Onondaga County's Deadly Flu Season Still Might Have Weeks to Go

Feb 13, 2014

Onondaga County can't seem to shake the flu.
Onondaga County can't seem to shake the flu.
Credit CDC.gov

Flu Cases have been on the Rise for Nine Straight weeks in Onondaga County and the County Health Commissioner wonders if we’ll reach the mark this week.  Doctor Cynthia Morrow updated the County Legislature’s Health Committee Thursday morning. 

She explains the primary circulating strain of influenza this season is … H1-N1… and resembles activity in 2009.

"It is the primary circulating strain right now, meaning that it’s the most common bug out there for influenza.  We know that this particular type of influenza hits young, middle age people much harder than the elderly population that we traditionally think of as being at greatest risk.”

Reported Flu cases show the season is gaining mementum, but still far short of last year.
Reported Flu cases show the season is gaining mementum, but still far short of last year.
Credit ongov.net/health

A typical flu season would peak around 6 weeks in Onondaga County.  Morrow says thankfully, it hasn’t been a high volume stretch of the flu, even though numbers of cases continue to rise.  Sometimes when people think the flu has passed she explains there’s a chance for relapses. 

“When you feel like you’ve had something like the flu, you’re not sure.  You’re starting to feel better then suddenly start to feel a lot worse.  That would be very concerning for a bacterial infection.  That’s where we see the highest mortality the highest death.”

Morrow adds that a bacterial infection following the flu often results in pneumonia.  People with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, obesity, lung disease and smoking can also be placed into a high risk group. Once the County reaches its peak of flu cases… Morrow says another six weeks of flu season is likely.  It’s still not too late to get the Flu Shot but it takes two weeks before it becomes effective, and Morrow says it doesn’t mean that you won’t get the flu.