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2 more die of flu in Allegheny County, bringing death total to 11

Natasha Lindstrom
| Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, 6:21 p.m.
In this file photo, a certified pharmacy technician fills antibiotics into a syringe for use as an IV push at ProMedica Toledo Hospital in Toledo, Ohio. A nasty flu season is hitting U.S. hospitals.
In this file photo, a certified pharmacy technician fills antibiotics into a syringe for use as an IV push at ProMedica Toledo Hospital in Toledo, Ohio. A nasty flu season is hitting U.S. hospitals.

Two more Allegheny County residents have died of flu-related complications, bringing the countywide total to 11 deaths with nearly two months of flu season remaining, health officials announced Monday.

A woman in her late 50s died in early January, Allegheny County spokesman Ryan Scarpino said.

A man in his late 80s died within the past week.

Their identities were not released.

Health officials are reporting more than double the number of confirmed flu cases than this time last year.

Nine people died of the flu in Allegheny County during the 2016-17 season — which generally begins in October and peaks between December and March, state and county health data show.

As of Saturday, county officials had confirmed 6,102 cases, 513 hospitalizations and 11 deaths during the 2017-18 flu season. That's up from 2,684 cases, 252 hospitalizations and six deaths at the same time last year.

A flu strain called H3N2 has been most dominant virus infecting people this season.

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More than 35,000 cases and at least 65 deaths have been reported statewide — including Kyler Baughman, a seemingly healthy 21-year-old man from Latrobe.

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The health department said all deaths are under investigation and it was not known if some of those who died had underlying medical conditions.

In a typical year, the flu kills about 36,000 people in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-8514, or via Twitter @NewsNatasha.

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