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Deadly Pa. Flu Season Killed 9 in Lehigh Valley

There have been more flu-related deaths this season than any other season since 2003, according to statistics released Tuesday by the state health department.

 

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. 

Kaos8 February 20, 2013 at 07:27 PM
I suspect that this number of Flu Cases is much higher. I was in Emergency Room with a friend of mine- who was experiencing back pain and other symptoms that are considered Cardiac Related- thinking Heart Attack-and she had cardiac related issues in family hx..Went to ER..Spent the night and next day in Hospital as Admit, and 6.5hrs in ER- for blood tests, stress test and heart monitoring..Sent her home, stated everything looked good...Never checked for Flu..- Went to Urgent Care outpatient clinic- The next morning- found she had the flu and was given a prescription for same...How bad is it, that one has to spend an arm and a leg for an ER visit, then your remaining arm and leg for the Hospital stay- send you home w/ no results- go to a clinic the next morning and find out it was the flu???What is our healthcare system coming to- making money- giving no results and not even checking for the obvious things..I am hearing more and more horror stories like this, and now have experienced it.. So, if you go to the ER, apparently- they only check you for what you tell them you think you have- other than that-forget it. All doctors/PA's were nice and friendly- but made me think that this is now the protocol for Hospital/ER Visits..Just thought I would share my very recent experience, in case others have noticed the same thing.
Kaos8 February 20, 2013 at 07:37 PM
I also have noticed in the last couple of years that the ER's big thing is to tell you to follow up with your Family Doctor, instead of providing an answer to what they found and giving a prescription if you are sick..If I could wait to go to my family doctor and get a prescription, I would not have been in the ER in the first place. I understand there are people who go to the ER for the sniffles, etc... but when it is severe resp distress or some other situation that cannot wait- I expect to be taken care of...They most certainly bill you, as if they resolved the problem- why not actually do the work. It just seems like the protocols and priorities for hospitals and ERs have changed in the last couple of years..It is a real shame...people have to spend 2x the amount of money now to get the medical care they need- because it was not diagnosed properly or resolved on an initial visit- so they end up in a different ER or Urgent Care facility for the problem on the original visit. This is getting out of control..No wonder people are dying from the Flu- probably had to go to a couple medical facilities to get the correct diagnosis or even get treatment. Ridiculous!
StGabes March 01, 2013 at 12:30 PM
You think that's bad wait until ObamaCare kicks in...

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