Lehigh Valley

Flu cases start to peak in Lehigh Valley

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Flu season is in full swing just in time for Christmas and the New Year.

"It's slowly increasing, we had a 50 percent increase in the number of cases diagnosed as compared to the week before," says Dr. Mark Knouse.

Dr. Knouse, Chief of Infectious Diseases at Lehigh Valley Health Network, says the spread of the flu virus here is still considered to be at a low level, compared to southern states where the flu is ramping up in a big way.

"It's not unusual that the cases will peak in either December or even January and February," says Dr. Knouse.

Although Dr. Knouse doesn't expect to see a real flu surge in our area until mid January or later, he says people should be careful during the holidays as they gather to spend time with family and share their germs.

"Of course the most important thing is getting the influenza vaccine," he says.

It's never too late in the season to get the vaccine especially for the very young and elderly, who are more susceptible to the flu. He says there's also good news about this year's vaccine in the northeast part of the country.

"So far so good. It looks like the flu vaccine matches the current circulating strains," says Dr. Knouse.

If all else fails when trying to avoid the flu-- use cough etiquette, wash your hands regularly and stay home if you are sick. ​

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