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Flu season only months old, already deadly

Updated: Wednesday, January 8 2014, 07:53 PM CST
Reported by: James Tully

HARRISBURG -- The flu season in Pennsylvania is only a few months old and the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirms it has been a deadly one. 

Wednesday, a DOH spokesperson confirmed to CBS 21 that the majority of strains being reported in the commonwealth are H1N1 strains, often referred to as the swine flu.

The Department of Health, which said the flue season began Oct. 2, said six people have died in Pennsylvania.

It is not clear if those were swine flu cases, that information has not yet been released. In 2012-2013, 200 people died because of the flu.

Getting a flu vaccination, according to experts, is one of the best ways to fight the flu. At the Farm Show, this is one of the best weeks to start defending against it.

“Yes, I did it last year and the year before,” Jennifer Mansfield said of getting a flu shot.

Mansfield was taking advantage of the free flu vaccinations at the farm show.

Matt Perkins needed to be convinced that this is a safe place to get vaccinated.
“I’m at a farm show, there’s dirt, there’s cow poop, there’s stuff everywhere,” he said.

DOH assured CBS 21, and Perkins, that everything is sterile.

This year, more than 90 percent of the reported cases in Pennsylvania are the H1N1 strain. It was first discovered in 2009, and is considered the deadliest strain. It’s now included in the vaccine, however, and that makes it less of a threat.

DOH explains that the effectiveness of flu shots vary every year, because the strains also vary. They believe  on average flu shots can give you a 60-70 percent chance you won’t contract the virus.
Flu season only months old, already deadly


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