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NY Facing Worst Flu Season On Record With Second-Highest Weekly Cases In 20 years

New York may set a new record for the most cases of the flu.
New York may set a new record for the most cases of the flu. Photo Credit: CDC

Step aside, coronavirus.

Flu cases across New York during the flu season may set a record-high level, according to the State Department of Health, which classified flu activity as “widespread” for the 11th straight week.

There were 17,233 laboratory-confirmed flu cases in the week ending on Feb. 8, the second-highest weekly total since 1999. 

In the Metro Region, which includes Long Island and the Hudson Valley, there were 3,130 cases reported.

There has been 106,418 positive tests reported to the NYSDOH. There have also been three flu-related pediatric deaths.

Of those cases:

  • 21,323 were reported by children under the age of 4;
  • 33,875 were reported by New Yorkers between the ages of 5 and 17;
  • 31, 597 were between the ages of 18 and 49;
  • 10,476 were between the ages of 50 and 64;
  • 9,147 were over the age of 65.

With the flu continuing to be pervasive throughout the state, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a warning reminding residents to take steps to protect themselves from the flu.

"As flu season has not yet peaked across New York, I urge everyone to remain vigilant and take simple precautions to protect themselves and their families," he said in a statement. "I encourage all New Yorkers older than six months to get their flu shot. It's not too late.”

The CDC said that reported cases tend to increase in November before peaking between December and February. Flu season typically lasts through the middle of the spring. 

The organization 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 Department of Health, “most people who get sick with flu will have mild illness and will recover in less than two weeks without medical care. 

Some people, such as older adults, young children, pregnant women, nursing home residents, and people with asthma, lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, or obesity, are more likely to develop flu-related complications.

“Getting an annual flu shot, staying home while sick, washing your hands often, and other good health habits help prevent the spread of influenza.”

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