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Flu continues to spread across Pennsylvania

By Bo Koltnow, Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 20 2014 04:13:49 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 20 2014 04:34:23 PM CST

The extreme cold and snow are making a comeback, however, health officials said it's a myth that cold weather causes the flu.

The extreme cold and snow are making a comeback, however, health officials said it's a myth that cold weather causes the flu. It's a cyclical virus.

One thing they said is for sure is that the current flu strain is a repeat of 2009's swine flu and it targets those who may think they won't get sick.

"What we are extremely concerned about is the H1N1 has the propensity to hit young, otherwise healthy adults very hard," said Terry Burger, the director of infection control and prevention at Lehigh Valley Health Network.

It's the same group, Burger said, that typically doesn't get vaccinated.

So far, 14 people have died from the flu in Pennsylvania this season, said Burger, adding that vaccinations, while not 100 percent effective, do lesson the flu's complications if contracted.

"Good news is we know what the strain is, know how it spreads, know how to protect our health care workers and certainly our community, and we have a vaccine, so we are better off than in 2004," Burger said.

That's enough for Laurainne Ojo, a senior at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, to rethink her college priorities.

"I was going to get it, but now I know that it is out there, I'll make sure it moves up my list," Ojo said.

Muhlenberg does have a campus clinic that offers flu shots. People should still get them as health officials said flu season has yet to peak. We can expect six to eight more weeks of people getting sick.