flu cases rise

One out of every 50 Franklin County residents has been diagnosed with the flu this season and the real numbers could be double that.

According to the county health department, the total cases reported this season has already surpassed 2,000 and more are coming in by the hour.

After a slight decrease in new cases last week with 190 cases, as of Tuesday, 247 new cases had already been reported.

With no real end in sight, and several weeks still left in the reporting season, officials are stumped as to how high the numbers could go.

The all-time flu record was set in 2016 with 1,672 cases and then shattered already this year, with 1,749 total cases as of Jan. 28.

As per the trends all season, influenza type A is the dominant strain patients are being diagnosed with, but there has been a recent uptick in type B cases the last two weeks with the total reaching 290.

Thus far 1,697 of the cases have been the A strain and the additional 228 cases have been type B.

Hardest Hit

The renewed increase in overall cases last week are spreading increased numbers in all age groups.

None were larger than the 5 to 14 age group which now makes up more than 21 percent of the 2,000 with 428 cases.

The next hardest hit age group continues to be adults age 25 to 49 with 359 cases thus far.

• Ages 65 and older — 339 cases;

• Ages 50 to 64 — 310 cases;

• Ages 15 to 24 — 187 cases;

• Ages 2 to 4 — 199 cases; and

• Ages 0 to 2 — 111 cases.

All residents are still encouraged to get a flu shot if they haven’t already and the health department is now offering flu shots for $10 and is taking walk-in patients.

Additionally, the offices are remaining open until 6 p.m. on Thursday evenings.