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2012-13 Flu Season Is Worst In A Decade, Say Area Health Officials

(File photo by CBS3)

(File photo by CBS3)

Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
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By Michelle Durham

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — Now that the 2012-2013 flu season is tapering off, local health officials are looking at the data to see how bad this outbreak was, compared to previous years.

Kait Gillis, deputy press secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Health, says the latest flu season started off earlier and peaked mid-January.

“It was a very severe flu season — one of the worst we’ve seen in at least the last decade,” she tells KYW Newsradio.  “There have been about 41,000 positive lab cases reported as of March 23rd.  Now, that is what we believe to be only a fraction of the flu cases out there.”

Because not everyone who is diagnosed with flu actually gets tested for it.

New Jersey state epidemiologist Dr. Tina Tan agrees that it was a big year for flu.

“Flu season for this year was definitely much more increased as far as activity,” she says.  “This is what you would typically expect in a year where you see a particular type of flu strain, the AH3, circulate.”

And both Tan and Gillis say the season is not over yet.