The State Health Department says ten people died of flu in Pennsylvania last week, bringing the death toll to 46 so far this year, including one child.
The flu is still widespread across the state and increased in all regions last week.The southeast and northwest regions are still the hardest hit.
The CDC recommends the antiviral drugs Xofluza, Tamiflu and Relenza, both to prevent the flu if you’ve been exposed, and to shorten the duration if you have it.
Altoona Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Robert Sullivan says patients often request antibiotics to fight the flu, but they’re not an effective treatment for influenza.
“Antibiotics are not effective for viruses and that’s been a dilemma for a long time. There’s a big push now not to use antibiotics because a lot of people that have symptoms of an infection, they have viral infections, and so the antibiotics really don’t help,” he explains.
Doctors say for the antivirals to work on the flu, you need to get them early in your illness.’ But, their best recommendation for protecting yourself: get a flu shot.