PITTSBURGH –Allegheny County Health Department Director Dr. Karen Hacker recently reported that Allegheny County has had its first flu death in this year’s flu season.
“We have been notified that a female resident of Allegheny County has died due to flu complications. The resident was in her early 90s and had underlying medical conditions,” said Hacker. “The flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against flu, residents can also take precautions during flu season to limit their exposure. It’s also very important that residents call their health care provider as soon as they experience flu symptoms. The prescription of antiviral drugs can reduce the severity of the illness.”
The most updated flu reports show 414 cases and 18 hospitalizations reported in the county. At this time last year, the flu reports were significantly higher: 3,533 cases, 316 hospitalizations and 8 deaths. Residents are encouraged to get their flu shots if they have not already done so. The ACHD Immunization Clinic offers flu vaccinations and no appointment is necessary.
In addition to getting the flu vaccine, follow these simple suggestions: Wash your hands. Do not cough or sneeze into your hands – cough or sneeze into a shoulder or elbow instead. Stay at home if you are sick or have flu-like symptoms (fever, muscle aches, cough, sore throat and fatigue) so as not to infect others.
Individuals experiencing flu symptoms should call their health care provider as soon as possible to determine if antiviral drugs should be prescribed. Antivirals can reduce severity of illness and are recommended for those at high-risk for flu complications: the elderly, children, pregnant women, and persons with chronic medical conditions.