Flu season arrives early in W.Va.

WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) — Flu season is peaking in West Virginia.

Public health officials say flu activity has increased 63 percent since last week. The Intelligencer (http://bit.ly/12vZ3kl) reports that positive tests for influenza at hospitals statewide and the state laboratory topped off at 165 for the week ending Dec. 15.

Five cases of the flu had been confirmed for the week ending Nov. 24.

Excluding the 2009 pandemic, those figures represent the virus's earliest peak in the state since the 2003-04 season, according to Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department Administrator Howard Gamble.

Public health officials are urging West Virginia residents to get a flu shot this season.

Gamble said with the flu season peaking, holiday gatherings provide the ideal conditions for the virus to spread.

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Information from: The Intelligencer, http://www.theintelligencer.net

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