Two deaths in Kanawha County are being blamed on complications caused by the flu virus.
Kanawha-Charleston Health Dept. Executive Director Dr. Rahul Gupta has been warning about the seriousness of this season’s flu for several weeks.
“We expect people to die,” Dr. Gupta said. “We don’t like to see it but it does happen. We are seeing some deaths occurring in our valley from flu-related complications.”
Gupta says both of the victims were over the age of 65.
“Most of the deaths that happen during a flu season are in people over 65 years of age and usually that’s the case because they have so many other medical problems,” he said.
There have been national reports in recent days indicating a shortage in flu vaccine. Gupta says he doesn’t believe it’s a widespread shortage.
“We are getting some spotty news that it may be out in some local pharmacies,” he said. “But generally speaking there’s a good supply in the valley. The health department definitely has plenty of supplies. The doctors’ offices and hospitals have supplies at this point.”
Gupta says it’s not too late to get a shot.
It’s the H3N2 strain of the virus that has been causing the problems. The state Bureau of Public Health recently reported more than 54-hundred flu-like cases in West Virginia.