PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The first flu-related death of the season has been reported in Allegheny County.
The Allegheny County Health Department has recorded the first death of this flu season. Nearly 1,000 new cases in the last week have been reported as well.
Allegheny County has the most flu cases of the state at 5,175. At this time last year, only 212 flu cases were recorded.
Allegheny County’s first flu-related death was recorded during the week of Jan. 4.
Currently, the flu has hospitalized 34 people in Allegheny County.
Allegheny County Health Department Epidemiologist Dr. Kristen Mertz says this season’s first flu-related death was a resident over 90 years old who had underlying medical conditions.
In a press release, she also said, “We have seen a larger number of flu cases this year compared to last year at this time, particularly Type B flu. Despite the increase in overall cases, less than 1 percent of reported flu cases resulted in hospitalizations. It’s still too early this flu season to make any predictions or speculate what’s to come.”
The Pennsylvania State Department says it’s officially a state epidemic, with the percent of outpatients with influenza-like illness exceeding the threshold. In the entire state, 13 flu-associated deaths have been reported this season.
The health department says it’s seeing the most cases of Influenza B. It is also seeing Influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 and Influenza A (H2N2) “co-circulate in the community.”