Flu Case on the rise in Lancaster County

Posted By: Channel 8 Eyewitness News

8@klkntv.com

Flu cases are on the rise throughout Lancaster county, especially in the last couple of weeks.

The health department wants to make sure we’re all prepared so we’re not sick in bed with body aches, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and fever.

Those are typical symptoms of the dreaded flu, and we’re now seeing more cases of them.

Tim Timmons with the Lancaster County Health Department says, "Flu season is from October 1 through the end of April. We don’t know when it’s going to show up or how severe it’s going to be."

Statewide there were around 500 cases as of the end of December..

Lancaster county has already seen 44 *confirmed* cases of the flu, but the health department says there are likely many more.

There was one flu–related death a couple of months ago with an older individual.

Infants and elderly are the most vulnerable.

The most commonly seen strain in our area is influenza type A, which is the more severe strain of the different flu types.

There is not a shortage of the vaccine.

"Individuals six months or older, it’s not too late if you haven’t already to get the flu vaccine, said Tim Timmons with the Lancaster County Health Department.

The vaccine uses a dead virus so our bodies can develop an immune response.

That way, if we get the live virus in our body, our immune system is ready to fight it off.

Timmons says that it can take one to two weeks before you develop full immunity to the sickness and experts recommend you get one.

No it’s not too late, some are wondering if this year’s shot is really helpful..

In Australia, there preliminary reports show the flu vaccine at only 10 percent effective.

If you do have the flu, it’s highly encouraged that you stay home focus your attention on getting well.

Tim Timmons with the Lancaster County Health Department says, "You need to be without a fever, and not on any fever–reducing medication, but without a fever for 24 hours before you’re safe to go back and don’t pose a risk for transmitting it to others."

The Lincoln–Lancaster County Health Department does offer free vaccinations for low income or uninsured people.

To learn if you qualify, you can call them at 402-441–8065.