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Health Department Reports North Central Region's First Lab-Confirmed Flu Case of the Season
Date:12/5/2008

ear, an estimated 36,000 individuals die from influenza-related illnesses and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized nationwide. Rates of serious illness and death are highest among people over the age of 65 and individuals of any age who have chronic medical conditions that place them at increased risk for complications from influenza.

Recommended ways to prevent the spread of the flu include frequent hand washing, covering your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, and, when possible, avoiding contact with others when you are sick. It is also important to consult with your medical provider as soon as the first symptoms of influenza appear since certain antiviral prescription drugs may lessen the duration and severity of the illness if taken early.

Flu cases traditionally peak between January and March, so individuals should consider getting vaccinated now. It takes one to two weeks to build up immunity after receiving the flu vaccine.

For more information on influenza, contact the Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH or visit www.health.state.pa.us/flu.

    CONTACT:        
    Stacy Kriedeman
    (717) 787-1783


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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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