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Widespread influenza outbreak continues to take its toll on Virginia

A widespread flu outbreak that began in early December is continuing to take its toll across Virginia. There have been three pediatric deaths from the illness, with two of those in the Eastern District, said Dr. Ted Tweel, acting director of the Three Rivers Health District.

Statistics reported on the Virginia Department of Health’s website show that the flu epidemic is still being seen across all areas of the state and that hospital visits for flu-like symptoms were still on the upswing through Jan. 3, the latest date for which data was available.

Tweel said that “we’re in the thick of our influenza year” and that the outbreak can be expected to last at least several more weeks. It’s not too late to be vaccinated against the flu, he said, and he recommended that everyone receive the vaccine. Although it has been reported that the vaccine is not a good match for the most prevalent type of flu being seen this year, he said, many strains of the flu will be...

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