More people have died of the flu in Pennsylvania this season than any other flu season since 2003, when the state began tracking cases, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported Tuesday.
Also, there have been more lab-confirmed cases and hospitalizations this season.
Of the 154 flu-related deaths from Oct. 2 through Feb. 16, five were in Lehigh County and four were in Northampton County, according to the latest flu statistics released by the state health department. Most of the deaths were among those 65 and older.
Though the flu remains widespread in Pennsylvania, there was good news -- the number of reported flu cases, hospitalizations and emergency room visits were down from the previous week. A total of 1,082 flu cases were reported, down from 1,876 the previous week.
In the Lehigh Valley, the number of confirmed flu cases this season is 4,049:
- 2,675 cases in Lehigh County
- 1,374 cases in Northampton County
Confirmed flu cases statewide now number 34,090.
Lab-confirmed flu cases represent only a fraction of those with the flu, state health officials say, since most people -- including those who seek health care -- are diagnosed without lab testing.