HealthCheck

Widespread flu increases to 35 states, including Pennsylvania

Friday, January 10, 2014

With flu activity picking up in our area, health care officials say there is still time to protect yourself.

If you're wondering whether to should still get a flu shot, Action News Health reporter and Registered Nurse Ali Gorman says yes.

It is one of the best ways to protect yourself, and it is not too late, but you probably want to do it this weekend.

The Center for Disease Control released its latest map which shows 25 states, including Pennsylvania, having what they consider widespread flu activity.

And they say, this year, the virus is hitting every age group.

Typically the flu hits the very old and the very young the hardest, but this year's predominant strain, H1N1, seems to be particularly bad for young and middle-aged adults.

In fact, out of the 6 deaths reported in Pennsylvania, three were between the ages of 25 and 49. It is not known whether there were any underlying medical problems.

Alice Jones, a 29-year-old mother of three in Texas, died Monday due to complications from the flu.

She did not have medical problems and was otherwise healthy.

The H1N1 strain is covered in this year's vaccine. It takes about two weeks for it to take full effect, but flu season can last into early Spring, so it is not too late to a flu shot.

The best defense against the flu:
*Get a flu shot
*Practice good hand washing
*Stay away from others who are sick
*Healthy living  try to get enough sleep and eat a healthy diet.

(Copyright ©2014 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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