Flu reaches prevalent status across New York state

Headline: Flu Cases Surge in New York State, Prompts New Guidelines and Call for Vaccinations

In a recent development, the New York State Department of Health has officially declared the flu as “prevalent” throughout the entire state. The announcement comes as lab-confirmed flu cases, excluding New York City, have skyrocketed by 34 percent in just one week, reaching a staggering figure of over 14,000 positive cases across all 62 counties.

Tragically, the flu has claimed the lives of two young children in New York. One fatality occurred in Erie County, while the other devastating loss took place in New York City. These heartbreaking incidents serve as a stark reminder of the severity of the flu virus.

To combat the spread of the flu, new guidelines have been put in place. Unvaccinated healthcare workers in various settings are now required to wear masks, offering an additional layer of protection to prevent transmission. Moreover, healthcare facilities such as Rochester Regional Health are introducing restrictions, including reducing the number of visitors and implementing age restrictions, in an effort to safeguard their patients and staff.

Individuals who suspect they have contracted the flu are strongly advised to seek treatment promptly. The state has taken proactive measures to ensure access to the national stockpile of the flu-fighting drug Tamiflu, which can help alleviate symptoms and reduce the duration of illness.

Highlighting the importance of prevention, the flu vaccine is now available to everyone aged 6 months and older. Certain groups, particularly those at higher risk of experiencing complications, are encouraged to prioritize getting vaccinated. Governor Kathy Hochul has passionately urged all New Yorkers to take this vital step in protecting themselves and their loved ones.

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As the flu continues to spread at an alarming rate, it is crucial for individuals to prioritize their health and well-being. With the flu shot accessible and preventive measures in place, individuals can significantly reduce their risk of falling victim to this highly contagious virus. Stay informed, get vaccinated, and help keep your community safe from the flu.

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