Erie County is still recording more than 100 cases of the flu per week.
Representatives with the Erie County Health Department say typically by mid-April, they record fewer than 20 cases per week, but that’s not the case this year. Emergency room doctors say they’re still seeing several flu cases a day and those are just the people who choose to get it checked out.
Dan Desrocher says his work at the Brevillier Village keeps him busy all year. But, his packed agenda took a two-week hiatus when he caught the flu. “I started, I just thought ‘oh it’s a cold,’ and then the aches and the chills and I knew like on day two that I was really sick.”
The ECHD has recorded more than 3,700 cases already this season. While the numbers are slowing down, they’re still well above average for mid-April. And, the colder weather could have something to do with it lasting so long.
Charlotte Berringer, of the ECHD, says, “I do not remember a season like this and we’ve been keeping track of flu for over a decade.”
Experts say part of the problem is people continuing to go to school or work while they’re sick; continuing to spread the virus.
Desrochers says, “I actually had to buy a thermometer at my house because when I got the flu, they wouldn’t let me come back. They said ‘you’re not even allowed until you’ve gone 24 hours without a fever.'”
But, those drastic measures are fitting for a flu this severe. Dr. Wayne Jones, Medical Director of Emergency Services, says there are numerous reasons the virus seems to be sticking around. “A lot of people weren’t vaccinated. They were very reassured by mild flu seasons over the last two/three years and this was a severe flu season so they’re caught off guard.”
But, Dr. Jones tells us the vaccine isn’t a perfect match for the virus this year, so even if you did get the flu shot, it might not be as effective as it is usually.
Oddly enough, Brevillier Village has recorded no cases of the flu. Employees tell us that’s because of strict policies in place to keep the virus from spreading. But, Dr. Jones says the flu season should be wrapping up soon.