Patients are filling up emergency rooms around the state with flu-like symptoms.
The statistics show that Pennsylvania is entering the height of flu season. The severity of this year’s flu won’t be known until the number of cases peaks.
More than 5,000 new cases of the flu were reported during the first two weeks of 2017, according to the department of health.
“Flu is a big deal, it’s jamming up emergency rooms. And it’s not too late to get the vaccine,” Dr. Luther Rhodes of Lehigh Valley Health Network said.
Emergency departments are the front line when it comes to determining whether you have a flu, a stomach bug or just a regular old cold.
At Blue Mountain Health System, they’ve seen a definite uptick in cases of all three, as winter rolls on.
“Influenza A, and now B are coming around. It’s kind of ramped up over the last few weeks. Viral gastroenteritis. You obviously have a lot more viruses circulating with people returning to school,” said Steve Albrich, a physician assistant in the emergency department.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has found that the tax that funds the popular Local Share Account grant program is unconstitutional.
However, legislators will have 120 days to come up with a new law before the decision takes effect.
The Local Share Account grant program is one of the most popular in the state. Boroughs, nonprofits, and economic development groups across the state count on it to purchase police cars and rehabilitate structures. Pennsylvania casinos have paid tens of millions of dollars to their host communities. The loss will have great impact locally.