BUFFALO, NY-- Flu cases are on the rise in Erie County and New York State. That's according to a statement released by the Erie County Health Department.
"In the past two weeks, reported cases of influenza have jumped significantly" states Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Commissioner of Health in a released statement. "Similar to the 2009 flu season, the majority of those falling ill with this flu strain are between the ages of 18 and 49 years old. However, no matter what your age, you are at risk of getting influenza if you have not been vaccinated during this flu season. Everyone at least 6 months of age should receive the flu vaccine as soon as possible to stem the spread of this disease. While the vaccine is not 100% effective, it offers the best protection we have against this very serious disease."
Health officials say it is not too late to get the flu vaccine. High-risk people are encouraged to get vaccinated. They are:
- People who are at high risk of developing serious complications like pneumonia if they get sick with the flu, including individuals with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, morbid obesity, and chronic lung disease;
- Women who are pregnant, have recently given birth or are breast feeding
- People 65 years and older.
- People who are immunosuppressed where there body's immune system or ability to fight off infection may be impaired or not working as effectively
- People who live with or care for others who are at high risk of developing serious complications Health care providers
- Young children, especially those under 2 years of age
"Frequent hand-washing is the most important health tip for all of us to remember so that we don't spread illness," says Dr. Burstein. "Wash your hands carefully and thoroughly with soap and water, especially after using the toilet or changing diapers, and always before eating, preparing, or handling food. When sneezing or coughing, be sure to turn away from others and use a tissue to cover your mouth or nose and sneeze into the crook or your arm, rather than into your hands."
(Source: Erie County Health Department)