1st flu death reported in Allegheny County
Allegheny County saw its first flu-related death of the season, county health director Dr. Karen Hacker said Friday.
The woman, who was in her 90s, had an underlying medical condition, Hacker said.
Hacker said recent data shows 414 flu cases in Allegheny County so far this season, with 18 hospitalizations. She said the numbers were much higher by this point last year: 3,533 cases, 316 hospitalizations and eight deaths.
A flu shot is still the most proactive prevention method, she said.
“It’s also very important that residents call their health care provider as soon as they experience flu symptoms,” Hacker said. “The prescription of antiviral drugs can reduce the severity of the illness.”
Simple hygiene solutions are also encouraged: Wash your hands; don’t cough or sneeze into your hands, but rather into your elbow or shoulder; stay home if you are sick or have flu-like symptoms.
Hacker said those who do have symptoms – fever, muscle aches, cough, sore throat, fatigue – should call a health care provider, who could recommend an antiviral drug. The drugs can reduce the severity of the illness, and they’re recommended for those at a high risk for flu-related complications, including the elderly, children, pregnant individuals and those with chronic medical conditions.
The county offers a walk-in vaccine clinic. For more information, visit https://www.alleghenycounty.us/Health-Department/Health-Services/Infectious-Disease-Immunization-Program/Immunization-Clinic.aspx
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter @meganguzaTrib.
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter .