With all eyes concentrating on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, flu season has quietly snuck up on New Yorkers, which reported hundreds of new cases of influenza, according to the state Department of Health.
In the latest update from the Department of Health, New York recorded 980 cases of influenza out of more than 49,000 tests that were conducted, marking the “first week widespread activity has been reported following one week of regional activity.”
According to health officials, 47 counties reported cases of influenza, with just five having none.
The hardest-hit areas, with more than 10 cases per 100,000 population, by county:
In downstate New York, Nassau, and Suffolk counties on Long Island both reported between five and 9.99 cases per 100,000 population.
Further north in the Hudson Valley, Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess, and Ulster counties reported between two and five cases, and Sullivan County is reporting less than two cases per 100,000 residents.
Statewide, there are now 31 patients being treated for laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza, a 21 percent decrease from the previous by the Department of Health.
No influenza-related pediatric deaths have been reported so far during the current flu season.
A breakdown of confirmed cases of the flu, by age group during the 2021-22 season:
- 0-4: 398;
- 5-17: 545;
- 18-49: 1,302;
- 50-64: 172;
- 65+: 148.
The Department of Health estimates that flu has resulted in between 9.2 million and 35.6 million illnesses each year in the United States and several deaths. Of those illnesses, an estimated 9 percent were hospitalized.
According to the CDC, the flu infects the respiratory tract. “As the infection progresses, the body’s immune system responds to fight the virus.
"This results in inflammation that can trigger respiratory symptoms such as a cough and sore throat. The immune system response can also trigger fever and cause muscle or body aches.
"When an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, they can spread influenza viruses in respiratory droplets to people who are nearby.
"People might also get flu by touching a contaminated surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.