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Flu is on the rise locally with 84 confirmed cases in Orleans since September

Posted 15 February 2019 at 4:50 pm

Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Public Health Column

The flu is wide spread both locally and in New York! In the past few weeks, there have been an increase in the amount of flu cases. According to New York State Communicable Disease Electronic Surveillance System, since Sept. 1 to today, there have been 84 lab confirmed cases of flu in Orleans County, 142 lab confirmed cases of the flu in Genesee County, and from Dec. 8 to Feb. 9, there were 28 lab confirmed cases of the flu in Wyoming County.

According to the New York State Department of Health’s Weekly Influenza Surveillance Report as of Feb. 9, there have been 8,591 lab confirmed cases of the flu state wide. Additionally there is a 23 percent increase of lab confirmed flu cases during the week ending in February 9th in all counties and in NYC. The flu virus spreads from October to May with the majority number of cases occurring in January and February.

“If you have not received your flu vaccination yet there is still time. Getting your flu vaccination from December through March can still help protect you from influenza,” stated Paul Pettit, Director of Genesee and Orleans Health Department.

This vaccine is available locally but it is recommended that you call your medical provider, pharmacist or health department to assure they have a supply of flu vaccines in stock.

“It is recommended that everyone six months and older get vaccinated in order to fight the flu,” Pettit said. “This vaccine will help protect yourself and your loved ones.”

The Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages everyone to follow “Take 3” actions to stop the flu from hitting you:

1. Get your flu vaccination. By getting your yearly flu vaccine you can reduce flu illness, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to the flu.

2. Take every day preventative measures to prevent the spread of germs

a. Try to avoid close contact with sick people

b. While sick, practice social distancing (staying home, not going to crowded places, wearing a mask when out)

c. If you are sick, CDC recommends that you stay home 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever reducing medicine

d. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough and throw that tissue away. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow making sure your mouth and nose are covered by your sleeve.

e. Wash your hands often with soap and water

f. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

g. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu

3. Ask your doctor about getting antiviral drugs when experiencing the first signs of the flu.

If your symptoms worsen talk with your primary care provider. Take the steps to stay safe. More information about the flu is available at the State Health Department Web Site (click here).

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