Flu cases drop by 97 percent in Pennsylvania

Cases of the flu have declined by 97 percent in Pennsylvania this year, possibly because of the combination between a mild winter, higher vaccination rates and people taking more precautions to avoid flu spread.

According to the Patriot-News of Harrisburg, through late February of this year, the state collected 367 positive lab tests for influenza, which was down from 12,309 at the same point a year ago. Flu hospitalizations and deaths were down as well, from close to 900 hospitalizations and 47 deaths last year to 71 hospitalizations and no deaths this year, Associated Press reports.

"My sense is we are pretty much at the end of the flu season and I don't see where we would have a tremendous spike," Thomas Weida, a family doctor at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, said, according to Associated Press.

Flu season runs from October to April and typically peaks in February or March. Christine Cronkright, a spokeswoman for the health department, said that the agency has seen a slight increase in flu cases in the last few weeks as have other parts of the country. Some doctors fear that a receding number of flu cases could make people neglect prevention after losing their fear of influenza.

"The bottom line is you want to get a flu shot every season," Theresa Benchoff, a doctor with the Patient First clinic in suburban Harrisburg, said, according to Associated Press.