Flu cases are on the rise in Pennsylvania, and health authorities continue to warn that this year's flu season could be much worse than the last.

As of Saturday, York County had 19 confirmed cases of the flu reported to the state Department of Health.

Memorial Hospital has started to see people in the emergency department with flu-like symptoms, but they are not yet seeing any hospitalizations due to influenza, said Josette Myers, spokesperson for Memorial Hospital.

Two patients admitted to York Hospital have tested positive for the flu, but that is nothing out of the ordinary for this time of the year, said Barry Sparks, spokesman for WellSpan Health.

Statewide numbers: Pennsylvania had a total of 834 confirmed cases as of last week, an increase from the same week last year when only 209 flu cases had been reported statewide.

The state Department of Health lists the current flu activity as "widespread," which is the highest category and is used when there are outbreaks of influenza in at least half the regions of the state with recent laboratory-confirmed evidence of influenza.

Flu activity like this is not usually seen until January, according to a news release from the state Department of Health.

"If you decided to wait, now is the perfect time to get vaccinated against the flu," said acting Secretary of Health Michael Wolf.


The flu strains causing illness appear to match well with this year's vaccine, the health department said.

Most of the illness in Pennsylvania so far is due to type A influenza H3N2, the type often linked to severe flu seasons. It can be treated with antiviral drugs, especially in the early stages, the release said.

-- Reach Chelsea Shank at 505-5432 or cshank@yorkdispatch.com