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Article published January 5, 2014
County has high number of flu cases
The flu is widespread in the state, and Butler County has one of the highest rates of documented cases statewide, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Between Sept. 29 and Dec. 28, there were 83 cases of influenza type A and 37 cases of influenza type B in the county. There also was a case of influenza type U, totaling 121 cases in the county. The only counties that had higher numbers of flu cases are Allegheny County with 159 cases and Blair County with 189 cases. According to Aimee Tysarczyk of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, there are 2,180 lab confirmed cases of the flu in Pennsylvania. But numbers will never be precisely accurate because not all flu cases are documented. Dr. A. Thomas McGill, vice president of quality and safety at Butler Memorial Hospital, said documented type B cases may not be precisely accurate either because some of those documents tests were likely false positives. Rapid one-hour flu tests have a high false positive rate when a strain isn’t widespread as is the case with influenza type B, McGill said. These rapid tests are included with the confirmed cases.