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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:35 pm 
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Pennsylvania is reporting 18 more deaths in week 2, matching the week 1 total, and raising the seasonal total to 40.

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/se ... 490&mode=2

The 18 deaths do not include the pediatric death reported by the media last week.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:36 pm 
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Summary of flu activity in Pennsylvania during week 2:
· Flu-related Emergency Department visits remain elevated in all regions of the state.
· Six (6%) of reported outpatient doctor-visits were attributed to ILI, which is above baseline (2.4%).

· 16, 511 lab positive cases have been reported season-to-date. 5, 059 flu cases were reported during week 2, up from 4, 256 cases reported during week 1. Because has not peaked and activity may continue until March, it is not too late to get vaccinated.

· Influenza viruses were detected in 90% of respiratory samples that are submitted to the state lab for comfirmatory testing. At this time, it is not necessary to send all respiratory specimens to the state lab for confirmatory testing. Labs and hospitals may only submit samples from persons noted in our most recent health advisory.

· A majority of illness at this time is caused by influenza A/H3N2, a strain that generally causes severe illness in older age groups. Viruses circulating this season similar to strains included in this years influenza vaccine.

· Influenza cases have now been reported in all Pennsylvania counties.

· 433 flu-related hospitalizations were reported during week 2, down from 511 reported the week before. Altogether, 971 hospitalizations have been reported season to date. The median age of hospitalizations is 67 years (range 0 to 90) years.

· Fifty two (52) influenza-related outbreaks were reported during week 2. Altogether, 144 outbreaks have been reported season-to-date. This is further evidence of the impact influenza can have on the elderly. Vaccinating employees and residents of long term care facilities, along with infection control practices can limit the impact of influenza. A list of Pennsylvania hospitals and long term care facilities with >90% influenza vaccine coverage among employees can be found at, http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/se ... 994&mode=2.

· Eighteen (18) influenza-related deaths were reported last week, making 40 the total number of flu-related deaths reported season-to-date. A majority of reported deaths are among the elderly (persons >65 years of age). No pediatric (person <18 years) flu-related death has been reported this season.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:47 pm 
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA
Lab positive flu cases reported in Pennsylvania this season vs. last 7 seasons

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:49 pm 
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Lab positive flu cases reported in Pennsylvania this season, by week, 10/02/12 - 01/12/2013 (n=16, 511)
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:54 pm 
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA
Distribution of flu cases reported in Pennsylvania this season by county, 10/02/12 - 01/05/2013 (n=11, 327)

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:58 pm 
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA
Lab positive influenza-related deaths reported in Pennsylvania county, 10/02/12 - 01/12/2013 (n=40)

County
Reported deaths

Allegheny
5

Amstrong
1

Beaver
1

Bedford
1

Blair
1

Bucks
2

Centre
3

Crawford
2

Cumberland
1

Erie
1

Franklin
2

Jefferson
1

Lancaster
3

Lycoming
1

Montgomery
2

Philadelphia
4

Schuykill
2

Somerset
1

Westmoreland
4

Wilkes-Barre
1

York
1

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:06 pm 
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA
Lab positive flu cases reported in Pennsylvania county, 10/02/12 - 01/12/2013 (n=16, 511)
County
Reported cases
Total

ADAMS
140
140

ALLEGHENY
1249
1389

ARMSTRONG
90
1479

BEAVER
236
1715

BEDFORD
111
1826

BERKS
646
2472

BLAIR
273
2745

BRADFORD
136
2881

BUCKS
554
3435

BUTLER
504
3939

CAMBRIA
169
4108

CAMERON
20
4128

CARBON
144
4272

CENTRE
379
4651

CHESTER
326
4977

CLARION
156
5133

CLEARFIELD
119
5252

CLINTON
29
5281

COLUMBIA
66
5347

CRAWFORD
184
5531

CUMBERLAND
298
5829

DAUPHIN
414
6243

DELAWARE
384
6627

ELK
118
6745

ERIE
438
7183

FAYETTE
180
7363

FOREST
7
7370

FRANKLIN
286
7656

FULTON
53
7709

GREENE
118
7827

HUNTINGDON
118
7945

INDIANA
177
8122

JEFFERSON
70
8192

JUNIATA
64
8256

LACKAWANNA
160
8416

LANCASTER
729
9145

LAWRENCE
46
9191

LEBANON
195
9386

LEHIGH
826
10212

LUZERNE
625
10837

LYCOMING
157
10994

MCKEAN
92
11086

MERCER
176
11262

MIFFLIN
57
11319

MONROE
134
11453

MONTGOMERY
799
12252

MONTOUR
33
12285

NORTHAMPTON
877
13162

NORTHUMBERLAND
181
13343

PERRY
35
13378

PHILADELPHIA
525
13903

PIKE
27
13930

POTTER
55
13985

SCHUYLKILL
250
14235

SNYDER
70
14305

SOMERSET
175
14480

SULLIVAN
13
14493

SUSQUEHANNA
36
14529

TIOGA
73
14602

UNION
62
14664

VENANGO
68
14732

WARREN
86
14818

WASHINGTON
429
15247

WAYNE
28
15275

WESTMORELAND
700
15975

WYOMING
44
16008

YORK
503
16511

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:07 pm 
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Lab positive cases hospitalizations reported in Pennsylvania this season, 10/02/12 - 01/12/2013 (n= 1, 501)
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:54 pm 
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA
Pennsylvania Department of Health reported: “There was an increase in influenza activity in all regions of the state. Therefore, current activity is characterized as ”widespread”. Influenza cases have now been reported in all Pennsylvania counties.

A majority of illness at this time is caused by influenza A/H3N2, a strain that generally causes severe illness in older age groups. Viruses circulating this season similar to strains included in this years influenza vaccine.

433 flu-related hospitalizations were reported during week 2, down from 511 reported the week before. Altogether, 1, 501 hospitalizations have been reported season to date. The median age of hospitalizations is 67 years (range 0 to 90) years.

Eighteen (18) influenza-related deaths were reported last week, making 40 the total number of flu-related deaths reported season-to-date. A majority of reported deaths are among the elderly (persons >65 years of age). No pediatric (person <18 years) flu-related death has been reported this season”.



Nearly 300 people in Philadelphia have been hospitalized, and there have been 4-deaths, according to CBS News.

The Hospital and Health System Association of Pennsylvania along with the Pennsylvania Department of Health have a campaign underway encouraging health care workers to get their flu shots.

Vaccinating employees and residents of long term care facilities, along with infection control practices can limit the impact of influenza. A list of Pennsylvania hospitals and long term care facilities with >90% influenza vaccine coverage among employees can be found at, http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/se ... 994&mode=2.

Many hospitals are also restricting visitors in an effort to reduce the spread of the flu.

Health Commissioner Donald Schwarz said to CBS News, that we are in ” the midst of an influenza epidemic, but it’s “not that unusual.”

“The vast majority, 98 percent plus, of the influenza circulating in Philadelphia is vaccine preventable,” says Schwarz. “8.5 percent of emergency room visits in Philadelphia are influenza-like illness related” .

The Centers for Disease Control indicates that the vaccine is about 62% effective. It doesn’t take with some folks who may not have a strong enough immune reaction.

By the way Philadelphia health officials said it’s not too late to get vaccinated for the flu.

“The first step you do is to protect yourself,” Betsy Walls, of the county’s Personal Health Services Bureau said to CBS News. “You don’t want the flu, you don’t want to miss work. The other part is, you don’t want to get the flu and take it to other people who may have health issues who did not get a flu shot — the elderly, little kids, people with other health issues that would make them more at risk of serious illness if they got the flu.”

Also Pennsylvania Department of Health recommends:

” Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and following food preparation, before eating and after using restrooms or changing diapers.
•Be careful what you touch. Hands transmit germs.
•Cover your nose and mouth with hands or tissues when coughing or sneezing. Wash hands afterward to prevent spreading germs to doorknobs and other items. Discard tissues right way.
•Get plenty of rest, eat properly, and dress appropriately for the weather.
•When ill, prevent the spread of germs by staying home from school or the workplace, if possible.
•During flu season, minimize time in crowded areas, such as shopping centers, and avoid contact with those at high risk for the flu, such as the elderly and those with chronic illness.
•If over the age of 65, pregnant, or if you have a chronic illness or disease, talk with your doctor about a flu and pneumonia vaccination.”


http://thephilanews.com/there-was-an-in ... -37192.htm

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:42 am
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA
By Tim Darragh, Of The Morning Call

8:59 p.m. EST, January 15, 2013
Laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza increased by more than 5,000 in Pennsylvania and an additional 18 people died of flu-related complications in the past week, the state Department of Health reported Tuesday.

The updated reports, for the week that ended Saturday, bring the totals to 40 deaths and 16,511 confirmed flu cases for the season.

The Pennsylvania numbers add to an influenza outbreak that reached epidemic levels nationally, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. According to the CDC, 7.3 percent of all deaths nationally last week were flu-related, just above the level needed to declare it an epidemic.

The state health data reflect only cases in which a sick person had tests taken and a laboratory confirmed the presence of the influenza virus. Those cases represent a fraction of the total burden of the disease in the state.

The death report is not complete, either. For example, Lehigh Valley Health Network last week reported that an infant had died of likely flu complications during the most recent reporting period. But the state data do not show any flu deaths in the Lehigh Valley through Saturday. An LVH spokesman said the hospital is still awaiting confirmation that the death was flu-related.

According to the state, Lehigh County recorded 826 flu cases since the beginning of the season on Oct. 2. Northampton County had 877 reported cases. About 500 of the cases in the two counties occurred in the week ending Saturday.

The majority of the cases are the influenza A H3N2 strain, which this year's flu vaccine covers.

Flu cases have become so common that two organizations representing the state's doctors are advising some patients to consider tending to their symptoms at home, and not visiting the local hospital emergency department.

The Pennsylvania Medical Society and the state chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians said in a statement that flu patients may not need to go to the emergency room for care.

"For many flu victims, staying at home, drinking fluids and taking acetaminophen is all that they need," said Ralph J. Riviello, president of the emergency physicians group. "But there will be exceptions, and those people should seek immediate assistance."

Those exceptions include people who experience signs of pneumonia, low oxygen levels or severe dehydration.

"An adult with difficulty breathing, chest or abdomen pain, dizziness, confusion or severe vomiting needs to head to the emergency room," Riviello said in the statement.

In addition, children should be taken to a doctor if they have those symptoms, or develop bluish skin, a rash with a fever or if they are not waking up or interacting, the groups said. Also, if flu symptoms appear to be improving, but then return with a fever and a cough worse than before, a person should seek treatment at an emergency department, they said.

According to medical society President C. Richard Schott, many people without severe symptoms can save themselves a trip to the hospital and also save money by treating themselves at home with rest, liquids and over-the-counter painkillers.

"Patients may feel badly for up to a week, but will get better at home," he said.

In another flu-related development Tuesday, Trust for America's Health, a nonpartisan health advocacy organization, reported that Pennsylvania in the 2011-12 season ranked 27th among the states for flu vaccinations among eligible children and adults. It said 43.5 percent of eligible people in Pennsylvania got flu shots last year.

According to Trust for America's Health, around 20 percent of Americans get the flu each year. Between 3,000 and 49,000 Americans die from flu-related illnesses and an average of 226,000 are hospitalized, it said.

Officials say that since the flu season is still going strong, it's not too late to get a flu shot, even though it takes 10 days to two weeks for the vaccine to reach its full benefit.

tim.darragh@mcall.com

610 778-2259

FLU CLINICS

•The Allentown Health Bureau will have free flu vaccines available for the public from 9-11 a.m. and 2-5 p.m. Thursday and 2-4 p.m. Friday at Alliance Hall, 245 N. Sixth St. No appointment is necessary. The vaccine is available to all regardless of residency.

•The Bethlehem Health Bureau will have free flu vaccines for residents of the Bethlehem Area School District from 1-3 p.m. Friday at the health bureau, 10 E. Church St. Call 610-865-7087 to schedule an appointment.

FLU DEATHS

2012-2013 season to date: 40

2011-2012:11

2010-2011:90

2009-2010:79

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Health

http://www.mcall.com/health/mc-pennsylv ... 4853.story

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