CLARION — The Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Bureau of Epidemiology has stopped reporting the number of “regular” influenza cases, saying the number of reported new infections has “significantly” decreased.
The department said it will begin reporting influenza statistics again “when flu activity increases with the beginning of the next flu season.”
The reporting of influenza A (H1N1) and influenza B/Victoria should not be confused with the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, the department said. The coronavirus numbers continue to increase, and COVID-19 continues to be a major public health emergency.
According to department statistics through Saturday, Pennsylvania had recorded 129,912 combined cases of influenza A (H1N1) and influenza B/Victoria, and 102 people in Pennsylvania had died from those two types of flu.
As of noon Wednesday, there have been 74 reported deaths in Pennsylvania from the COVID-19 virus, the department said.
The number of people in Clarion County diagnosed with influenza this season topped out at 217 as of Saturday, according to the department.
Influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 is the most detected flu virus. However, influenza B/Victoria and A(H3N2) viruses co-circulate in the community.
Influenza (also called the “flu”) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs, the department said. It can cause mild to severe illness and, at times, can lead to death.
The best way to prevent the flu, the department said, is by getting a flu vaccine each year.
— Clarion County ended the week of March 28 with 217 total cases of reported influenza, up from 209 cases reported through the week ending March 21.
The department's syndromic surveillance system receives data on visits to emergency departments from most hospitals in the state.
The system looks at the reason for visiting the ED and determines if ED visits were likely due to influenza-like illness.
— Venango County ended the week of March 28 with 187 total cases of reported influenza, up from 179 cases reported at the end of the week ending March 11.
Type A influenza cases climbed from 92 to 100 cases and Type B cases remained at 87.
— Jefferson County ended the week of March 21 with 695 total cases of reported influenza, up from 687 cases reported at the end of the week ending March 21.
Type A influenza cases climbed from 278 to 286 cases and Type B cases remained at 409.
— Forest County ended the week of March 28 with nine total cases of reported influenza, unchanged from March 21.
The total reported number of flu types A and B increased from 128,736 March 21 to 129,912 for the week ending March 28.
— Allegheny County had the highest number of reported flu A and B cases at 13,694.