The Pennsylvania Department of Health Monday announced that flu is now widespread in the state and has caused five deaths.
Rachel Levine, secretary of health, urged people to get flu shots. She said that is especially important before families gather for the holidays, as it takes two weeks for the vaccination to become fully effective.
The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone above the age of 6 months.
As of Nov. 30, there had been 2,667 laboratory-confirmed cases of flu in the state, but not all cases of flu are reported.
Influenza is a viral illness that typically comes on suddenly. Symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, dry cough, nasal congestion, sore throat and body aches.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu activity has been elevated for the past month and is increasing.
The New Jersey Department of Health is reporting moderate but increasing flu activity, with one fatality last month.