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Allegheny County reports no flu deaths for first time in 10 weeks

| Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 10:27 a.m.
A flu vaccination.
AFP/Getty Images
A flu vaccination.

Allegheny County Health Department did not report any new flu-related deaths in its latest weekly summary of complications linked to the virus for the first time in at least 10 weeks.

The health department said Tuesday that this year's flu season had resulted in 10,494 cases of the flu and 674 related hospitalizations through March 17. At the same time last year, there were 4,430 cases of flu and 363 hospitalizations.

So far this year, 25 Allegheny County residents died of flu-related complications, according to the health department. The number of reported deaths has grown each week since the health department reported the county's first three deaths in early January.

Flu season usually begins the first week in October and ends in May. This year's flu season has taken a bigger toll on county residents because of a dominant strain of the H3N2 virus.

This year's flu vaccine has been effective only 36 percent of the time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said.

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