How is the flu outbreak prompting you to change your worship?
- THE NEIGHBORHOOD FILES
- Cindi Lash
Saturday, January 19
As the ongoing flu epidemic continues around the United States, some church leaders around the country are changing procedures and issuing recommendations for avoiding the contagious ailment while worshipping. At masses this weekend in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, however, signs of peace and wine distribution from communal chalices during Communion will follow regular procedures, a diocesan spokesman said Friday. That includes St. Maurice, Word of God, Madonna del Castello, St. James, Good Shepherd and St. John Fisher parishes. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops this week said it does not see the need for widespread changes to liturgy to prevent the spread of the flu nationally. It also noted that the decision lies with …
Pennsylvania is reporting high influenza activity, according to the state health department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Allegheny County certainly isn't immune from the widespead outbreak of influenza reported by the Pennsylvania Health Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Allegheny County Health Department reports four local deaths in the last few weeks have been attributed to the influenza Type A virus. All four deaths have been patients 65 years or older, with the oldest victim 98 years old, according to Dr. Jim Lando, acting director of the department's Office of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. "Influenza does take people each year," he said. "That's why we do recommend that people get vaccinated." Lando said that between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2012—the most up-to-date reporting period this flu season—there had been 215 confirmed …