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Already higher than average number of flu cases reported in Genesee County

Flu viruses are hitting most of the nation pretty hard and Genesee County is no exception.

There have been 107 verified cases locally, according to Public Health Director Paul Pettit.

The number of verified cases is already higher than the average of an entire flu season in Genesee County.

"We're still pretty early in the primary flu season," Pettit said. "With what we've seen already, it's clear we have quite a ways to go with seasonal activity."

The flu season is typically January and into April, with the highest activity usually reported in January and February.

A verified flu case is one where there has been a lab test on a patient. Pettit noted that many flu cases never get reported or tested so there have certainly been more than 107 flu cases in Genesee County.

Pettit said anybody with flu symptoms should contact their physician; however, people should only go to the emergency room if displaying higher risk flu symptoms.

"A lot of emergency rooms are getting filled with people who don't really need to be there," Pettit said.

While there have been some reports of vaccine shortages in other parts of the country, Pettit said health department staff has checked with local pharmacies and found that for people 18 and older there is still a supply available.

"It's not to late to get a shot," Pettit said.

For children, supplies of vaccine is running low. The health department has a limited supply, but Pettit said parents should check first with their primary care physicians on availability. The health department's supply is available when other avenues to vaccinate chlldren have already been tried.

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