Western Pennsylvania seeing spike in flu cases so far this season, health officials say

New data shows surge in flu cases in Allegheny County

ALLEGHENY CO., Pa. — New data shows a surge in flu cases in Allegheny County. The state of Pennsylvania has seen about 4,400 cases already this season.

And Allegheny County makes up 28% of those cases – the most of any county in the state.

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Doctors said flu season has started early here and everywhere else, but they won’t know exactly why our area is seeing so many cases until after the flu season ends.

"We begin to see almost sometime a November rise, but this particular year we're starting to see Influenza cases in numbers that we would typically see in January,” said Joe Suyama, chief of emergency services at UPMC Magee.

Of the confirmed cases in Pennsylvania – Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties account for 2,338 (or 53%).

Doctors have isolated at least one strain of this year’s flu virus. The “Flu B” tends to come with more gastrointestinal distress, doctors said.

However, they said it’s no more severe than in previous years.

Suyama said the best way to protect yourself from the flu is to get vaccinated and practice good hygiene.

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