4,500 new flu cases reported in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Pennsylvania Department of Health says 4,500 new flu cases and 12 flu-associated deaths were reported in the past week.

More than 11,000 people in the state have come down with the flu since the beginning of October. Eighteen people have died.

The Health Department said this year’s rate of infection is the third fastest in the last eight years.

Dr. Rachel Levine, the state’s physician general and acting Health secretary, says it’s not too late to get a shot.

“It takes about two weeks to become fully effective, but it gains effectiveness over that time,” Levine said, “and even if it is not completely effective in preventing the flu, it can limit how severe the case of flu is and how long it lasts.”

Levine said the vaccine not only protects you, it protects others who may not be able to fight it off as well: children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems.

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