Flu cases expected to set new record high in state

Posted 13 February 2020 at 4:20 pm

31 cases were reported in Orleans last week

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today reminded all New Yorkers to take recommended precautions to protect themselves from the flu as new numbers released today show flu activity still has not reached its peak this season.

Flu cases in New York this season are expected to set record-high levels since the New York State Department of Health began tracking flu cases during the 1998-99 season.

“As flu season has not yet peaked across New York, I urge everyone to remain vigilant and take simple precautions to protect themselves and their families,” Governor Cuomo said. “I encourage all New Yorkers older than six months to get their flu shot – it’s not too late.”

The latest influenza surveillance report for the week ending February 8th shows seasonal flu activity continues to be widespread across New York State for the 11th consecutive week.

As indicated in the report, there were 17,233 laboratory-confirmed flu cases reported to the State Department of Health, the second highest weekly total since the 1998-1999 flu season. That includes 31 cases in Orleans County, 77 in Genesee and 87 in Wyoming County.

The most lab-confirmed influenza cases reported during a single week in a flu season was 18,252 in 2017-18. There have been a total of 106,824 lab-confirmed cases reported in New York State this season, with three flu-associated pediatric deaths. Last week, 1,993 New Yorkers were hospitalized with lab-confirmed influenza. So far this season, there have been 15,541 flu-related hospitalizations.

“While flu activity is higher than usual this season and it has not yet peaked, taking basic preventive steps such as washing hands often, covering a cough or sneeze with your arm, and staying home when experiencing flu-like symptoms, will help prevent the spread of the flu,” said Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker.

On January 3, the State Department of Health issued a statewide health advisory alerting healthcare providers to the dramatic increase in flu activity across New York State.

The State Health Department recommends and urges that everyone six months of age or older receive an influenza vaccination. In addition, everyday preventative actions can help stop the spread of flu and other respiratory viruses:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

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