1st flu death reported in LV
Updated On: Jan 10 2013 11:52:50 AM CST
The flu has claimed its first victim in the Lehigh Valley for this flu season.
An infant died from the flu over the weekend, Brian Downs of Lehigh Valley Hospital said.
Privacy laws restricted Downs from saying anything else about the death.
People reported 7-9 hour emergency room waits over the weekend because of a huge influx of people with flu-like symptoms.
Tuesday the hospital opened a mobile emergency room in its parking lot to deal with anyone with flu-like symptoms.
The mobile ER has been open from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. since. Hospital officials say it will remain open daily for the foreseeable future.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health says flu is now ``widespread'' throughout the state and things are likely only going to get worse because the season typically doesn't peak until the middle of this month or February.
There have been more than 11,000 laboratory confirmed flu cases in the state since the flu season began in mid-December, with nearly 4,300 of those reported last week alone.
The department's flu-tracking website says ``widespread'' is the highest category for tracking the virus. That means there have been outbreaks or increases in flu-like or ``laboratory-confirmed influenza in at least half the regions of the state with recent laboratory evidence of influenza in the state.''
So far, 971 flu-related hospitalizations and 22 deaths have been reported during the flu season.
Copyright 2013 WFMZ. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Man found with 200 marijuana plants in yard, police say
Coroner: Man a victim of accidental drowning
Woman, 91, struck by fire truck outside senior living community
2 men struck, killed by train near Emmaus identified
Police: Man had many pornographic images of young children
Woman takes stand against crime in her neighborhood
Lawyer: Nazi war suspect dies as extradition from US OK'd
Speed limit upped to 70 mph on stretch of Pa. Turnpike
Dozens of stray cats left behind by caretaker's death
Life Lessons: Top 4 cancer-fighting foods