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Flu Hits Long Island, Cases Number Near 500

Flu Hits Long Island, Cases Number Near 500

Flu cases in New York soar in a report of last week’s data from state health officials. Nassau County’s cases number 208, and Suffolk counts 280.

The data states the number of influenza cases in the state number 5,300. That amounts to a 62 percent increase over the previous week’s data, observes Patch reporting on the release of the data. 520 cases resulted in hospitalization. One child has died from influenza this season.

The two strains of influenza, A strain and B strain, both demonstrated prevalence in the data. Strain A is responsible for 2,730 cases, Strain B for 2,557. Strain A dominates Nassau County’s outbreak. Suffolk has a more even mix of the two.

Bronx County featured the greatest number of cases at 964. Tioga County had the worst rate, at 78.25 per 100,000 people. That compares to 15.31 for Nassau, and 18.9 for Suffolk. Several counties in the north part of the state report zero cases, dodging the outbreak for now.

Vaccination Efforts Seek to Thwart Advance of Flu

The state health commissioner, Howard Zucker, declared flu prevalent earlier in the season when cases first began to rise. The declaration requires those administering healthcare to wear face masks if they haven’t received a flu shot. it protects vulnerable patients from infection in areas facing an outbreak.

In a news release, Zucker stated, “Getting vaccinated remains the best way for all New Yorkers to protect against the flu.”

Flu vaccination has been shown to be 50 to 60 percent effective. The lack of certainty leads some to criticize health officials’ insistence regarding the vaccine. However, even when the shot fails to prevent infection, it lessens the effects and duration of the flu. Over two weeks, the vaccine builds the body’s immune system in a way that prepares it for influenza infection.

State health officials recommend vaccination for everyone over the age of 6 months. They especially recommend for the following:

  • Children younger than 2
  • Pregnant individuals
  • Anyone over the age of 65
  • Anyone with a weak immune system.

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