Influenza Still Increasing in Erie County Residents; Residents Reminded It Is Not Too Late for a Flu Shot

Modified: February 13, 2018 11:15am

02/13/2018

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PRESS RELEASE

From the Office of the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale R. Burstein

Date: February 13, 2018               

CONTACT: Mary C. St. Mary/Mary.StMary@Erie.Gov

Phone: 716.858.4941/ Mobile: 716.253.3925

Influenza Still Increasing in Erie County

Residents Reminded It Is Not Too Late for a Flu Shot

ERIE COUNTY, NY—The number of positive influenza laboratory test results reported to Erie County continues to increase. The presence of influenza throughout Erie County is widespread and affecting all ages and is not an illness to be taken lightly.

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This year's United States flu season has been driven by the H3N2 Influenza A strain, a flu strain that can lead to more severe illness with more hospitalizations and even deaths compared to other flu virus strains. Flu-related hospitalizations in Erie County remain extremely high.

It is NOT too late to receive a flu vaccine, and if you do get sick, it may reduce the severity of your symptoms. It is especially important for certain populations at high risk of developing serious complications, such as pneumonia, be vaccinated. Individuals with medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, morbid obesity, and chronic lung disease are at a higher risk of complications.

“The flu is highly contagious and can cause serious respiratory illness. Now is the time to get a flu vaccine if you have not already been immunized this season,” said Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Commissioner of Health (“ECDOH”). “Erie County’s flu seasons lasts well into the spring, so we still have a few months of potentially prevalent disease on our community.”

Influenza vaccine is still in good supply in Erie County. Local pharmacies report good flu vaccine availability, including flu vaccines for children, if your health care provider or urgent care facility has limited supply.

For more information:             

Erie County Department of Health – Influenza (Flu) Information

Erie County Department of Health – Influenza Weekly Surveillance Report

New York State Department of Health Seasonal Influenza

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—Influenza Information