, we seem to be dodging the bullet, at least for now.
There are outbreaks in the middle part of Pennsylvania and others parts of the state, but things are not as bad on the western side where we are,” said Dr. Thomas Campbell with Allegheny Health Network.
He says there has not been a single confirmed case of flu at Allegheny General Hospital and that he can’t remember another year this mild in his 20 plus years of practice.
“We’ve been lucky and hopefully we’ll stay lucky this year,” Campbell said.
That luck seems to be extending to all of Allegheny County.
According to the Allegheny County Health Department, as of Jan. 30, there have only been 70 confirmed cases of influenza.
Last year at that time, there had already been 4,400 confirmed cases, plus 666 hospitalizations and 20 deaths.
This year, the numbers are significantly lower.
“I think its just the nature of the virus and where people are and how they travel and so I think its a combination of things,” Campbell said.
Even though a flu outbreak hasn’t hit the region, that doesn’t mean it won’t happen, so health experts say if you haven’t had a flu vaccine yet, its certainly not too late.
“You should still get it and there’s plenty available, but other things to do, for any common colds or other flu, GI bugs symptoms, keep your hands clean,” Campbell said.
While soap and water is best, hand sanitizer can keep germs away. Dr. Campbell also reminds people to stay home and avoid crowded places when under the weather.