Health Department Reports Three Influenza-Related Deaths - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Health Department Reports Three Influenza-Related Deaths

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Fighting the flu! The Health Department says three people have died from the flu in Philadelphia alone and cases are on the rise.

Doctors say the flu shot is the best source of protection against this deadly bug.

They say it's an illness many tend to under estimate.

Caitlin Zacharias is thinking of her health as she plans for her flu shot…but she's driven by other reasons too.

"I think a lot of it is in terms of when I'm with my nieces and nephews I don't want to expose them too if they haven't gotten the shot. Super young kids for example," Caitlin said.

Doctors say this particular bug is dominant in young people and already responsible for a handful of deaths in our area.

The Philadelphia Health Department confirms three people killed by influenza and they're monitoring dozens of serious cases.

Dr. Mike Cirigliano of Penn Medicine is tracking the path of the illness.

"The flu can kill so it's not surprising to hear of people succumbing to the flu," Dr. Mike said. "What we are seeing here is a widespread outbreak of the flu here in PA, in NJ regional and in DE regional outbreaks."

He says scores of cases have popped up in recent weeks with more people limiting their time outside in the frigid temps, choosing to stay indoors.

"Someone sneezes, someone coughs, they have virus on (their) hands. They shake your hands and you touch your eye. That's how people transmit the virus," Dr. Mike said.

The fix? Dr. Mike says flu shots are your best defense. Also, grab some soap and wash your hands frequently and many have their own methods of staying flu free.

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