Published: Wed, February 21, 2018
Medical | By Jackie Banks

Flu vaccine may protect against heart attacks

Flu vaccine may protect against heart attacks

The number of new flu cases confirmed last week dropped substantially in Blair and Huntingdon counties but increased more than 50 percent in Centre and Clearfield counties, the latest figures from the Pennsylvania Department of Health show.

Across the US, the number of people testing positive for the most prevalent flu strain, Flu A, peaked weeks ago and continues to see a rapid decline.

According to HCPH, this is the first pediatric death in the county this flu season.

All six of the most recent deaths were New Castle County residents ranging in age from 44 to 89 years old, and none had a flu vaccine this year. That according to John Ricci, a spokesman for the county's Department of Public Health. All but one had underlying health conditions.

"The findings may not apply to, let's say, a young healthy person that has a mild case of influenza and never even needed to go to the doctor", Schwartz said, adding that the flu vaccine is nevertheless important for them because "younger, healthier people tend to be the reservoirs of influenza".

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Since flu season can last as late as May, HCPH reminds individuals to remain diligent in protecting themselves and their families against the flu.

"But, it does look like we're out of the woods", he said.

Doctors don't fully understand what about the flu might lead to heart attacks in some people.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report said 43 states reported heavy flu patient traffic, the same as the previous week.

Flu symptoms include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, congestion, body aches, headaches and severe fatigue.

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