CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The state health officer on Friday encouraged West Virginians to get flu vaccinations, in light of the increased numbers of flu cases.So far this season, West Virginia has had 1,393 confirmed cases of the flu, according to Dr. Marian Swinker, state health officer and commissioner for Public Health. There were also 15,306 cases of influenza-like illnesses in December and 4,389 in January.People with influenza-like illness may have the flu, a common cold or another virus.Confirmed cases of the flu are laboratory-tested and verified.
"Even though we have less than 1,500 cases reported of confirmed flu, prevention is key," Swinker said. "The best tool that we have available to protect ourselves and our families from flu is to get a flu shot. "It is never too late to get your flu shot," Swinker said "Being vaccinated coupled with covering our coughs and sneezes, discarding used tissues, washing our hands frequently and staying home from work or school when we are ill, will go a long way in helping reduce the spread of illness."