March 7, 2014
Flu-like illnesses in West Virginia have hit their highest level in more than four years.
The state Bureau for Public Health says more than 8,100 cases of flu-like illnesses were reported in West Virginia last week. That's the highest number since December 2003 when more than 14,800 cases were reported during one week.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says West Virginia is among 49 states reporting widespread flu activity. Florida reported regional activity and the District of Columbia reported local activity.
Dr. Dee Bixler is West Virginia's director of infectious disease epidemiology. She says state health officials hope the numbers will go down.
Nationwide, federal health officials say the rise in cases is partly because the flu vaccine doesn't protect against most of the spreading flu bugs. The CDC says the flu shot is a good match for only about 40 percent of this year's flu viruses.