PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pennsylvania is battling rising numbers of flu cases. Five people have already died from the flu but not in this region of the state.
Doctors have also said they are seeing more and more of type B of the flu, which is atypical for the region. Cases of influenza in Allegheny County are up 1700 percent from last year.
At Wilson’s pharmacy in Bloomfield, over-the-counter products for the flu are disappearing from the shelves. More and more people are feeling those flu-like symptoms.
“The instances picked up. People asking for advice for what they should be taking for the flu or flu-like symptoms at least. A lot of head-colds and people coming in with aches and fevers and so on,” said pharmacy owner Jeff Wilson.
Dr. Brian Lamb’s office has already given hundreds of flu shots to patients. He said Australia, which has been a past indicator for the flu’s impact on the U.S., just finished a bad season.
Activity is picking up down south, and it’s already starting to reach Pennsylvania.
“It tell us that we should be for the possibility of a very bad flu season this year,” Lamb said.
If the numbers are any indication, Pennsylvania already has 1,633 confirmed cases as well as five flu-related deaths. During the 2019-20 flu season in Allegheny County, there have been 565 reported cases compared to 32 cases this time during the 2018-19 season. Dr. Lamb said the new vaccine covers the A and B along other strains.
His advice for fighting the flu this winter is taking old fashioned precautions.
“The best [thing to do] is hand-washing. Making sure that you have disinfectant, getting your flu shot from your doctor and most importantly staying home when you’re sick,” Lamb said.