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Number of Flu Cases Continues to Decrease

Number of Flu Cases Continues to Decrease

Posted - Jan. 6, 2004 at 4:46 p.m.



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Sandra Yi ReportingIf you didn't get the flu, consider yourself lucky. So far this season, there have been more than 5,600 cases of the flu reported in Utah.

An epidemiologist with the health department says that's the highest number of cases she's seen since she's been tracking influenza.

The season peaked three weeks ago, with 1,100 cases in one week. The good news is the numbers have steadily declined since then.

Health officials hope that's a sign the worst is over, even though the flu season typically runs through April.

Nicole Stone, Epidemiologist, Utah Dept. of Health: "We typically just have one peak, but the peak isn't usually this early. So we've had cases reported clear through June before. But the fact that for three weeks in a row it's been declining, we're keeping our fingers crossed that there isn't another increase in cases."

Stone says one of the reasons for the severe outbreak may be that one strain going around is a harsh one and not fully covered by the vaccine.

The fear of the flu did create a surge in demand for the vaccine, resulting in shortages around the country. But Utah clinics have since received more shipments of vaccine, so you can still get a flu shot.

Health officials are urging high risk people, including the elderly and children, to get vaccinated.

So far there have been seven influenza related deaths in Utah. One was a pediatric death.

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