Flu season is off to an early start, state and federal health officials say, with many more Pennsylvania cases reported as of the beginning of December than the previous year.
According to the state Department of Health, there were 387 cases of confirmed influenza across the state from Oct. 2 - Dec. 1, in 53 of the state's 67 counties.
Ten of those cases were in Lehigh County, 13 were in Northampton County. Most of the cases were in the western part of the state; Allegheny County had 64 cases.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that the 2012-2013 season is shaping up to be a bad one. There have been a larger number of suspected flu cases than usual in five Southern states, and this year's strain may be more virulent. Nevertheless, this year's vaccination appears to be better matched to the virus.
The PA Department of Health reports the components of the 2012-2013 seasonal influenza vaccine for the United States include:
an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like virus.
an A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2)-like virus.
a B/Wisconsin/1/2010-like virus.
It's not too late to get vaccinated. To find a place near you to get a flu shot, type your zip code into the Flu Finder site.
Flu season typically runs October through May.
Symptoms of the flu include muscle or body aches, headaches, cough, sore throat, fatigue, fever or chills, and vomiting and diarrhea (the latter two are more common in kids). The flu can also worsen chronic medical conditions or cause death.