As flu season intensifies across the state, York providers are seeing an increase of people with the virus.
In the past two weeks, York Hospital has seen an increase in positive flu cases and flu-like illnesses, said spokesman Barry Sparks.
"We have had 33 confirmed cases of the flu seen in the York Hospital (emergency department) or admitted to York Hospital," he said in an email.
At Memorial Hospital, most of the patients with flu-like symptoms have ended up testing negative and not being admitted for the flu, said spokesman Jason McSherry.
"Over the past several weeks, we have seen a steady volume of ER visits from people with flu-like symptoms," he said.
The stats: Although the flu seems to be picking up in York, it's nothing like last year so far.
Last year brought a brutal flu season, and it started earlier than usual and was more intense than most of the previous seasons, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
There were 44,308 lab-positive flu cases in the state, including 3,640 hospitalizations and 200 deaths.
York County had 1,373 cases last season — the eighth-most in the state — with a rate of about 7.5 cases per day.
So far this season, York ranks No. 15 in the state with 294 reported cases of the flu since Sept. 29. That's a rate of about 2.5 cases per day. There have been 38 reported flu-related deaths in Pennsylvania this season.
By Jan. 10 last year, York already had 350 reported flu cases.
Vaccines: The York City Bureau of Health is still seeing patients for vaccinations, but not as many as last year, said immunization program coordinator Debra Stoops.
"I don't think our numbers are as high as they were last year," she said.
But the clinic is still offering vaccines — both the traditional shot and the nasal spray — through April and has plenty to offer, Stoops said. She encourages everyone 6 months old and older to get vaccinated, and it takes about two weeks for immunity to take full effect.
To make an appointment for a flu shot at the health bureau, call 849-2252.
— Reach Mollie Durkin at firstname.lastname@example.org.