Flu cases catch up with last year; flu shots effective

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Carilion has issued an update on flu cases so far this season.

A Carilion doctor told WDBJ7 that in the past two weeks, flu numbers have caught up to last year.

One chart showed that the flu outbreak was a couple of weeks later this year than last year, but Carilion officials have recorded the same number of cases as at this time last year.

The flu shot is 68 percent effective this flu season -- much better than the last two years.

In this area, about half of the cases are for patients under the age of 19 and half are over, but the older age groups are more susceptible to complications, officials said.

Thomas Kerkering, Chief of Infectious Diseases with Carilion Clinic, said, "It's good that the preventive measures really don't change, what we need to change is people's behaviors so that they practice those preventive measures."

He referred to measures like washing your hands and getting the flu shot.