With all eyes concentrating on the ongoing COVID-19 crisis with the Omicron variant raging, flu season has quickly and quietly snuck up on New Yorkers, where flu is still being categorized as "widespread."
In the latest update from the Department of Health, New York recorded 5,075 cases of influenza out of nearly 100,000 tests that were conducted, marking the “seventh consecutive week that widespread activity has been reported following one week of regional activity.”
The latest data represents an 18-percent decrease from the previous update from the New York State Department of Health.
According to health officials, 58 counties reported cases of influenza, up a dozen from the latest update.
The only counties in New York with less than 10 cases of influenza per 100,000 population in the past week are:
Statewide, there are now 291 patients being treated for laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza, a 7 percent decrease from the previous update from 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: 4,895;
- 5-17: 11,175;
- 18-49: 12,405;
- 50-64: 1,670;
- 65+: 1,515.
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.”
The complete latest update on influenza in New York State from the Department of Health can be found here.
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