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Flu death rate increases in Pa, 18 people dead statewide

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David Gutekunst knows what its like to come down with the flu.

“You feel completely drained of energy, you don’t want to do anything, your head is completely bogged up and you don’t want to be around people,” he said.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, more than 11, 000 cases of the flu have been reported this season across the state.

In Central Pennsylvania from October – January 6, 2018 these numbers were reported:

Adams County- 137 cases

Cumberland County- 321 cases

Dauphin County- 256 cases

Franklin County- 114 cases

Lancaster County- 392 cases

Lebanon County- 133 cases

Perry County- 28 cases

York County- 529 cases

Of those cases statewide, 18 people have died, including one juvenile.

“ I actually didn’t even know about that until this morning, so it was even more of a reason to get the flu shot,” Gutekunst said.

“With all of it going around and all the sick people, I’ve gotten one every year and I haven’t had the flu in years,” Joanna Stanford said.

The flu vaccine takes about two weeks to reach full immunity and while it can’t prevent the flu entirely, it will help you fight it.

“When you do get the flu, you’re so weak that it is very hard to fight off any infections, like bacterial infections, so actually we have people that die from other type of bacterial illness, since it is a virus, but they’re so weak they can’t fight it off,” Penn State Hershey nurse Connie Duffey said.

The Centers for Disease Control say there’s been more than 60 thousand confirmed cases this flu season across the country and say those hospitalized the most are young children and adults over 65.

The stress that it’s not too late to get your flu shot.

“ I think it’s very important for not only my family but for the community. We live in a very populated area where diseases can spread very quickly and immunization is a small way that we can do our part to keep the community safe,” Gutekunst said.

Free flu shots are available Saturday at the Farm Show from 10am until 4pm.

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