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Franklin County Influenza Cases Set New Record


Cases of Influenza A and B have set a new record of 1,679 reports in Franklin County, with several months yet to go in the flu season. The new record tops the 2017 record year of 1,672.

“We have just surpassed our all-time high for the county,” said Tony Buel, Franklin County Public Health Supervisor/Epidemiology Specialist. “Last season we topped out at 1,672 for the season, which was the most we’ve ever had reported on record. Today the numbers passed that and the flu season doesn’t appear like it will be over soon. We are still seeing large amounts of positive flu cases being reported but fortunately numbers are dropping.”

The totals for the flu season thus far for the recording months of August 27, 2017 through January 21, 2018 show 1,459 cases of Influenza A compared to 217 cases of influenza B, for the 1,679 total cases reported.

Age groups most effected include the ages of 25 to 49 making up 348 overall cases followed by 5-14 with 330; 65 and older, 304; 50-64 271; 2-4 166; and infants to two, 100.

This past week saw the county numbers drop dramatically with 127 cases of Influenza A compared to 270 in the previous week and a season high of 343 during the week of December 31.

Influenza B cases show a slight drop to 27 this week compared to 35 the previous week and the season highs coming the week of Dec. 31 and Jan. 7, where totals were 58 each week respectively.

According to Buel, Influenza B makes up only 13 percent of the overall influenza cases that have been reported during this season and Influenza B normally spikes more later in the season as opposed to Influenza A.

Franklin County Health Department reported on Monday, Jan. 8 that cases of the flu county are rapidly gaining on the record total in 2016-17 of 1,664.

The influenza season is based on the combined months of September through April.

“Lots of Influenza A and B are being seen in the Sullivan zip code,” said Tony Buel, Franklin County Public Health Supervisor. “We aren’t really seeing a certain part of the county being hit any worse than other areas. Pretty much it's widespread and the numbers are elevated countywide.”

Find out just how many cases have been reported in Franklin County in the Jan. 10 issue of the Independent News.

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