NYS declares influenza prevalent

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Across New York State, the flu is widespread, according to New York’s Department of Health.

Officials announced on Thursday after much testing that influenza is prevalent in New York and most of its counties. Laboratories have confirmed cases in 44 of New York’s 62 counties, along with every borough in New York City.

Although no residents have died from the flu this season, there have been 26 deaths in the past three seasons. Thus far, over 800 residents have been hospitalized for the flu.

“Health care workers play a vital role in containing the spread of the flu,” New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said. “Although flu shots are a safe and effective way to reduce the risk for flu, not all health care workers choose to get vaccinated. By requiring those who are unvaccinated to wear masks when they’re around patients, we’re doing what we can to protect the most vulnerable, which includes the sick and elderly.”

This flu season is projected to continue until May, and began in October, but February is considered the peak of the season.

Health officials say it’s not too late to be vaccinated and there is no shortage of the vaccine. They say there’s no reason not to get vaccinated, as the current vaccination covers most strains of influenza prevalent this year.

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